Stargazing in Dorset
Dorset is one of the best areas in the UK for stargazing, with clear night skies and little light pollution. A lot of the guests we welcome tell us that these are fantastic locations for stargazing and viewing the clear night skies on the Dorset coast. With the milkyway visible on clear nights from March to October, what could be more perfect than sitting outside your tent/motorhome/lodge/caravan viewing the amazing night sky?
Here is a little guide for visitors to our Dorset holiday parks to make the most of these beautiful starry skies. The images below were taken either on our parks or in the local area on the Dorset coast.
In 2017 we added Safari Tents and Stargazer Bell Tents to our range of accommodation across the 5 parks. These Glamping options are perfect for viewing the night sky. Find out more about them by clicking here.
Pick a good viewing spot – It is important to pick the right place to view the stars from, away from light sources and obstacles. Try the middle of the Camping and Touring fields at the park or venture down onto the beaches or up on the clifftops and hilltops such as Golden Cap and Durdle Door.
Take the right equipment – the only equipment you need as beginners is your eyes. For more advanced stargazing try binoculars or a telescope. There are a variety of phone and tablet applications that give you a map of the sky and tell you where to look and what to look for. Try to go out in pairs with torches or let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
Let your eyes adjust – Our eyes are used to looking at computer screens and bright lights. Once you have picked your spot, allow your eyes 20 minutes to adjust to the darkness and the number of stars you will be able to pick out will increase dramatically. If you are using a phone of tablet, make sure the screen brightness is as low as it will go.
Sit comfortably – Remember to take a blanket with you and warm clothing. Position your body so that you can view the sky at ease, either with a camping chair or by lying on a blanket on the ground. Be patient – good things take time!
Look for patterns – Start by learning one of the constellations and the pattern it makes. Then build outwards, noticing and learning new shapes and new stars. There’s nothing like sharing an interest with others and stargazing is a great hobby to enjoy with friends and family and a great activity for children.
Relax, have fun and enjoy your stargazing when you’re next on holiday with us!
Images by James Loveridge Photography