As the map shows its up a track. I usually park next to the pub, the Dog and Partridge, and walk up. It’s very dark up there and cold so I wrap up well and take a torch. After about half a mile you reach a clearing surrounded by trees. The trees help keep cold winds at bay, the air is quite still there, it’s also got plenty of space to set up a scope etc too. Don’t worry about getting bothered by anyone it’s a bit remote and I have never known anyone else to venture up there at night although during the day you would see plenty of bikers and dog walkers. I have always gone with my brother and wife as it is a very lonely location on your own, and eerie to put it mildly. I also make sure my phone (or a phone) is fully charged up before I set out. Here are three pictures to help show the seeing conditions.
This first shot was taken on the 18th of March this year at about 8:15 pm (as were the other two - edit). The camera is a Panasonic LX5, a good quality compact that I didn’t buy for Astronomical imaging although it does have a limited use for this. It was set at ISO800, F2.0 for 15 seconds, as are the two pictures after this. It was taken facing southwest. The glow is from the Ribble Valley, Blackburn and Preston. Visually its not too bad, I could count between 15-18 stars in Orion and the at the zenith stars down to roughly around mag 5.2.
This second pic was taken facing northeast where there is no obvious light pollution visible at all. I say obvious but it should be noted that about 15 years ago in this area the Milky Way was an easy spot on any night with the moon less than a quarter phase, now its only visible on the best moonless nights sadly. That glow in the above image, mainly from Clitheroe and Whalley was no where near what it is today, both towns have increased their urban housing hugley.
The final pic was taken facing west again no obvious light pollution visible, which is surprising given that Morecambe Is in that direction, I suppose the trees must hide that.
Tomorrow I'll post about another location again near the Lancs-Yorks border.
Edited by Mr_Simnock, 12 July 2012 - 11:28 PM.