Best Places to See the Stars in the UK and Europe

December 12, 2023 in Tips for Travellers, Family-friendly travel, England, Germany, Scotland, Spain, Wales & United Kingdom

Few things are as enchanting as a night full of starry splendour. And guess what? Looking up makes us friendlier, more creative and calmer. Simply magic, or a clever example of positive psychology? Whatever it is, you’ll find it in these best places to see the stars in the UK, with a few great stargazing spots in Europe too.  

A study from the University of California revealed that stargazing makes you kinder. Why? Looking at the night sky makes you realise how insignificant your problems are and in turn, increases your kindness and empathy towards others. In a world where we could all use a little more kindness, looking up might just be one of the simplest solutions we’ve come across. 
Best places to see stars uk stargazing spots dark sky park With six of the UK’s national parks holding International Dark Sky Reserve status, there’s no shortage of starry spots to choose from! Campsites, viewpoints and open spaces that offer unobstructed views of nature and the night sky, as well as destinations free of light pollution. To kickstart the inspiration, we’ve compiled the best places to see stars in the UK and Europe to park your campervan for some serious stargazing. 

1. Galloway Forest Park, Scotland 

As Scotland's first Dark Sky Park, Galloway Forest Park is the perfect location for stargazing in the UK and one of the best in all of Europe. This is all thanks to the isolated location and low light pollution — very few people actually live in the 300 square miles of forest. The naked eye can spot thousands of stars, with the luminous band of the Milky Way often visible as it gracefully arches across the night sky. 
Best places to see stars uk stargazing spots dark sky park

2. Exmoor National Park, England

Exmoor National Park is a magical place where the night sky comes alive. It’s even said to be one of the few places where you can see the Milky Way with the naked eye — madness! For an immersive experience, join the annual Exmoor Dark Skies Festival, a celestial celebration that brings together enthusiasts and experts alike. Here, under the canopy of stars, you'll find workshops, guided night walks, and telescope sessions that deepen your connection with the cosmos.

3. Riaño Mountain Reserve, Spain

Tucked away in the northern reaches of Spain lies the undiscovered paradise of the Riaño Mountain Reserve, where the landscape offers rugged mountain trails and pristine crystal lakes. This haven, a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts, offers a perfect blend of awe-inspiring scenery and of course, celestial wonders! With a stargazing score of 76/100, it stands as a testament to the clarity and brilliance of its night sky, drawing in stargazers from near and far.
Best places to see stars uk stargazing spots dark sky park

4. Westhavelland Nature Park, Germany

The first Dark Sky Park in Germany, Westhavelland Nature Park in Brandenburg offers the perfect setting for a celestial getaway. Designated as an International Dark Sky Reserve since 2014, the region's darkest skies grace the space between the quaint towns of Gülpe and Nennhausen, ensuring minimal light pollution. Beyond the allure of its dark skies, Westhavelland Nature Park boasts stunning nature; with meadows, rivers, and lakes creating a picturesque backdrop. Whether day or night, it’s a haven for those seeking the tranquillity of the German countryside. 

5. Elan Valley, Wales

With 70 square miles of wild Welsh landscape, visitors are treated to stunning walks around reservoirs and through rugged forests. The Elan Valley Estate made history in 2015 by becoming the first privately owned yet publicly accessible park in the world to achieve International Dark Sky Park status. This award recognises the park's commitment to limiting the light pollution in the area for both locals and visitors, enabling all to experience the breathtaking night skies in this special corner of the world. 
Best places to see stars uk stargazing spots dark sky park

6. Northeast Coast, Scotland

Gazing up at the stars in the northeast of Scotland is an incredible experience, particularly during the cooler and darker months. Light pollution here is incredibly minimal, making it a prime location for stargazing, with numerous spots dotted along the remote coastline of the North Sea. Take some time to explore the charming seaside towns of Portsoy, Banff, or Crovie, where visitors are often greeted with delightful displays of dolphins frolicking in the sea. During the winter season, you might even catch a glimpse of the enchanting Northern Lights dancing across the sky.

Looking for the perfect motorhome to set yourself up for a cosy night in these best stargazing spots? Look no further. We have vehicles of all shapes and sizes on our platform, whether you’re travelling with your partner, family or pet.