Stunning Stargazing Opportunities in Magical Monmouthshire

Whether you’re a well-seasoned astrologer or a casual night sky observer, Monmouthshire is a truly spectacular setting for a spot of stargazing. As part of the Brecon Beacons National Park (which was awarded International Dark Sky Reserve status back in 2012), you can survey the spectacularly clear night skies and experience the majesty of the Milky Way from numerous sites in Monmouthshire; making for a truly remarkable and romantic pastime.

In this month’s blog, we will share Monmouthshire’s best stargazing spots, as well as some top tips for successful stargazing. Keep reading…

Image credit: Troy Pointer Photography

Best Stargazing Spots in Monmouthshire

Monmouthshire is home to 6 designated dark sky sites. Drive to a safe parking place, turn off the lights and give your eyes 10-15 minutes to adjust to the darkness. Then, look up and be truly amazed as you discover more than 1000 stars, including the 7 main stars of Orion.

Abergavenny Museum & Castle – discover dazzling dark skies from the grounds of this wonderful museum and picturesque castle, with plenty of events and opportunities for stargazing all year round.

Black Rock Picnic Site – take advantage of the spectacular Monmouthshire night skies and view the stars from this stunning location on the coastline of the Severn Estuary, providing panoramic views of both Severn bridges.

Llanthony Priory – this remote Augustinian priory is situated in the beautifully secluded Vale of Ewyas, with its lack of light pollution ensuring for pristine dark skies and spectacular stargazing opportunities.

Caldicot Castle & County Park – enjoy outstanding dark skies and limited light pollution from the grounds of these medieval towers and surrounding parkland, with the picturesque River Nedern meandering through the park.

Goytre Wharf & Canal Visitor Centre – this superb dark sky location provides the perfect place for a spot of stargazing, with over 200 years of industrial heritage to discover at a truly fascinating historical site.

Skenfrith Castle – this historical castle site with pristine dark skies is a true stargazer’s dream, with magnificently well-preserved medieval walls surrounding a stunning circular keep, similar to those seen at Bronllys and Tretower.

Discover your nearest dark sky discovery site here.

Top Tips for Successful Stargazing

At its simplest form, no equipment is needed for stargazing. Just dark, clear skies and the naked eye. However, there are some steps you can follow to ensure for a successful stargazing experience:

  • Stargazing is most successful prior to a full moon, so we recommend checking the phase of the moon before setting out.
  • Pack some food, drinks, and warm clothes to protect from the elements – hot chocolate is our stargazing drink of choice!
  • Turn of all lights in your home or car to reduce light pollution and maximise stargazing potential.
  • Set out a blanket or camping mat to lie on whilst you admire the twinkling stars.
  • Download a star spotting guide or app to help you find specific constellations or stars.
  • Take some snaps so you can remember the experience!

Spectacular Stargazing Opportunities at Llanthony Castaway

Llanthony Castaway is perched next to the 12th Century ruins of Llanthony Priory: a designated dark sky discovery site. Our wonderfully remote landscape provides the perfect base for a spot of stargazing, making it ideal for a romantic retreat or digital detox with a family member or friend.

We are filling up fast for the spring season, with only one weekend remaining between now and the start of July. Click here to book your stargazing staycation at Llanthony Castaway today!

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