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Dark Skies
Dark Skies

Stargazing above Monmouthshire

Whether you're handy with a telescope or a casual observer, Monmouthshire is great for stargazing. The wonder of the galaxy is enough to enthral young and older minds wherever your telescope might be perched, but Wales is increasingly emerging as one of the best countries in the world from which to ponder its enormity.

The Brecon Beacons National Park for starters, became the country's first International Dark Sky Reserve in 2012, and there are dozens of places around the National Park, including in Monmouthshire, where you can stop off and survey spectacularly clear night skies.

Monmouthshire has five official Dark Sky Discovery Sites - Abergavenny Castle, Black Rock Picnic Site, Caldicot Castle & Country Park, Goytre Wharf and Skenfrith Castle. These are sites with very low levels of light pollution which are darker than the surrounding areas, and which are perfect for hosting stargazing events. These sites meet either one or two star darkness levels as below:

One Star Site 

The seven main stars in Orion are visible to the naked eye. Typically this means away from, or shielded from, bright lights such as street lights, security lights or approaching car headlights.

Two Star Site

The Milky Way is visible to the naked eye. This will be a much darker site only found in more rural areas.

For more information on Dark Sky Discovery Sites, please visit

Monmouthshire Dark Sky Discovery Sites

Caldicot Castle and Country Park

Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Castle’s exciting past. Caldicot Castle’s impressive structure is surrounded by an idyllic 55 acre Country Park. The castle grounds are now open every day 11am - 4pm.

Abergavenny Castle and Museum

Abergavenny Museum, founded in 1959, is set in the grounds of a 'ruined' Norman Castle. The Museum building was formerly a hunting lodge built by the Marquess of Abergavenny. The displays tell the story of this historic market town.

Skenfrith Castle (Cadw)

Significant medieval fortress with a substantial central tower

Goytre Wharf

Goytre Wharf is located on the canal with over 200 years of industrial heritage to discover. The site is now developed for leisure within an area of outstanding natural beauty, but still retaining many of its historic features.

Black Rock Picnic Site

A great site to rest your legs offering panoramic views of the Severn Estuary and both Severn Bridge Crossings, it also offers parking if you wish to base yourself here.

Brecon Beacons Dark Sky Time Lapse

Where to Stay

Welsh Dragon