Gaze at the stars when you stay at Laythams

The vast majority of us in 21st century Britain live in towns and cities, and whilst this offers us convenience, hardly any of us have seen the full beauty of the Milky Way. Truly dark skies where we can see these celestial wonders are becoming ever rarer and light pollution is slowly creeping across the country. National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are home to more than half of Britain’s remaining dark skies, including the Forest of Bowland.

The Forest of Bowland is a Dark Sky Discovery Site

The skies over Bowland hold the official status of Dark Sky Discovery Sites and are some of the darkest skies over the Great Britain. Here at Laythams, we would encourage you to step outside on a clear night to enjoy a the mythical beasts and legendary figures that make up the constellations, including the bull Taurus, the winged horse Pegasus, the beautiful Andromeda and the hunter Orion.

Many of these constellations were discovered millennia ago by Ancient Greek and Babylonian astronomers.

Planets, stars and constellations

The constellations you’ll be able to see from the Forest of Bowland are all stunning, but there’s so much more to view as well. Depending on the time of year you visit, you’ll be able to see various planets from our solar system, including Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Uranus and Saturn, and the Orion Nebula and Andromeda Galaxy are also visible.

Which season is the best for me?

With its long and dark nights, winter is the best time to visit the Forest of Bowland if you want to stargaze, and because it gets dark early, the entire family can enjoy themselves without staying up too late. On nights where there’s no moon, you’ll be able to see the Milky Way, which looks like a stretch of faint smoke.

If you want to spot constellations like the Plough and Leo, spring is the perfect time to stargaze. The nights are still quite long and dark, but it’s also far warmer, making the experience more comfortable for you and your family.

As mentioned above, the Perseids Meteor Shower occurs in the middle of August, and you can watch dozens of shooting stars fly past you every hour. Whilst the nights in June and July are nice and warm, the sky doesn’t really get dark enough to spot anything far away.

If you wait until the autumn and the return of darker skies, you’ll have the chance on a clear night to see the most distant object from earth that’s just about visible to the naked eye – the Andromeda Galaxy. On a moonless night, you’ll need to look for the Pegasus constellation, and just above it you’ll see a faint blotch.

Whatever time of year you plan to stay at Laythams, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to see the true majesty of space in a way that most people simply can’t anymore. For more information about our holiday cottages in the Heart of Bowland, and to check availability, call us today on 01200 44 66 77 or get in touch online.

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