Cornwall is a great place to go stargazing. It has some of the darkest skies in the UK, thanks to its low population density and lack of major cities. So if you love stargazing and camping (in luxury!) you're in the right place. We can recommend some fantastic campsites which welcome our Bell Tent hire service, and are perfect to make the most of the wondrous spectacle above you.
Best campsites for stargazing
in St Agnes is one of the best sites for stargazing. This is due to it being located on St Agnes Head, a Dark Sky Discovery Site, an officially recognised place for excellent stargazing. From the campsite, when darkness strikes, you can walk to the dramatic ruins of one of the county's most iconic mining heritage sites, Wheal Coates Tin Mine. Here you'll be bedazzled by the coupling of dark sky, night sea and stars. This stretch of heritage coastline sweeping towards Godrevy and St Ives, and up to Perranporth and Holywell Bay, is abundant of open skies and celestial bodies.
in West Penwith, is now officially recognised with the prestigious International Dark Sky Park Designation, awarded by the International Dark-Sky Association. Also an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With little light pollution West Penwith marks one of the best places in the world to study the night sky.
From Trevedra Farm Campsite you can easily head down to Sennen, Land's End or Porthcurno with their sweeping panoramas. There’s a variety of places perfectly primed for stargazing in this area, many granite outcrops for hiking up, and lying back, to gaze endlessly into the sky. Again, if you want to throw some heritage in the mix, the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site of Botallack, makes a great backdrop for photos against the night sky. Head from Trevedra Farm Campsite along the B3306 for 4 miles, and you will find National Trust parking. From there you can walk down to the tin mines for the best views of the coast and wide open sky.
on the Lizard is another great campsite which benefits from low light pollution and great star watching. Henry's Campsite is located on the Lizard Peninsula, which is abundantly supplied with dark skies and vast landscapes. From Henry's Campsite it's a short distance to an amazing spot to stargaze - Kynance Cove. With impressive rock formations rising from the sea and beach, it feels particularly otherworldly at night. Kyance Cove offers the most southerly opportunity to view the stars in the UK. Just you, the sky, and the ocean ahead of you!
Below are some specific Stargazing dates and events you might want to mark in your calendar. All of the dates below coincide with our spring/summer Bell Tent Hire and camping season, and will make for an amazing stargazing Glamping experience!
Night sky events 2024
April 2024: The Lyrid Metors. Visible from 14-30 April, peaking on 22-23 April. The Lyrids can sometimes feature meteors with bright dust trails that glow for several seconds. The amazing shot (below) of the Milky Way and Lyrid Metors, taken by Jennifer Rogers, was shortlisted for Astronomy Photographer of the Year. It was actually captured at Porthgwarra, which is just 5 miles from Trevedra Campsite.
May 2024: The Eta Aquariids meteor shower peaks. This is another good opportunity to see shooting stars, peaking around 6 May with a crazy rate of up to 50 meteors per hour!
June 21: The Summer Solstice. This is the longest day of the year, and the nights are at their darkest. During this time there is an even better chance to see exciting astronomical sights!
17th July - 24th August 2024: The Perseid meteor shower peaks on the 12th - 13th of August in 2024. This is one of the best meteor showers of the year, and you can expect to see up to 100 shooting stars per hour under ideal conditions. This fantastic display is caused by the debris stream from the comet Swift-Tuttle (also known as the Great Comet of 1862). Long before Elon's Starlink entered space!
Stargazing while your camping or Glamping is a great activity to do with children, here's some tips on inspiring young astronomers.
What to pack on an astronomy camping trip?
We recommend packing binoculars, a good torch, a head torch, a picnic blanket, warm clothes, and a smart phone for emergencies, and also to check your constellations findings on a stargazing app.