Stargazing is a great way to escape the sofa this winter. And best of all, the UK is loaded with over 100 Dark Sky Discovery Sites, which are designated stargazing areas that are kept free of light pollution. So, whether it's a detour on the way home or a surprise night time adventure for the kids, this is a different side of winter that's ready to be explored –there's probably one closer than you think.


People camping during night time


The average city night will show you a handful of stars, while a dark zone will give you thousands, if not millions, to the naked eye. There's no better way to see The Milky Way. If you are looking for a gold-tiered internationally recognised site, the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park is Europe’s largest and the world’s fourth largest dark sky area.  It’s also home to the brilliant Kielder Observatory, which has immensely powerful telescopes, available to the public, that open up the wonders of the galaxy – so it’s definitely worth the trip.


South Downs National Park

Galloway Forest

Sark Island

Exmoor National Park

The Brecon Beacons

Snowdonia Dark Sky Reserve

Cairngorms National Park

Lake District National Park

North Yorkshire Moors National Park

Man with a torch on a starry night



The best time to visit these sites depends on what you are trying to see. For a star-filled night sky, you want no moon and maximum darkness. This is perfect for observing winter constellations like Orion, Perseus and Taurus. If you are going for a particular site, like the Full Supermoon expected in mid February, it’s worth checking the exact times using an astronomer’s calendar.


Starry night collage Starry night collage



If standing in the winter cold, in the dark, doesn’t bother you, then grab your telescope and enjoy the show. For a more luxurious experience, the BMW X7 is available with a Skylounge Panoramic glass sunroof, captain-style comfort seats and temperature controlled cup warmers. You can comfortably stretch out under the stars with a perfect view. And you don't need a fancy telescope, either. With nothing more than a set of binoculars, you can spot the European Space Station, Jupiter, Orion’s Belt, and much more. 


BMW X7 interior


Enjoy more night-time adventures with the BMW X7.