Swindon’s Stargazing Spots: Top 10 in England

Swindon has recently been recognised as one of the top 10 towns in England for stargazing, and it’s easy to see why. While stars can be viewed from almost anywhere in the UK, avid astronomers often seek out dark, rural locations away from the bright lights of urban areas. For those living in towns and cities, finding such spots can be challenging.

Fortunately, Swindon is surrounded by the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, offering an easy escape to nature. This unique advantage is why experts at outdoor company Millets have named Swindon one of the best places in England for stargazing.

Millets, in collaboration with Go Stargazing, used data from the Office for National Statistics and light pollution maps to evaluate various factors, including average light pollution, air quality, and weather conditions. Out of 81 English towns, cities, and London boroughs analysed, Swindon secured the eighth position on the list.

Swindon boasts a light pollution level of 2.16 mcd/meters squared and an air quality index score of 36, resulting in an impressive stargazing score of 8.97 out of 10. According to a spokesperson for Millets, “Dark locations provide optimal conditions for seeing astronomical phenomena, as there is less artificial light to wash out the faint glow of stars, meteor showers, and more.”

Despite its high ranking, Swindon was narrowly beaten to seventh place by nearby Oxford, which had slightly less light pollution and better air quality, earning a score of 9.15 out of 10. Barnsley took the top spot in England, with more light pollution than Swindon but an air quality index score of only 27.

The top 10 best towns and cities for stargazing in England are: Barnsley, Northampton, York, Brighton, Bournemouth, Rochdale, Oxford, Swindon, Peterborough, and Havering (London).


Image credit: Joshua Earle / Unsplash


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