Whether you are visiting in the summer or the winter Dorset’s sky at night is a spectacularly mesmerising display of cosmic beauty. The area is renowned for offering the best opportunities in the UK for stargazing bar none. Dorset caravan parks are not only ideal locations to base yourself for a holiday, but they also give you the opportunity to view the never-ending expanse of twinkling lights right from your own front door. Here are a few tips for optimal viewing as well as local spots for a front row seat.
The lack of light pollution and vast unobstructed panoramas are why stargazing is so rewarding in Dorset. Caravan parksare generally located in fairly secluded areas where the sky at night is even darker and clearer than many other locations. Very little equipment is needed for what will probably one of the most memorable adventures of your holiday, but it is wise to plan ahead.
Choose the right spot – Although you do not have to venture far away from your accommodation to enjoy the show, the view only gets better the darker it is. Try getting away from light sources or things that may block your view. Consider heading out into one of the surrounding fields or up onto the clifftops or hills. For a really amazing view try heading down to the beach!
Tell someone – It is wise to notify someone of when and where you are planning to go. For safety purposes, be sure to bring along a few torches.
Sit back and relax – Your eyes may need time to adjust to the dark and this can take as long as 20 minutes. Soon enough though the greatest show on earth (and above) will slowly reveal itself in the night sky, and its stunning brilliance will have been well worth the wait. Bring a blanket and wrap up in warm clothes as the night-time temperatures can get chilly even in the summer in Dorset. Caravan parks are wonderful locations for stargazing in case the chill sets in and you need to quickly head back to the warmth of your holiday home.
The Best Seats in the House
There are no ‘bad’ places for stargazing in Dorset. Caravan parks provide a convenient and easily accessible way to see the stars but if you want to make an adventure of it and enjoy truly optimal viewing conditions try heading out to one of Dorset’s Wildlife Trust Reserves.
Kingcombe Meadows and Powerstock Common
Located in the beautiful hills and vales of west Dorset, it is generally agreed that this area is the darkest at night. The stars will be clearer and brighter, and the view may only be interrupted by a few bats swooping around.
Tout quarry, in Portland offers expansive views over the sea heading towards Chesil Beach. Viewing where the sky meets the sea at night is a truly spectacular experience.
Although this is considered a somewhat urban setting the stargazing opportunities are still good. The peaceful area is also a great place to spot nocturnal wildlife.
Head to the top of the reserve and your efforts will be rewarded. Expansive panoramic views of the never-ending skyscape will take your breath away, and you can even see the Milkyway during the summer months.
Show of a Lifetime
There are many exciting and active things to do while on holiday in Dorset. Caravan parks are specially located to allow easy access to beaches and to fast-paced adventures. However, while visiting the coast taking the time to slow down and take in the stars is a must. Time will mean nothing as you lie back and try to absorb the enormity of all that you can see in the darkest part of the night. Be sure to make the most of these beautiful star-drenched skies as the experience will be like no other.
Michael Paul is the Managing Director of Michael Paul Holidays, a holiday property agency offering a handpicked range of accommodation in wonderful UK locations. Whether you are looking for the best Dorset caravan parks or the cosiest cottages and log cabins in Scotland, he and his team will find you that perfect property for an unforgettable trip.