Best places to camp out and watch upcoming meteor shows across the UK

Kreutz comet disintegrates as it travels towards sun

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This spectacular cosmic show happens between mid-July until the end of August where bits of comet are left behind as large chunks of ice and dust race around the Sun. For those who didn’t see the famous display, experts say the best time to watch a meteor shower is during the later months of the year.

Heading away from big cities that are much more polluted out to countryside where the night skies are clear and crisp will enhance chances.

To help astronomy fans see upcoming meteor showers predicted across August to October, motorhome rental company Camptoo have analysed the best locations in the UK to camp out and view showers.

Stargazers can plan their next UK staycation around these natural displays, based on the peak astronomical hours and the number of campsites nearby.

Here are the top five places:

1. Tomintoul and Glenlivet – Cairngorms, north east Scotland

This remote area in the north of Scotland offers a secluded area to take in the dark skies and stargaze for the longest period of time in the UK.

The Cairngorms became part Scotland’s official national park in 2003, filled with sky high tors, mountains and wildlife to spot.

Popular among the fishing, skiing, snowboarding and hill walking communities, this is a great place for a winter getaway

There is a predictably precise four hours 54 minutes of astronomical twilight hours (the time of night in which the sky is darkest), throughout the night.

Peak times are between 00:00am – 3:43am and 10:59pm – 0:00am on August 14, with 25 different campsites to choose from for visitors looking to set up under the stars.

2. Coll, Scotland

Located in the west of the Isle of Mull, Coll is known for its sandy beaches and dunes with a population of less than 200 people.

While there is less choice for visitors – there are just three campsites in the area – it ranks as the second best place in the UK to view the stars.

Coll also secured its dark skies status in 2013, meaning the unobstructed views will dramatically increase your chances of stargazing or even the Northern light.

At the peak of the meteor showers, the sun will set at 9:09pm, with an impressive three hours and 32 minutes of astronomical twilight hours in which to stargaze.

The best times for visitors will be 2:19am – 04:03am and 10:55pm – 00:43am.

3. Northumberland National Park

A well-travelled place in the north east of England, Northumberland is a popular spot amongst walkers and campers, and is one of the best spots to set up and wait for the skies to go dark.

There are 14 campsites to choose from around Northumberland National Park and almost three astronomical twilight hours, with peak times from 2:35am – 3:57am and 10:26pm – 11:45pm.

4. Galloway Forest, Scotland

Another area of Scotland worth visiting is Galloway Forest, just west of Dumfries.

It was the first area in the UK to be recognised as a Dark Sky Park, but it remains one of the less-heralded places with only 11 campsites for people to visit.

As you travel further south, the twilight hours begin to drop but you can still get two hours 39 mins of perfect star-gazing conditions.

This is between 2:48am – 4:09am and 10:34pm – 11:52pm over 15 daylight hours to enjoy some daytime activities in between star-gazing.

5. Snowdonia National Park, Wales

The national park around Wales’ largest mountain has the most campsites on this list, with 137 different sites to choose from for travellers.

Jam-packed with outdoor natural attractions, from watersports to horse riding, visitors will have plenty to do while they wait for the sun to go down.

However, as well as being a hugely popular hiking and tourist destination, Snowdonia will also offer a great place to take in the meteor showers this week.

Between 3:15am – 4:21am and 10:18pm – 11:23pm there will be two hours and 11 minutes of twilight time in which to perfectly view the night sky, making it a hugely popular area to visit.

The Perseid showers will not be the last chance to see meteors in the UK this year, with the Draconid and Orionid meteor showers due to peak in October at these same sites.

Other destinations that Camptoo also recommends travelling to for the best views of the Perseid meteor showers – which are due to peak tomorrow night (August 14) but will be active until August 23.

They include- include Elan Valley, Brecon Beacons over in Wales, Exmoor National Park over in the south west of England and Sark Island, which lies in the English Channel.

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