Do it this month
Uncover the mystery of the night sky
If the thought of shortening days is making you feel gloomy, why not welcome winter instead with a intergalactic mountain pick-me-up?
Imagine the most dazzling night sky, revealed in all its wonder far away from the nearest light pollution on a lonely hillside. With head craned back, endless new stars and planets reveal themselves. You find yourself so awestruck by infinite discoveries, you’re transported to a new world of your own and at the same time firmly grounded by your own insignificance in the vastness of the universe. It’s an experience that never fails to thrill.
Best viewed from our wild and remote places, the UK’s National Parks are littered with Dark Sky sites and reserves where light and air pollution are at their lowest. Choose the cold, crisp nights for the most clarity, and before you set off download an app such as Google Sky Map which will help you identify particular constellations. Once out, you’ll need to give your eyes at least 20 minutes to adjust to the darkness. Use a red light or cover your headtorch with red paper if you need some illumination.
And if you want to celebrate the celestial with fellow star-gazers, then head over to the North Pennines Stargazing Festival, from 20 October to 4 November, for a fortnight of fun activities.