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National Trust- Star Gazing Sites


laser_jock99
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The National Trust and Bristol Astronomy Society have been holding mini-Star Parties at our local NT property Tyntesfield House. I went to one last year and it was good fun. About 40 people showed up and there were half a dozen scopes set up. This is a regular thing here and I hope it's happening elsewhere.

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The Buckstones Car Park site is known to me and was very popular back when Comet Hale Bopp was about . It is at about 1400 ft , on the moors and close to a road junction . There are no road lights for a couple of miles from the car park . It is not a place to be when the road is iced up or snow comes down ! You really should have a companion with you , up there in the dark . There are rocks below the car park and the ground slopes away . Have a look on Google Earth to see the terrain . Location is at about 53 d 37 m 17 s North & 1 d 58 m 26 s West .

The top end of Wessenden ( Pennine Way ) could be worth a look too.

Edited by LeoLion
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Forget carrying a 12" dob up Mam Tor in the Peaks - they're talking nonsense if they regard that as a useful observing site. Pair of 10x50 binocs maybe - but not for astronomy really. :(

Edited by brantuk
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Mam Tor is lovely, but it's a struggle to get your legs up there, let alone anything else!!

Probably easier to go up Grindsbrook onto Kinder scout, but not in the dark!!

Edited by RobH
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Thanks for the link.

Friars Crag could be useful for me in a few weeks. I am doing some fell walking in May and will be taking the scope for some stargazing if the clouds keep away.

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One thing I would say is to check whether you have to pay. A number of these events are run by local astronomy societies who do there own public outreach observation evenings for nothing. Also if there was someone who knows they want to get a bit more involved in astronomy, I would go along to a society's own event as there is generally fewer people attending and gives you the opportunity to ask more specific questions without feeling your hogging the scope or being a nuisance. The National Trust event local to me starts at 7:30 but only goes on till 9:30, whereas if you came along to my club's own observation evening, I would be set up for the whole night so you could stay as long as you wanted to (...but I never share my biscuits:D:D )

James

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Mam Tor is lovely, but it's a struggle to get your legs up there, let alone anything else!!

Probably easier to go up Grindsbrook onto Kinder scout, but not in the dark!!

From what I remember, it's not that bad a trek from the car park at "Mam Nick". However I have never done it at dusk/night nor have I carried a scope up there. :(

To be honest, looking at the PDF download for Mam Tor, they seem to be trying to encourage newbies and families to "get out there" and don't mention anything about optics. They just want folk to enjoy the sky I reckon.

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-walk-mam_tor_dark_skies2010.pdf

Edited by Jimmy Stix
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Wicken Fen isn't far from me, sounds as if the only problem is drowning at night as the site mentions waterways next to the paths. Better take wellies.

At least the fens is flat.

At last found another use for my National Trust membership in winter when all the houses are shut.

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blumming typical, the closest one to me is 1.5 miles away from the nearest car park. Don't think I'll be lugging my scope that far... Saying that there is 3 sites in Sussex, about an hour and half ish from me. Hhmm...

Dazz

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Interesting , we used an RSPB site adjacent to the Humber Bridge on Monday for our clubs first meet . Apperantly anyone can come down any night so. I would assume most RSPB sites are the same ?

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Leith Hill would be a non-starter as well. Its a very steep hill and the shortest distance from car park to the hill is 1/2 a mile - and that would be up a steep rutted track. Total non starter for a telescope as their are barriers on the track to stop cars getting up on most nights.

NT (like most non-astro folk) seem clueless on this. Headley Heath is a non-starter as well - been up there and theres way too much LP and the road is in almost constant use with cars zooming around. You could walk away from the road but who wants to hump a telescope over severeal hundred yards of heathland.

Strangely they dont mention Ranmore Common or Newlands Corner both of which are better sites with reasonable access to the road and car park for astronomers.

Problem is (and we have seen this before on here) non astro folk often think of a telescope as being the sort of thing Horatio Nelson had tucked under his arm. They dont think in terms of 30kg of weight and bulk.

Maybe we should start a dialogue (and I would) but I have tried in the past and NT are a nightmare to deal with.

Edited by Astro_Baby
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That was a great place. We visited last year while staying in Totnes. I imagine its pretty spooky at night. :D

Not as much as Berry Pomeroy which is in Totnes :(

I've been thinking about the Yelverton to Princetown road on Dartmoor, there are a couple of dips fairly high up that keep you out of eye shot of both Plymouth and Princetown. Need to get a grab and go and check it out really. :)

I imagine around Belliver forest is not too bad and the road is less busy that way too, so less headlights.

Edited by AlexB
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I'm quite lucky in so far as my parents live in Brixham (Devon) over looking the town with nice clear line of site to the south, and little in the way of LP with it being coastal. Not much use for star parties, but that part of the country is quite nice and dark.

Actually thinking about it Berryhead in Brixham would be a pretty good shout.

Edited by Vargojones
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I'm quite lucky in so far as my parents live in Brixham (Devon) over looking the town with nice clear line of site to the south, and little in the way of LP with it being coastal. Not much use for star parties, but that part of the country is quite nice and dark.

Actually thinking about it Berryhead in Brixham would be a pretty good shout.

Problem with LP it's light an infection of the sky, it spreads, even out of line of sight, you will still get some in long exposures at Berry head and the place I mentioned previously. All hail the nightly switch off! :(

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am surprised the trust didn't mention the stackpole quay carpark near pembroke, its where i go, lovely dark skies almost 360deg views, been using it for a couple of years now yet never seen anyone else with a scope

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