A popular outdoor spot in Yorkshire has officially been crowned one of the UK’s top 10 places to go stargazing (and it happens to be “the largest Dark Sky Reserve” too).

Yorkshire Dales Dark Sky Reserve has been ranked in 5th place by Jessops, following the magnificent Northern Lights show across England last weekend – some of us were even captivated by the spectacular aurora borealis for the first time in our lives.

The photography retailer commented: “Whether you're a newcomer eager to marvel at the Milky Way or simply seeking a break from city lights to admire the night sky's beauty, stargazing offers something special for everyone.

“But where are the best stargazing spots in the UK?

@yorkshiredalesnp ⭐ International Dark Sky Week⭐ The Yorkshire Dales National Park is a designated Dark Sky Reserve, which means it has minimal light pollution, making it an ideal location for stargazing. In most places, it is possible to see the Milky Way as well as the planets, shooting stars and on very clear nights - the Northern Lights. Here are some top tips for Star Gazing in the Yorkshire Dales National Park 👇 Top locations: ⭐Tan Hill Inn: the highest pub in Britain – To warm up after stargazing, food and drink – and often live music here. ⭐Buckden Car Park: An officially recognised place where anyone can stargaze with minimal lighting and free of charge to stargazers between 7pm and 6am Top Tips: ⭐Check the weather: Clear, dry night – no cloud ⭐Pack warm clothing: Clear nights are cold nights! ⭐Bring binoculars: To see more detail in the sky ⭐Take a camping chair or mat to lay on: You will be looking up to the heavens for long periods of time. ⭐Stay at a Dark Sky Friendly accommodation: This means they have gone the extra mile to offer specific activities, facilities, information or services to enhance your stargazing experience in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Search ‘Stargazing’ on our website for more info – Link in Bio 👆 #stargazing#internationaldarkskyweek #Yorkshiredales #yorkshiredalesnationalpark#Darksky #stars #Northernlights ♬ original sound - Yorkshire Dales National Park

“To answer that question and help you decide on your next trip, we've compiled a list of the UK's dark sky parks, reserves, and islands.”

It added: “We've then ranked the top 10 stargazing locations based on the number of stargazing events, viewing locations across the region and accommodation.”

Why is Yorkshire Dales Dark Sky Reserve among UK’s best stargazing spots?

Jessops explained: “Yorkshire Dales National Park is the largest Dark Sky Reserve in the UK.

“To qualify as a Dark Sky Reserve, an area must ensure at least 67% of its properties are dark sky friendly.

“Impressively, 90% of residential properties in the Yorkshire Dales already met this criteria when it was designated in 2020.

“There are 17 places to stay, making it perfect for a weekend getaway. Plus, there are five observation points where you can spot the Milky Way, meteor showers, and even the Northern Lights!”

The UK’s top 10 stargazing spots

  1. Northumberland Dark Sky Park
  2. South Downs Dark Sky Reserve
  3. Exmoor Dark Sky Reserve
  4. North York Moors Dark Sky Reserve
  5. Yorkshire Dales Dark Sky Reserve
  6. Brecon Beacons Dark Sky Reserve
  7. Cranborne Chase Dark Sky Reserve
  8. Bodmin Moor Dark Sky Landscape
  9. Elan Valley Dark Sky Park
  10. Snowdonia Dark Sky Reserve

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Product Specialist Lizzie James at Jessops commented: "For the best stargazing experience, venture away from the glow of city lights to a location with minimal light pollution. Look for places like national parks, rural areas, or designated Dark Sky Reserves where the night sky remains unpolluted by artificial lights.

"Beaches, mountains, and open fields can also provide excellent points. Just remember to check the weather forecast beforehand and choose a clear night for the best visibility of the stars."

You can read more about each of the best stargazing locations across the UK and find expert tips on seeing the Northern Lights on the Jessops website.