Stargaze in and around London
Seeking stars over the city
The city’s lights mean many Londoners are deprived of the beauty of star filled night skies. But this needn’t be the case. We believe that everyone should be able to appreciate the wonder of a starry sky close to where they live.
Unnecessary light pollution reduces our view of the stars at night. It can also damage human health and affect nocturnal wildlife. Better design, location and use of lighting can all help to tackle the problem.
As a participant in CPRE’s Star Count in February and International Dark Skies week which follows, CPRE London keenly supports the Campaign for Dark Skies in London.
Together with the Dark Sky London initiative and CPRE supporter and local campaigner, Isabelle Ficker, we have produced a range of useful materials –
- an introduction to light pollution – Dark Skies in London Intro
- a ten-point action plan to protect the night sky in London and help people to enjoy the beauty of star-filled skies – Dark Sky London Action Plan
- a guide to lighting design to help you take action – CPRE Protecting the Night guide
By switching off unnecessary lights and adopting environmentally-responsible and neighbour-friendly outdoor lighting, we can, one light at a time, help to reclaim London’s starlit skies. Reducing light pollution begins with a first step – which each one of us can take.
We also campaign as part of the More Natural Capital coalition to persuade London’s politicians to develop best practice guidance for lighting design to reduce light pollution and to safeguard and extend dark sky areas.
Rediscover the night in London – Urban Stargazing Tips
☆ Get up high
☆ Face away from central London
☆ Use your parks and green spaces
☆ Don’t be afraid of the dark
☆ Shield light pollution and glare
☆ Let your eyes adjust for at least 20 minutes without light
☆ Use an app like SkyView to navigate
☆ Learn to use a paper star chart
☆ Opt for easy to carry binoculars
☆ Winter is the best season – grab a tea or mulled wine & bundle up!
Stargazing in and around London
Want to find a dark stargazing spot in London?
- Check out the CPRE’s Night Blight map to see which areas of London are darkest.
Here are some relatively good locations within London:
- North & West…. ☆Hampstead Heath ☆Regent’s Park ☆Richmond Park ☆Darlands Nature Reserve, Totteridge Common and Mill Hill Park
- East & South…. ☆Epping Forest ☆Blythe Hill Fields ☆Dulwich Wood ☆Walthamstow Wetlands
- Further Afield…. ☆ The National Trust have identified some dark sky areas around London here. ☆South Downs National Park – is the closest International Dark–Sky Reserve to London ☆Or why not visit Croydon Observatory ? details here
There is also lots of London stargazing information provided by ‘Go Stargazing’ – here
Help protect dark skies in London – more information here