If catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights is your goal, after Yorkshire, your next best bet is to head to Northumberland, Lancashire or Banffshire, Scotland. Northumberland is home to three locations where the elusive aurora borealis has been spotted before, whilst Lancashire and Banffshire have both registered two locations where the lights have previously been spotted.
Ranking top three with Yorkshire once again, Northumberland and Lancashire also offer the UK’s best choice of observatories, offering six and five respectively. Kent is also home to five observatories, tying with Lancashire. Where light pollution is concerned, Yorkshire ranks as the least affected with the most number of dark-sky locations (30), followed by Devon with 28 and Cornwall which offers 26.
Cornwall and Yorkshire also excel in the camping grounds department, placing second and third respectively for the best choice of official grounds where you can spend the night under the cosmos. Overall high scorers Northumberland, Yorkshire and Devon also rank as the top three UK locations with the most night-sky watch events going on.
Looking at the calendar of astronomical events for the year which includes meteor showers, eclipses and the intersecting of planets, stars and the moon, our study also reveals the best months with the best offerings. The richest month of the remainder of Spring/Summer for space phenomena will be June, counting 21 cosmological events in total, whilst May will bring us 19 and August brings us 20l.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to travel too far north to enjoy the best ‘shows’ the night sky has to offer. Northern counties in England and Scottish counties may offer the added chance of spotting some Northern lights but should you be closer to the South, southern counties such as Devon and Cornwall will not disappoint.