Merlin Farm offers Luxury Self Catering Holiday Cottages in a quiet and secluded dark sky area on the North Coast of Cornwall. Cornwall is one of the best places in Britain to sit back and look at the night's sky with miles of uninterrupted countryside and exposed coastlines offering none or very little light pollution.
Photos by Andy Draycott
We are fortunate enough to experience dark skies here at Merlin Farm - our location is circled in the dark skies map.
Local photographer Andy Draycott got some great shots of the Milky Way above Merlin Farm (above and below).
We'd love to hear about your stargazing experience at Merlin Farm, please share with us what you've seen & when.
Just up the road from Merlin Farm, Carnewas & Bedruthan Steps has officially been accredited with *Dark Sky Discovery status and is now part of the Dark Sky Discovery network, an online map of all the fantastic places that more and more people have easy access to for a good view of the night sky.
*Dark Sky Discovery Sites are given the status on the basis of being "accessible and free enough from light pollution to get a good view of the stars". In order to be listed, a venue must have good public and disabled access, permission from the landowner and the Milky Way must be visible from the area.
Top Stargazing Tips
You don't need fancy equipment to enjoy the stars, here's some 'naked eye' astronomy tips
Check the weather. Pick a good clear night and when the moon is at its darkest. This website is good and even tells you when the International Space Station will be passing over:
Download a stargazing App so that you can hold your smartphone up to the sky to see where the stars and constellations are.
Layer up! Stargazing is not for the faint hearted, you could be sitting outside for long periods of time so make sure you are wearing plenty of layers and sat comfortably so that you won’t get a stiff neck from looking up while standing. We are happy to lend you deckchairs and blankets - just ask!
For optimal viewing it is best to get outside later in the night - the darker the sky, the better the star-gazing. Let your eyes adjust to the darkness for 5-10 minutes. As your eyes become used to the darkness, you will start to see more and more stars.
Watch for moving things in the night sky. Meteors (shooting stars) look like bright streaks of light. Satellites (like the International Space Station) look like a star that moves slowly and steadily across the night sky. Aeroplanes have flashing green and red lights.
Stargazing: Viewing our Universe at Kestle Mill - Newquay, Trerice
Saturday 29 February 2020 18:30 - 21:00
Saturday 24 October 2020 18:30 - 21:00
Kernow Astronomers bring a free stargazing evening at Trerice. Take a look at the night sky above Trerice. With displays, talks and telescopes Kernow Astronomers will guide you through our amazing Cornish skies (if clear).
CARNEWAS & BEDRUTHAN STEPS
Join the National Trust rangers and Kernow Astronomers for some stargazing at this stunning cliff top location awarded Dark Skies status.
Arrive before sunset for a chance to look at the sun safely through telescopes before it sets, then take a closer look at the moon, stars and planets as they come into view. Bring warm clothing and a torch.
Saturday 2 May 2020 19:00 - 23:00
Saturday 25 July 2020 19:30 - 23:00
Saturday 26 September 2020 17:30 - 23:00
Accommodation at Merlin Farm
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