Wales’ six new dark sky locations

Wales’ best stargazing spots are located in the wilderness of the Cambrian Mountains – but all of them are easily accessed. During the day, you can spend time on Wales’ astro-tourism trail exploring the abundant wildlife, stopping to eat and drink in one of the many pubs dotted along the way, and basking in the stirring Welsh countryside.

Once the sun sets and darkness falls – you only need to lookup. For those who are not able to trek to a remote location, fear not! All sites – both old and new – are accessible and offer stunning views of the sky from their car parks!

1. Mynydd Llanllwni Mountain, Llanllwni, Carmarthenshire

Mynydd Llanllwni Mountain is located south in a village called Llanllwni in Carmarthenshire. You’ll find the village along the A485 road southwest of market town Llanybydder.

2. Llyn Brianne Reservoir, Rhandirmwyn, Carmarthenshire

This man-made lake or reservoir is a haven for bird watchers, anglers, mountain bikers and walkers and best combined with a trip to Llandovery.

3. Coed y Bont, Pontrhydfendigaid, Ceredigion

Visit the delightful woodland area of Coed y Bont located on the edge of tongue-twister village Pontrhydfendigaid in Ceredigion. There are lots of visitor activities in the area from walking trails and geocache trails to beaches.

4. The Arch near Bridge, Coedwig Ystwyth Forest, Ceredigion

The Arch car park and picnic area gets its namesake from an old masonry arch that sits beside the road from Bridge. You’ll find some lovely walking trails here through ancient trees. The Arch car park lies 15 miles east of Aberystwyth, and parking is free of charge.

5. Pont ar Elan, Elan Valley, Powys

Grab some hot drinks and a few blankets and make your way to this remote car park in Elan Valley to experience the magic of the night sky. With this area, you’ll actually find a few spots. You could also try the Craig Goch car park, Caerwen car park, Caerwen Dam, and the Teifi Pools.

6. Star Inn Pub, Dylife, Powys

Just an hour and a half away from Snowdonia, and set in the Montgomeryshire countryside – Star Inn Pub is probably one of the best places to go stargazing in Wales. If you’re visiting Wales on tour, you can easily get to this location during some downtime. The pub itself, a 17th-century inn will delight visitors who want to enjoy delicious local food and warm Welsh experience.

Prior to the launch of Wales’ astro-tourism trail, the following three locations had already been awarded dark sky status. All of them offer stargazing in peaceful and remote destinations that will take you into the heart of the Cambrian Mountains.

Snowdonia Dark Sky Reserve

Awarded status in December of 2015, Snowdonia National Park’s efforts to reduce light pollution have resulted in protected dark skies. Which means if you’re planning a tour through this spectacular region, you can enjoy it during the day and at night. You’ll find numerous destinations throughout this area: Bwlch y Groes, Llyn Geirionydd, Llyn y Dywarchen, Llynnau Cregennen and Tŷ Cipar, y Migneint.

Usk Reservoir, Brecon Beacons

Although you’ll find places throughout the Brecon Beacons, thanks to the remote nature of the Usk Reservoir Dark Sky Discovery Route, you’ll feel like you’re the only person in the world.

Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

While you can enjoy all of the locations we’ve listed day and night, the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path offers steller views 24/7 on earth and in space. What’s special about this spot is you can watch the sunrise over the ocean, and when night falls, witness the Milky Way with your naked eye.

This coastal path has eight Dark Sky Discovery Sites you’ll want to visit: Broadhaven South National Trust car park, Garn Fawr National Trust car park, Kete National Trust car park, Martin’s Haven National Trust car park, Newgale Beach National Park car park, Poppit Sands National Park car park, Skrinkle Haven National Park car park, and Sychpant National Park picnic site.

West Wales

Visit the Broadhaven South Beach – which has been credited with Milky Way-class designation; Penbryn Beach – from where you can gaze the stars to the sounds of the sea, and Port Eynon in Gower Peninsula. Along with the peninsular being a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Port Eynon’s Carreglwyd Caravan and Camping Site is the place to be for meteor sightings.

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