Snowdonia National Park was recently granted International Dark Sky Reserve status – an award that recognises the quality of an area’s night air and the efforts taken to reduce light pollution. Will Renwick asked the National Park’s Senior Warden, Helen Pye, and Access Officer Peter Rutherford for their recommendations of where to go to see stars in the Snowdonia night skies.
No.1. Moel y Cerrig Duon
In the south-east of the National Park, the summit can be reached by a hike of around 1.5km from Bwlch y Groes, one of the highest public road passes in Wales. The view of the far-stretching Lake Vyrnwy below should make a perfect complement to the stars above.
No.2. Cwm Idwal
A short walk from Ogwen Cottage and you’ll reach this iconic lake. On a clear night the moon will illuminate the surrounding tall walls of the Glyderau, bringing out their scarred texture.
No. 3. Lon Gwyrfai
This 7km low-level path from Rhyd-Ddu has signage all the way to Beddgelert. Stop anywhere along the route for brilliant views towards Snowdon.
No.4. Llyn Dulyn and Llyn Melynllyn
In the wild east of Snowdonia sit these two lonely lakes, both of them over 6km from any form of settlement… nothing to spoil the view of the stars above.
The national mountain centre Plas y Brenin in Snowdonia offers courses including night navigation. Information from www.pyb.co.uk