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Alkaid

Astro-friendly Campsites

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Just wondered if anyone would care to share the locations of astro-friendly campsites? By this, I refer to pleasant locations that don't have lights all over the place.

I've stayed at loads of nice sites but they always have those night lights to guide one to the loo....not great for our hobby. We've often arrived at a nice site, only for me to end up driving off site to use my equipment.

Please share your experiences Nationwide for the benefit of everyone and if anyone can recommend a good site in the Yorkshire Dales (my closest DSO site) then I would really like to hear your views.

Many thanks!

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The Caravan Club has affiliated sites called Certificated Locations. The Camping and Caravan Club do also. Most of these are in rural locations and only allow a maximum of 5 vans on the site at one time. Most are run as sidelines and are located on farms and many are very dark at night. I always take the scope with me when we go away. Some are not great as many farms are now putting security lights up, but many are still good for observing. Do you use a tent or a caravan? If a caravan, then get yourself into the caravan club and try out their CL sites.

p.s. I don't work for the Caravan Club. :grin:

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Many thanks.  We use a tent to be honest, but I have camped at some Caravan Club sites before, they were nice.

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OK, so try some of the 'Camping and Caravan Club' Certificated Location SItes. If your not in the Caravan Club you could only have stayed on the commercial sites not the CL's which are for members only. The big sites always have too many lights. You need to try out the CL sites. They are very small and privately run, and are just affiliated to the nationally run organisations. Check out their websites and look for certificated locations. They are always cheaper than the commercial sites too.

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I`ve got the `Cool Camping` book which lists some nice sites which are normally  eco friendly so that usually means natural fields, forest clearings and not many lights.

There is a Cool Camping website too.

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 I have been in the EV when it's dark - observing on my home turf has never been the same since.

Edited by Beulah
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Good topic! Finding dark campsites in dark locations is no mean feat. I recently went all the way up to Altandhu  near Achiltibuie, up in the far Northwest of Scotland. The skies are incredibly dark and the Dark Sky Meter iPhone app registered it as being too dark to take a reading! The problem was that the campsite was bathed in floodlights from a nearby pub and the toilet block. It's a great site and well maintained though.

Apart from lights on the site itself, car headlights from roads can also rule out potential sites - as can sites that don't open all year.

Maybe I'm just too fussy!

On the positive side, any Star party is an obvious good camping venue. Drumroamin Farm campsite in Galloway is very good. It's open all year, has great skies, is well maintained and out of season the owners may switch off the light outside the toilet block as they understand the needs of astronomers.

There's a small campsite at Corwen, N Wales that I'm going to recce soon. It looks like it's got potential.

I could also do with some open all year campsite suggestions too - preferably within 150 miles of Cheshire.

Cheers :)

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If you fancy a long trip and a boat ride this site has no lights, only 60watt bulb outside the toilets, just along the coast from the I.O.W Star party site, not many electric hook ups but nice facilities.

Dave

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Chine+Farm/@50.6201614,-1.3700978,228m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xd92cfd9ce36f0c4b

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions, some good info there.

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I`ve got the `Cool Camping` book which lists some nice sites which are normally  eco friendly so that usually means natural fields, forest clearings and not many lights.

There is a Cool Camping website too.

Got the link to that website per chance?

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Follow this link for the cool camping web site http://www.coolcamping.co.uk/

I was going to mention that some of the camp sites are `non car` meaning that you park the car at the entrance and get your gear to the pitch using wheel barrows. 

Sounds like all the effort would be worth it thought! 

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try here http://www.lgfc.org.uk/   its about a leisurely 3 hr drive from Leeds. I used to live just up the road from this place and the skies are incredibly dark. My (now) wife had never seen the Milky Way til she came to visit me here. Judging by the other post on sky rating in stellarium, its off the scale dark .

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