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Birmingham Uk


xanthiax
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A few weeks ago I recall a thread here about some list of the twenty best observing sites in the UK (or something along those lines). Anyway, somewhere on the list was Barr Beacon (between Walsall and Sutton Coldfield). I've never been there myself so I can't vouch for it, and given its proximity to the centre of Birmingham I can't help suspecting that the word  'best' was being used somewhat liberally, but it was still on the ilst so maybe it would be worth a try.

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You will be surprised at the places that appear that are darker then you expect, it is finding them that is the problem.

Just looking at Google Maps there are 3 or 4 reservours North and West that could be darkish. Earlswood looks a fair bet and Sandwell Valley Country Pk looks another option - and it will have roads and car parks to use. Henley in Arden looks like it is in the middle of nowhere.

Also which area of Birmingham are you, there are 6 astro clubs that give West Midlands as their location, so they must observe from somewhere.

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There are plenty of  darker sites than birmingham city Ronin has mentioned a few  but they are a long way short of  dark sites. The nearest place with dark sky status  to Birmingham is the long mynd in shropshire

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You will be surprised at the places that appear that are darker then you expect, it is finding them that is the problem.

Just looking at Google Maps there are 3 or 4 reservours North and West that could be darkish. Earlswood looks a fair bet and Sandwell Valley Country Pk looks another option - and it will have roads and car parks to use. Henley in Arden looks like it is in the middle of nowhere.

Also which area of Birmingham are you, there are 6 astro clubs that give West Midlands as their location, so they must observe from somewhere.

Thanks Ronin.. will check these out too.. I'm central bham jewellery quarter.

The suggested areas are relitivly close. I can find places that look dark. It's just the sky is orange...

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Clent might be alright, still a little close to Halesowen but facing South it should be dark(ish). Might be a bit exposed up there though - 30min from Bham.

Wyre Forest area, fairly dark (but not as dark as a few more miles out, beyond Stourport, towards Rock) but thats at least a 1hour drive from bham. And its also a case of finding a place where youve got a good all-round view.

A bit further out is Clee Hill, but thats really exposed.... freeze your pants off up there you will!

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Clee HIll (Brown, Titterstone) is very cold. Used to go up there all the time when I lived that way, highest point 1800 feet. Titterstone is a little busier, with boy racers going up there.

Brown Clee's much quieter. You can't drive up it, but you can hike with a small scope and tripod, which is what we did to view the Transit of Venus (clouded out, LOL).

Long Mynd is also a fab spot for observing with great horizons. There was talk of regular observing sessions up there, especially around the flying club area.

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South Shropshire is good, Long Mynd and Stiperstones are decent spots but the darkest area is further west around Clun and Bishops Castle. Going south what about the Malverns, the M5 goes straight there so shouldnt take long at night. Cannock Chase maybe to the north, although probably some glare in the south. Wouldnt go east though, lose Birmingham lights and Coventry appears, lose that and Leiester or Rugby is there, you probably need to go into Northants before its decently dark.

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As a south Birmingham resident I have found a dark sky an issue... I was Ok when I had a mate who lived in Chaddersley Corbett as it's 15 minutes away and fairly dark and remote away from house lights.. however, he's moved to practically the hard shoulder of the M5 north near Bromsgrove... so big sulks from me. Good luck, if you find a gem let me know!

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I hope that pool isn't as green as it looks in your photo LJ :eek:

I don't think it had been used in while, the house had been repossessed by the bank.....

Would have been an okay, semi rural darkish sky site though. The slopes of Brown Clee Hill are in the background.

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Edited by laser_jock99
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Semi Ruralish is an apt term for the Brown Clee. Light domes from the West Midlands very visible up there. I was surprised at how bad it was when I used to do night hiking up there. And that's on the West side!

Fabulous, amazing views though, being around 1800 ft at the summit.

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Semi Ruralish is an apt term for the Brown Clee. Light domes from the West Midlands very visible up there. I was surprised at how bad it was when I used to do night hiking up there. And that's on the West side!

Fabulous, amazing views though, being around 1800 ft at the summit.

Yes- got to be 80 to 100 miles away from a big city to not see it's light dome. I think Birmingham is detectable even here in Mid Wales. I can't attribute all of the glow on my Eastern horizon just to Newtown.

Going back to the OP's original enquiry though- Clee Hill would be a nice site in comparison to Birmingham itself. There are large open commons on the Hopton Bank side and plenty of parking.

Edited by laser_jock99
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  • 2 weeks later...

There are plenty of half decent roadside sites within 15 miles of Birmingham.  Not really dark (like mid-Wales dark) but much better than the middle of town.  Just depends how confident you are being out at night by the side of the road.  There are nice ones near Alvechurch, East of Coleshill, North of Lichfield...

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