5 Dorset locations where the stars shine brightly

PUBLISHED: 14:06 12 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:06 12 June 2020

Knowlton Church and earthworks a great dark skies spot for stargazing Photo: Mark Heighes/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Knowlton Church and earthworks a great dark skies spot for stargazing Photo: Mark Heighes/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Mark Heighes

Astronomer Bob Mizon shares some top spots for stargazing around Dorset

Knowlton Church and earthworks BH21 5AE

Just off the B3078 just north of Wimborne, in the Cranborne Chase AONB, is a prime location for stargazing and astrophotography, with the ruins of an 11th-century church for atmosphere!

Milton Abbas area DT11 0BL

Rural roads around this village offer safe spots for starwatching. Near the church, towards the south on the Milborne St Andrew road, and to the north-west near Ansty Cross, offer great views of the Milky Way.

Compton Abbas area SP5 5AP

All around the airfield (do not enter) are places where you can pull off the road and see sparkling night skies. Examples are Melbury Hill and Beacon, and Spreadeagle Hill.

Durlston Country Park, near Swanage, BH19 2JL

Site of the Wessex Astronomical Society’s observatory, Durlston Country Park is one of the few places in Dorset where you can see the Milky Way reflected in the sea. Find out more about stargazing event at Durslton as well as astronomy highlights.

Cerne Abbas Giant, DT2 7AL

West Dorset has a wide choice of dark-sky sites, and around the Giant there are many good ones. From the car park by the figure itself, there are splendid starscapes to be seen, especially around the New Moon period when night skies are at their darkest.

Discover Dorset’s Dark Sky Reserve: Cranborne Chase AONB is Dorset’s first Dark Sky Reserve find stargazine events in Cranborne Chase at their website where you will also find other top spots for stargazing.

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