Alyn Wallace shares his love of Wales' Dark Skies the best locations to capture Dark Skies photography.

Elan Valley

The Elan Valley and the surrounding Cambrian mountains offer some of the darkest skies in Wales and give you an immense sense of being remote, out in the wild and connected with nature. 

The Elan Valley is a recognised International Dark Sky Park, and the Cambrian Mountains have lots of dark sky discovery sites with easy access locations where you can go and gaze at the night sky.  Six of those dark sky discovery sites are connected by an asteroid tourism trail, which makes for a really fantastic adventure.

The Milky Way forming an arch in the night sky over the Elan Valley

Dark skies above the Elan Valley, Mid Wales

Snowdonia (Eryri)

For rugged landscapes under the stars, Eryri (Snowdonia) is the place to go. 

You just can't beat the view of those epic mountains stretching up to touch the stars or the sight of the Milky Way reflecting in the glacial lakes below.

Eryri (Snowdonia) can be a pretty dangerous place if you don't have the necessary skills or competence. Be sure to contact one of the local mountain guides there to help you out. But that said, there are plenty of lay-bys and parking spots where you can just pull up, get out and just enjoy the stars.

Mountain peaks in Snowdonia silhouetted against a night sky with stars and the orange glow of sunset on the horizon.

Dark skies in Eryri (Snowdonia)

Anglesey (Ynys Môn)

Anglesey offers one of the best places in Wales to see the Northern Lights across the winter months. 

You may also be lucky enough to catch a display of bioluminescent plankton. There are a number of beautiful lighthouses on Anglesey, and where there's a lighthouse, it's probably a dark place. The view out across the Irish Sea is untarnished by light pollution. You get to see amazingly dark skies.

The light shining bright from South Stack lighthouse with the sunset highlighting clouds in the darkening sky.

South Stack lighthouse, Anglesey

Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons

The Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) Dark Sky Reserve holds a special place in my heart because it's where I first fell in love with the night sky and got into astrophotography and astronomy. It has such a varied landscape with mountains, hills and folded valleys, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, reservoirs. There's just something for everyone. 

Some easy to access locations include Llangorse lake, Usk Reservoir and the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) Visitor Centre. I've even been lucky enough to see the northern lights from as far south as the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons).

Dark sky full of stars above the mountain landscape of the Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) with the orange glow of the setting sun on the horizon.

Dark skies over the Brecon Beacons

Gower coast

The Gower Coast offers some of the best beaches in the world, surrounded by very characterful limestone cliffs. 

The view out across the Bristol Channel is untarnished by light pollution, and it's one of the best places in Wales to stare into the core of our galaxy, the Milky Way. 

If you're lucky, it's another good place to spot the bioluminescent plankton. The sight of the waves crashing and lighting up with electric blue is just one of the most magical things that you could possibly experience. 

These five places all offer an amazing mixture of varied landscapes, coastal regions and mountain regions, but there are plenty more dark sky destinations to go stargazing in Wales.

The Milky Way in the night sky highlighting the beach at Three Cliffs Bay, Gower

The Milky Way above Three Cliffs Bay, Gower

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