The Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales is one of Britain’s ideal night-time destinations, thanks to being officially named an International Dark Sky Reserve. Budding astronomers, curious kids and romantic couples are invited to navigate the stars and discover freedom from light pollution in one of Britain’s most beautiful National Parks.
Other dark sky reserves include Exmoor National Park in England, and overseas there are locations in Namibia, New Zealand and Canada who also hold the prestigious title.
The Brecon Beacons is a viewing platform for the Milky Way, major constellations and even meteor showers. There are dozens of easily accessible spots to enjoy the night sky from, including the atmospheric Llanthony Priory along the Offa’s Dyke Path (which runs along the border of England and Wales) and Sugar Loaf Mountain, close to the lovely market town of Abergavenny on the eastern side of the park.
By day, the park is a haven of green valleys, stunning mountain ranges and secret waterfalls to explore, and active visitors can choose from horse riding, kayaking, climbing, walking, sailing and windsurfing to entertain them before settling in for some star-spotting.
Trains from London run to Abergavenny to the east of the park and Merthyr Tydfil, to the south. The Brecon Beacons are roughly 1 hour from Cardiff by car. There is a ‘Beacons Bus’ that takes visitors around the park; see www.breconbeaconstourism.co.uk.