Stargazing in Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire is one of the leading places in the UK for stargazing and dark skies thanks to the lovely low light pollution and tranquil peace and quiet.
If you’re visiting and want to spend a night under the stars, you’ll struggle to pick a better location, as the county benefits from a designated Dark Sky area and expert astronomers who can guide you on where to go and where to look.
They include the friendly team at Dark Sky Wales, who often put on Dark Sky events where you can gaze at the constellations the dot the Pembrokeshire night sky using the latest technology in their ‘pop up’ planetarium.
Seeing the Milky Way
The National Trust car park at Broadhaven South is a designated Dark Sky area - this means its protected from light pollution and there are no buildings or trees that will disturb your sightline to the stars. Pop along to the car park as the sun goes down and marvel at the sky lighting up like few other locations in the UK. It’s about a 35-minute drive from Bluestone and the car park and beach are part of the beautiful Stackpole Estate.
The Broadhaven South car park is a particular highlight as its certified as being one of the few places where the Milky Way is visible to the naked eye on a clear night.
Designated Dark Sky Stargazing
Aside from Broadhaven South, there are seven other locations certified by Dark Sky Discovery which are excellent for star gazing.
Garn Fawr National Trust car park (SA64 OJJ)
Kete National Trust car park (SA62 3RR)
Martin's Haven National Trust car park (SA62 3BJ)
Newgale Beach Pembrokeshire Coast National Park car park (SA62 6BD)
Poppit Sands, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park car park (SA43 3LN)
Skrinkle Haven, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park car park (SA70 7SD)
Sychpant, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park picnic site (SA65 9UA)
Stargazing with the Dark Sky Experts
The Dark Sky Wales team runs events through the year helping you get the most from your stargazing experience. Using the latest technology and a ‘pop-up’ planetarium, astronomer Allan Trow takes you on a tour of the skies narrated with a heavy dose of Welsh folklore.
You’ll see stars, planets, nebulas and black holes The mythology around the stars is fascinating and you can take photographs of the night sky using the telescope - as show in this blog post from our trip to Broadhaven South in May.
Top tips for stargazing in Pembrokeshire
1. Try to plan your trip for a full moon - that will make sure the night sky is suitably lit
2, Find a local stargazing event to guide you - you’ll get much more out of the experience
3. Mix up when you go - try the same spot at a different time of year and see how the constellations have moved
4. Use an app such as Star Walk on an iPhone or Google Sky on an Android to check what you should be able to see from where you are standing
5. Look out for the International Space Station - NASA has a website dedicated to tracking where it is 6. Take a blanket and some food and drink - it gets cold!
7. Check out the moon properly - you might think you see it all the time but a pair of binoculars will show you its craters and detail
8. Don’t look directly at the sun. It sounds obvious but it’ll damage your eyes - just like your mum used to tell you!
9. Stars twinkle - planets don’t
10. Follow astronomers on Twitter - you’ll pick up some great tips on when and where to go.