Dark Sky Discovery Site

Newgale’s Dark Sky Discovery Site is a Pembrokeshire stargazing paradise

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Visitors flock to Pembrokeshire each year – over 4.2 million of you – to enjoy the untouched beaches, stunning seaside walks, and boat trips along this incredible coastal national park.  But one thing we hear time and again is how surprised people are at the skyscapes here.  Being just south of a peninsula, and with weather bands rolling in from Ireland and beyond, unimaginable cloud formations and peeks at the green isle itself, as well as views northwards towards the Llyn peninsula are not rare sights from here. 

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority has also worked hard to ensure that Pembrokeshire stays as wild as possible, and that includes teaming up with the National Trust to create Dark Sky Discovery sites across the UK.  Where better to stare upwards into space than the wide-open skies of Newgale?

Newgale Dark Sky Discovery Site – why here?

Despite being home to beautiful fishing villages and several large commercial ports, including the Stena Line from Fishguard to Ireland, Pembrokeshire’s coastline is relatively untouched.  This means that there is noticeably less light pollution on this wild Western fringe of the UK than most of its other popular coastal areas.  Less light from towns and cities means more clarity for the eye (and camera) to see nature’s night lights.

Newgale is a particularly quiet, peaceful, remote area, which is why our campsite is the perfect spot to set up your tent and your telescope and indulge in a light show no human could reproduce.  Clear skies mean direct access to the Milky Way, comets, lunar eclipses and much more.

Why should I visit Newgale’s Dark Sky Discovery Site?

Hannah Buck, tourism and well-being policy officer for Pembrokeshire Coast National Park authority says that the key objectives of the venture is to not only enhance the starry skies in Pembrokeshire, but also the land, wildlife, health, culture and heritage of the area.

Light pollution can have devastating negative impacts on wildlife as it disturbs the ways animals and plants perceive daytime and night-time.  Synthetic light can affect the growth and sensitivity of wildlife by upsetting their natural behaviour.

This is true of humans, too; we’re all too aware of the effects that blue lights from computer, tablet and phone screens can have on our natural sleep cycle, but visiting a Dark Sky Discovery Site like this one at Newgale means less exposure to all unnatural light.  This allows our bodies to keep creating its natural amount of melatonin, a chemical that helps induce sleep, boost your immune system, and creates antioxidants in the body.  It’s not only the comfy beds at our cottages or the sea air in your tent in the morning that makes a stay at Newgale Holidays extremely rejuvenating!

What can you do at Newgale’s Dark Sky Discovery Site?

There’s plenty to enjoy below a starry sky at Newgale.  Why not try one of our Dark Sky Discovery site activity suggestions?

Star gazing: ok, so this one sounds a little obvious, but how much do you really know about the stars above?  Teach your kids to spot constellations, what a planet is and about our nearest neighbour in space, the Moon.  Are you a little rusty on your astronomy?  Check out the BBC Stargazing Live downloadable PDF here to help you along.

Hire a telescope: They can be a little pricey to buy, but a good telescope will allow advanced exploration right from Newgale beach!  There are many companies online that will allow you to hire a telescope for a week; if you’re passing mid-Wales on your way to your cottage stay at Newgale Holidays, why not pick one up here on your way?

Go bat-spotting: We usually associate bats with enclosed areas and abandoned buildings, but bats love to live in sea caves, too.  The coast at night is the perfect hunting ground for high-flying insects which they love, so Newgale beach Dark Sky Discovery Site is an ideal spot to watch them in action!

Astrophotography: If you’re a budding photographer who loves skyscapes then you’ve come to the right place!  The clear skies and lack of light pollution make this Dark Sky Discovery Site the ultimate clear shot spot for budding astrophotographers.  Check for unusual night time activity such as rare comets or lunar eclipses before booking your holiday here so that you capture something really unique.  From June to early August, the Milky Way is visible almost all night on clear nights, or straight after sunset in August and September.

Whether you’re here for the lack of light and noise pollution or to help the environment here thrive, there are plenty of reasons to book a break at Newgale Holidays – check out our News section for more reasons (as if you needed them) to visit us soon!

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