Wishing on a star

Once you’ve got the camping bug, what better way to spend an evening than star searching! We don’t mean celebrities…we’re talking about Cassiopeia, Perseus, and Orion…

The North West and North Wales are great places for a star gazing adventure, with so many wonderful countryside and coastal spots, with perfect dark skies just made for spotting the Milky Way, the North Star and, if you look closely, The Northern Lights. You can take a trip to a woodland, set up camp on a beach or even star gaze from your own backyard or local park if the conditions are right.

Planets in alignment
Planets are visible with the naked eye, and with just a little planning you can schedule a planetary viewing masterpiece wherever you live. There are several websites and apps that allow you to type in your location and find out which planets may be visible in your part of the world this week. For example, did you know that on 31st August 2022, it’s possible to see Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune from Anglesey and Chester?

Star searching
The sky is as big as your imagination and searching for stars can be as simple as marvelling at their collective beauty or getting technical and exploring the night sky for individual stars.

If you’re planning to search for stars with children, it’s a good idea to download an app (there are plenty) which open on your phone and allow you to track individual stars. It’s a wonderous spectacle to watch a small child ‘catch’ a star in their view and is a sure-fire way to get them fired up about the natural world.

Preparing for a long night
Make sure you wrap up warm – we are in the UK at night! If you have a small garden surrounded by other properties, it’s a good idea to get out to a place without so much light pollution – perhaps a local park – for the best chance of spotting some stars. Hot chocolate in a flask and a packet of biscuits are a must.

Camping is the ideal opportunity for star gazing, and your newfound prowess for all things outdoors will reap dividends and much kudos from your younger family members.

It’s easy for youngsters to quickly become impatient, so let them know they’ll need to take time for their eyes to adjust. In no time at all, stars will be appearing before their eyes.

Properties for sale with amazing star gazing…
Tan y Coed, Pwllglas, Ruthin, Denbighshire, occupies a private position enjoying a rural aspect overlooking its own 10.5 acres of land and beyond towards the Clwydian range. This superbly converted and extended traditional barn in a peaceful, rural location. Falling within one of the highest two categories of dark skies, the Clwydian Range is a wonderful place to star gaze, and you could do some from the comfort of your own, new home! Guide price £845,000. View details.

On the edge of Snowdonia, Caer Berllan, Llanrwst, Conwy, is the perfect place for star gazing and the local area has its own Betws-y-Coed Stargazers Retreat. Close to Betws-y-Coed, this charming 17th century country house with cruick barn is located within beautiful countryside and sits within just over an acre and a half of prime star gazing grounds. Guide price £795,000. View details.