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International Dark Sky Reserve

In May 2016 the South Downs National Park became the world’s newest International Dark Sky Reserve,  the 2nd in England and one of only 16 in the world.

With 2.2 million people living within 10km of the South Downs National Park and many more within reach in Greater London and southeast England, the South Downs International Dark Sky Reserve is one of the most accessible in the world.

Across the South Downs International Dark Sky Reserve, some of the best locations for stargazing are already designated as Dark Skies Discovery Sites, offering sweeping views of the starry skies.

Devils Dyke near Saddlescombe north of Brighton is a super stargazing spot with incredible views. Likewise Butser Hill near Queen Elizabeth Country Park, not far from Petersfield, delivers immense views of starry skies.

One of the darkest locations in the South Downs International Dark Sky Reserve is at Bignor Hill between Arundel and Petworth. This remote hilltop location offers extensive views of the night sky in all directions and delivers exquisite views of the Milky Way on a moonless night in late summer and mid-winter.

International Dark Sky Reserve

Top tips for photographing night skies