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I miss the dark

B3B3 Posts: 12,703
I went into the garden tonight and I could see perfectly, but in shades of grey. Our orange street lights have been replaced with white ones but no shades were added to minimise light pollution. I miss the stars and the dark.
I live in London. Where is the closest place I can go to see the stars - apart from the planetarium?
In London. Keen but lazy.


  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 4,739
    The Brecon Beacons is now a dark sky reserve. We benefit from their dark pollution here as we're right on the southern boundary. The darkest I've seen was on Skye though in December. Amazingly clear winter's night with no moon. More stars than I thought I'd ever see in the UK.
  • B3B3 Posts: 12,703
     I  have stayed in the north of Scotland a few times where the sky was white stars with a few black bits inbetween but it's an awful long way away. The Brecon beacons sounds more doable.
    I've never heard of a dark sky reserve. What a wonderful idea!

    What's so frustrating here is that, for little extra expense and more efficiency, they could have put hoods on the lights when they renewed them.
    My back garden is a fair distance from street lights, but there is no darkness, only absence of colour.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 30,469
    What about coastal areas B3? Is the sky down on the south coast perhaps a good viewpoint?
    We're quite spoiled up here for dark skies. Lots of areas with low populations and low light pollution. Galloway, in southern Scotland, is a well known dark sky area. You can often see the Northern Lights there too. Something I would like to do.
    Bit far for you to travel though  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • B3B3 Posts: 12,703
    I'm sure there's places along the South coaast, but many of them aren't accessible on the dark.
    Looking a a light pollution map is a bit depressing.

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 4,739
    B3 said:

    I've never heard of a dark sky reserve. What a wonderful idea
    It's certainly working well. The downside is I have to produce a lot of external lighting assessments for work to satisfy the new regs for it all. Keeps the bats happy too though.
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,824
    Exmoor is a dark sky reserve, too. I used to live near Stroud on the western edge of the Cotswolds. It wasn't as dark as here, but the difference to London was huge. You could get there in about an hour and a half from Paddington. Some nice hotels up on the edge of Rodborough Common. Or come to Lynmouth or Dulverton if you want real darkness - probably more like 3 hours away from you. 
    “This isn't life in the fast lane, it's life in the oncoming traffic.”
    ― Terry Pratchett
  • B3B3 Posts: 12,703
    I'm definitely up for a darkweekend! Thanks for suggestions
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • tessagardenbarmytessagardenbarmy York,North YorkshirePosts: 346
    Large areas of North York  Moors and Northumberland  have dark sky status x
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 6,051
    Our street lights were changed to LED a couple of years ago, and are dimmed from around midnight to 6am. It makes it slightly easier to see the brighter stars/planets, but you will never get a really good view, even if the majority have shields fitted. As you say, the costs involved are too much for the majority of most councils, we have a couple fitted by us where neighbours have requested them. The other consideration is security, when they are dimmed it makes it very difficult to see anyone up to no good. A dark skies area visit is thoroughly recommended !
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 20,026
    No street lights here so we get to see the Milky Way on clear nights with no moon.   Very few lights on main roads thru the country and on motorways so good views of moon and stars when we're out at night.   When there are street lights in the villages, they are hooded and shine down, not up.

    Our last house was also in the country but on the road between village and town so they had orange sodium lights.   Ghastly.   Belgium has, I reckon, more streetlights per head of population than any other country in Europe tho they do now turn off a lot of the motorway lights.

    Have a look at this map -


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
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