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Galaxy of stars crowd Norfolk’s night skies

You don’t have to walk far in Blakeney to be treated to an amazing array of stars peppering the black skies overhead. Most people coming to north Norfolk are stunned by what they see.

For a truly spectacular panoramic view of the night skies you can walk less than a couple of miles on a cloudless night to nearby Wiveton Downs and the Blakeney esker.

It is official – this is a Dark Sky Discovery Site – part of a nationwide network of places away from direct street lighting with great views in all directions not blocked by buildings or trees. And these sites are accessible to everyone.

Local groups and organisations have nominated this particular spot as

one of two top places to see the stars in north Norfolk. And you can see why when you

walk there in the dark. You are seemingly miles from anyone and anything with farmland stretching away from the ridge on which you are standing.

The sky is so black that stargazers here can identify the seven stars which form the

constellation of Orion - and observe the Milky Way. The skyscape can be

awe-inspiring with so many stars on view at one time across a horizon stretching through 180 degrees.

There is so little light pollution from this two-mile elevated ridge stretching between Blakeney and Glandford that its designation as a prestigious Dark Sky Discovery Site puts it in a select group of only 150 such sites in the country.

Norfolk also claims the extension of this glacial ridge a few miles east at another such site at Salthouse and Kelling Heath. Both are recognised as among the darkest spots in Britain at night.

Kelling Heath holds stargazing parties attracting hundreds of astronomers nationwide and hosts what is thought to be one of Europe’s largest stargazing events.

Stars shine down on north Norfolk in a clear night sky - one of the darkest skies in the UK. Photo by Mary Groombridge
North Norfolk's dark skies are among the clearest in the UK. Photo by: Mary Groombridge

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