Stargazing – Discover our Dark Night Sky

The Orion constellation

The Orion constellation

With our big, open skies you’ll be amazed by what you can see as you sit on your cottage terrace.

Over the past 100 years, our skies have become more difficult to view as man-made light pollution obscures the stars. However here at Blakelow we are very lucky – being so far away from towns and having no streetlights our night skies are truly dark, you can get a brilliant view of the twinkling stars above and when the moon is up you can even see your own moon shadow – magical. To make the most of the opportunity you will find in your cottage a simple telescope and night sky maps.

On a clear night take a walk through our meadows, there is nothing better than lying on the grass, gazing up at the starry sky and soaking in the peace and quiet.

Dark Sky Places

Don’t just take our word for it! The Peak District National Park Authority, Nottingham Trent University and the Science and Technology Facilities Council have worked together to identify dark sky discovery sites where there are good conditions for stargazing.

One of the 3 designated dark sky sites is at Minninglow car park just a few miles from Blakelow Farm.

Dark Sky Places in the Peak District

  • Minninglow, off the A515 at Pikehall (nearest postcode DE4 2PN)
  • Surprise View, off the A6187 near Hathersage
  • Parsley Hay, off the A515 near Hartington (nearest postcode SK17 0DG)

At each site there is an astronomy interpretation panel to help you explore the night skies. The panels are changed each season.

Explore the universe with the help of these BBC Star Guides and Calendars.

The Wirksworth StarDisc

If you are interested in astronomy and star gazing why not visit The StarDisc, situated at the top of Stoney Wood, near Wirksworth. It is a stunning space created by local artist Aidan Shingler to bring the wonders of the night sky to all.

The stunning StarDisc spans 12 metres. Carved into black granite is a star chart that mirrors the northern hemisphere’s night sky. The surface of the stone circle is inscribed with the constellations, their names, and a depiction of the Milky Way. Contrasting with the dark stone star chart is a perimeter of silver granite with 12 seats which denote the months of the year. By night, 72 lights illuminate the StarDisc, powered by our nearest star – the Sun.
In close proximity to the StarDisc are six Solar Calendar Stones, positioned by Keith Hunter a local engineer, to show precisely where the sun rises and sets at the solstices and the equinox … a fascinating place to visit day or night

Location: Stoney Wood, Wirksworth, Derbyshire, DE4 4EN

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