Where to see the stars this World Space Week

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Where to find stargazing World Space Week October 2017

Find the best places to stargaze across the UK, from observatories to dark sky reserves

It’s been 18 years since the United Nations created World Space Week. Every year between 4-10 October thousands of people around the globe enjoy events, exhibitions and workshops

With more than 2,700 events across 86 nations organised by space agencies, aerospace companies, schools, museums and astronomy clubs, there simply has to be something cosmic happening on your doorstep this World Space Week.

Night Sky Safari

There are at least 61 observatories scattered across the UK, all of which are either open to the public by prior arrangement or hold special stargazing evenings, such as the Night Sky Safari at Kielder Observatory in Northumberland, where you can tuck yourself into one of their moon chairs and sip hot chocolate as you enjoy a laser-guided tour of constellations. There’s even a log fire on chilly nights.

Dark Sky Reserves

The UK benefits from not one but four International Dark Sky Reserves (there are only 11 in the world). These are spots that have a dark core zone in the midst of a populated area and include the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia in Wales, Exmoor in south-west England – which is hosting its first-ever Dark Skies Festival between 19 and 29 October – and South Downs National Park in the south of England.

Dark Sky Parks

There are also three Dark Sky Parks (places which can claim exceptional quality of starry night) – Galloway Forest Park in Scotland, Northumberland National Park and Kielder Water and Forest Park in England, and Elan Valley Estate in Wales.

Dark Sky Discovery Sites

There are also dozens of Dark Sky Discovery Sites throughout the UK. So kit yourself out in your cosiest clobber and head out on a cold, clear evening to take a tour of the night skies without ever leaving the comfort of your home planet.