Stargazing in Pembrokeshire
One of the best areas in the country to see the night sky is Pembrokeshire.
And THE best place in Pembrokeshire to view the Milky Way is the designated Dark Sky of the National Trust car park at Broadhaven South.
When the sun goes down and the night sky darkens the whole universe reveals itself above Pembrokeshire and all you need to do to experience it is step outside.
In February some of the highlights of that night’s sky included watching Venus and Mars on the western horizon at sunset and Jupiter shining in the eastern sky. You can also spot the Big Dipper and Orion.
While the naked eye can see lots of large stars and planets, if you use binoculars, telescopes or SLR cameras you can see the planets, nebulas, and black holes in much more detail.
If you’re new to stargazing you can access the Dark Sky Discovery website for stargazing tips, downloads and videos to help you get to grips with the night sky in spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Top Tips for watching the night sky in Pembrokeshire:
- Choose a clear night, around the new moon, with no cloud
- Download a Dark Sky Discovery stargazing pocket guide
- Bring your binoculars if you don’t have a telescope, lots of planets will be visible using these
- Start by locating the North Star – Polaris. This will help you read the stargazing guide
- Stars twinkle, planets don’t
- The best times to see meteors are an hour before dawn
- Meteor showers take place in August, November, and December
Pembrokeshire’s westerly location in Wales means it is well situated to stargazing with low levels of light pollution and can offer significantly darker skies than many other areas. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has worked with the National Trust to establish a necklace of Dark Sky Discovery Sites.
Dark Sky Discovery sites is a nationally-recognised designation for top stargazing spots across the UK and around the coast. Pembrokeshire has 8 such designated sites:
- Broad Haven South National Trust car park (OS SR9758693785)
- Garn Fawr National Trust car park (OS SM8990938835)
- Kete National Trust car park (OS SM8032604298)
- Martin’s Haven National Trust car park (OS SM7619308981)
- Newgale Beach Pembrokeshire National Park car park (OS SM8505321745)
- Poppit Sands Pembrokeshire National Park car park (OS SN1520648566)
- Skrinkle Haven Pembrokeshire National Park car park (OS SS0833797509)
- Sychpant Pembrokeshire National Park picnic site (OS SN0457034982)
Pick a clear night, wrap up warm, fill the flask, and head out to one of the news sites for a meteor shower or a glimpse of the Milky Way – you won’t be disappointed.
Loving the night sky photography? Want to know more about capturing your own astrology images? Check out the astrophotography workshops run by local landscape photographer Drew Buckley. Drew offers night workshops for small groups, to help you create your own beautiful images of the Milky Way or star trails.
And when you get those incredible night sky images remember to share them with us on Instagram – Happy stargazing!