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best places to stargaze in the lake district


By on September 16th, 2021

Top 10 places to stargaze in the Lake District

Nestled in the heart of Cumbria away from the artificial lights of major towns and cities, the Lake District National Park has been named as one of the best places to stargaze in England.

Thanks to the vast open countryside and striking mountain ranges that extend across the region, it means that towns in the Lake District are sparse and therefore light pollution is limited. As a result, Cumbria has some of the country’s darkest skies which makes the constellations especially prominent.

For this reason, the Lake District is perfect for stargazing and there are a range of ideal bases across the county where you can be dazzled by the solar system and beyond.

If you wish to admire our starry skies, make sure to wrap up warm and read our suggestions below on the best places to stargaze in the Lake District…

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Castlerigg Stone Circle, Keswick

This Neolithic stone structure is located up away from the lights of Keswick and is surrounded by Lakeland fells which beautifully frame the nights sky. Overlooking St Johns in the Vale, this historic structure seems highly appropriate for stargazing and is no more than a 30-minute walk from Keswick town centre.

Chinese Bridge, Borrowdale

A popular place to visit during the day, and an equally excellent place to visit on a clear night. Located at the southern end of Derwentwater Lake, Chinese Bridge offers extensive sky views across the lake toward the Skiddaw Mountain range. This peaceful stargazing spot is only a short walk away from the Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa and the Borrowdale Hotel.

Honister Pass

The road up to Honister Slate Mine is undeniably winding and steep, but the views from the top are 100% worth it. The Honister Pass is another brilliant place to stargaze in the Lake District which offers a higher altitude with easier accessibility. Experience the heavens open above you on a clear night as the stars extend as far as the eye can see.

Friar’s Crag, Keswick

Based at the northern end of Derwentwater merely a 5 minute stroll from Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake, this iconic view encompasses the full length of Derwentwater along into the depths of the Borrowdale Valley. The Borrowdale Valley is one of the best places to stargaze in the Lake District and Friar’s Crag offers uninterrupted views across it on a clear night.

 

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Thirlmere

Situated between Keswick and Grasmere, Thirlmere is a peaceful Lake with only one building located around it. For this reason, light pollution is exceptionally low and stargazing opportunities are exceptional. Thirlmere is also quite a long lake, giving visitors ample amounts of lakeshore to create a base for you to admire the stars.

Dockray, Ullswater

The village of Dockray can be found on the descent to the shores of Ullswater from the A66. Sitting high above the lake, the skies of Dockray are perfect for skygazing. It is also easily accessible by car which avoids long walks on the dark nights. Dockray is only a 10-minute drive away from the Inn on the Lake at Glenridding.

 

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Ennerdale

If you are looking for uninterrupted views of the galaxies where light pollution is non-existent, Ennerdale Lake is where you should head. Although it is quite a drive away from the popular tourist towns of the Lake District, if you are an avid stargazer or are wanting to do some astrophotography, this is the perfect place for you.

 

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Wasdale

Known as being the most isolated and rugged part of the Lake District with a minute population compared to the other parts of the Lake District, Wasdale is another part of the region with little to no light pollution. This makes it another outstanding location for stargazing in the Lake District if you truly wish to experience the darkest of skies.

Whinlatter Forest

Also a short drive from the town of Keswick, Whinlatter Forest is an excellent place for stargazing as you are at a higher altitude but you can drive there so you don’t risk any injuries that could arise from walking up fells at night. The trees also block out any car lights that could be seen from the road which helps illuminate the nights sky furthermore.

 

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Allan Bank, Grasmere

This grade II listed two-storey villa located immediately outside village of Grasmere is ideally situated on a hill which offers breath-taking views of the stars on a clear night. Steeped in history, this was once the Georgian Home of Cumbrian poet William Wordsworth and it is likely the starry skies inspired some of his romantic work.

Stargazing Breaks in the Lake District

This November, Lake District Hotels are running a series of stargazing experiences to guests. Coinciding with the Dark Skies festival, we’ve developed a beginners guide to stargazing leaflet that is FREE to all November residents. This includes top tips on what to bring, as well as offering directions to some of the best places for stargazing in the Lake District. Ask reception for yours at any point during your stay.

Warm blankets are also available to hire for a refundable deposit of £30 and you can rent a 2 person flask from the hotel reception for a refundable deposit of £10. We’ll top it up with warm hot chocolate for £7.95 too.

In addition, a range of starlight experiences are also available during your stay, including Twilight Spa days at The Falls Spa, moonlit swims in Derwentwater and romantic dinners under the stars at the Inn on the Lake at Ullswater.

To learn more about our unique stargazing experiences, please click here.



 

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Email: reservations@lakedistricthotels.net

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