A popular outdoor area in the North East has officially been crowned the UK’s best stargazing spot.

Northumberland Dark Sky Park has been ranked in 1st place by Jessops - did you know you can see the Milky Way here on “moonless” nights?

It comes as the Northern Lights put on a magnificent show across England last weekend – some of us were even captivated by the spectacular aurora borealis for the first time in our lives.

The photography retailer commented: “Whether you're a newcomer eager to marvel at the Milky Way or simply seeking a break from city lights to admire the night sky's beauty, stargazing offers something special for everyone.

@mikerobinson30 Aurora Borealis - amazing views from @northumberlandnationalpark last night! #auroroaborealis #northernlights #canon #photography #nightscape #hills #amazing #lights #aurora #stars #nightsky #fyp #fypシ #nightphotography #stargazing #auroraborealisphotography #nightskyphotography ♬ Interstellar on Piano - Andy Morris

“But where are the best stargazing spots in the UK?

“To answer that question and help you decide on your next trip, we've compiled a list of the UK's dark sky parks, reserves, and islands.”

It added: “We've then ranked the top 10 stargazing locations based on the number of stargazing events, viewing locations across the region and accommodation.”

Why is Northumberland Dark Sky Park the UK’s best stargazing spot?

Jessops explained: With 20 observation points, 19 annual events, and plenty of stargazing-friendly accommodations, Northumberland Dark Sky Park claims the top spot for stargazing in the UK.

“In 2013, Northumberland National Park and most of Kielder Water and Forest Park became a Dark Sky Park.

“The park spans 572 square miles, and 96% of it enjoys very low levels of light pollution, according to Go Stargazing, so you can observe the stars in all their glory.

“You can even see the Milky Way stretch across the sky on moonless nights!”

The UK’s top 10 stargazing spots

  1. Northumberland Dark Sky Park
  2. South Downs Dark Sky Reserve
  3. Exmoor Dark Sky Reserve
  4. North York Moors Dark Sky Reserve
  5. Yorkshire Dales Dark Sky Reserve
  6. Brecon Beacons Dark Sky Reserve
  7. Cranborne Chase Dark Sky Reserve
  8. Bodmin Moor Dark Sky Landscape
  9. Elan Valley Dark Sky Park
  10. Snowdonia Dark Sky Reserve

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Product Specialist Lizzie James at Jessops said: "For the best stargazing experience, venture away from the glow of city lights to a location with minimal light pollution. Look for places like national parks, rural areas, or designated Dark Sky Reserves where the night sky remains unpolluted by artificial lights.

"Beaches, mountains, and open fields can also provide excellent points. Just remember to check the weather forecast beforehand and choose a clear night for the best visibility of the stars."

You can read more about each of the best stargazing locations across the UK and find expert tips on the Jessops website.