Stargazing in Pembrokeshire
Wales has the highest percentage of land protected by Dark Skies status in the world and the wild and rugged Pembrokeshire coastline boasts some of the best dark sky opportunities in the UK. Being this far west and remote from any large city means we have minimal light pollution and gloriously dark skies. Not to mention peace and tranquillity.
Located in 500-acres of rolling countryside and woodland, Bluestone is in prime position to see a truly dark sky. All you have to do is look up. Nor do you have to be an astronomy expert, but if you do want some guidance, it’s worth checking out the friendly team at Dark Sky Wales with Allan Trow at the helm.
With a bit of extra knowledge, you’ll know where to look to see stars, planets, nebulas and black holes. The mythology around the stars is also fascinating and you can even take photographs of the night sky using a telescope. Lately, there’ve been some fabulous displays of the Northern Lights this far south with some spectacular photos captured from the Preseli mountains and even Carew castle.
Seeing the Milky Way
The National Trust car park at Broadhaven South (17 miles from our resort) is a designated Dark Sky area - this means it’s 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. They are:
- 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)
Top tips for stargazing in Pembrokeshire
Allan’s top tips for stargazing either from home, on holiday at Bluestone or somewhere on the coast include:
- Try to plan your trip for a full moon - that will make sure the night sky is suitably lit
- Find a local stargazing event to guide you - you’ll get much more out of the experience
- Mix up when you go - try the same spot at a different time of year and see how the constellations have moved
- 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
- Look out for the International Space Station - NASA has a website dedicated to tracking where it is
- Take a blanket and some food and drink - it gets cold!
- 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. A pair of binoculars today are as strong – if not stronger – than the first telescopes which were used to plot the stars!
- Don’t look directly at the sun. It sounds obvious but it’ll damage your eyes - just like your mum used to tell you!
- Stars twinkle - planets don’t
- Follow astronomers on Twitter - you’ll pick up some great tips on when and where to go