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Stargazing in the Lake District

Stargazing in our modern world

In today’s world, according to Royal Observatory astronomer, Marek Kukula, 90% of Britain’s population doesn’t get to see the amazing spectacle that is the night sky.

Light pollution has stolen from many of us one of the most extraordinary sights on Earth – the brightest stars from the billions in our Milky Way, the streak of meteors, our neighbouring planets such as Venus and Jupiter, and the glow of other galaxies like Andromeda.

“People have been looking at the night sky, telling stories, for the entirety of recorded human history. But when we moved into cities, we lost that deep connection with the universe.” – Marek Kukula

You can now float on your back on one of our night swims and catch the moon or the stars. Add a night swim to your stay here.

Starry sky and snow-capped fells in the Lake District

If you miss our swim sessions, you don’t need to go far to reconnect with the universe, Brian Cox style, and find the dark side. The Lake District National Park offers truly stunning stellar vistas with two designated sites that have been awarded Dark Sky Discovery status.

Dark sky discovery sites:

Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre 

Class: Milky Way

SQM Reading: 23.6

The centre is endowed with a most spectacular night sky due to its remoteness, mountainous terrain and lack of light pollution.


NY 139 141. Proceed along forestry track alongside Ennerdale Water from Bowness Knott. Centre is the first property after two miles. Use turning circle at YHA.

There is no municipal lighting in the valley or at the centre other than that provided by our own generator. Visitors are advised to drive cautiously on narrow valley roads. Visitors are also advised to observe all site safety notices and carry a torch as the centres grounds are very dark.

Free, open access to all walkers and cyclists. Vehicular access is by event and arrangement with the warden.

The beautiful night sky in the Lake District

Allan Bank, Grasmere 

Class: Orion plus Events

SQM Reading: N/A

A historic house and woodland grounds perched on a hillside above the village of Grasmere. No street lights or surrounding buildings.


Allan Bank is a short walk up the hill from the centre of Grasmere Village. 437 yards from the Red Lion Hotel / Miller Howe Café in the centre of the village.

Access only available when organised events take place in the evenings.

The stunning dark night sky on night walks in the Lake District

Meteor Showers

You don’t need to know your Betelgeuse from your Orion’s Belt to enjoy the stars, all you need is a picnic blanket, a flask of something hot and a little patience. Here are some impressive meteor showers to watch out for  this year:

Quantrid meteor shower, 28 December to 12 January

Centaurid meteor shower, 31 January to 20 February

Normid meteor shower, 24 February to 24 March

Lyrid meteor shower, 16 April to 25 April

Poppid meteor shower, 14 April to 27 April

Aquarid meteor shower, 19 April to 28 May

Piscis Austrinid meteor shower, 14 July to 14 August

Capricornid meteor shower, 2 July to August to

Perseid meteor shower, 12 August to 13 August

Aurigid meteor shower, 28 August to 5 September

Taurid meteor shower, 10 September to 10 November

Draconid meteor shower, 7 October to 11 October

Orionid meteor shower, 1 October to 6 November

Leonid meteor shower, 5 November to 29 November

Phoenicd meteor shower, 22 November to 9 December

Puppid Velid meteor shower, 30 November to 14 December

Geminid meteor shower, 3 December to 16 December

Ursid meteor shower, 17 December to 26 December


Learn more from our blog here

Darkness ratings:

At these sites, the seven main stars in the winter constellation Orion are visible to the naked eye. Typically, this means away from, or shielded from, bright lights such as street lights, security lights or approaching car lights.

Milky Way:
At these sites the Milky Way is visible to the naked eye. They are much darker sites found only in more rural areas.

Stargazing in the Lake District - Ben Bush

Top tips for stargazing:

  • Take hot drinks, wear warm clothing and take a chair if you can.
  • Binoculars and telescopes are great for stargazing, but use the naked eye alone when scanning the sky for meteors.
  • If you need to read from a map, use red light If possible as red light affects night vision much less than white light.
  • Plan ahead and check astronomy books and websites for information on the year’s recurring meteor showers and as a guide to what might be twinkling above your head.

Book to stay at The Lake and get starry-eyed beneath the night sky.

Night swims

Advocates of dark skies, we want our guests to get outdoors and enjoy the night sky, even from the lake. Colin Hill, our resident open water swimming expert takes monthly full moon swims from our hotel jetty along the shores of Ullswater, as well as stargazing swims when the moon is less full and you can see more in the sky. Book online and join one during your stay.

Family suite at Another Place, The Lake - a new Lake District hotel


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Swim Club at Another Place, The Lake


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Sailing on Ullswater

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Get out on the water or into the fells.