Stargazing – Discover the Sky at Night
With our big, open skies you’ll be amazed by what you can see as you sit on the decking outside your log cabin in the dark.
Over the past 100 years, our skies have become more difficult to view as man-made light pollution obscures the stars. However here at Hoe Grange we are extremely lucky – being so far away from towns and streetlights our night skies are truly dark, and you can still get a brilliant view of the twinkling stars above.
On a clear night there is nothing better than lying on the grass, gazing up at the starry sky and soaking in the peace and quiet or even better from the hot tub!. To make the most of the opportunity you can also bring along your telescope if you have one.
Dark Sky Places
Don’t just take our word for it! The Peak District National Park Authority, Nottingham Trent University and the Science and Technology Facilities Council have worked together to identify dark sky discovery sites where there are good conditions for stargazing.
One of the 3 designated dark sky sites is at Minninglow car park just a couple of miles along the High Peak Trail from Hoe Grange.
Dark Sky Places in the Peak District
- Minninglow, off the A515 at Pikehall (nearest postcode DE4 2PN)
- Surprise View, off the A6187 near Hathersage
- Parsley Hay, off the A515 near Hartington (nearest postcode SK17 0DG)
At each site there is an astronomy interpretation panel to help you explore the night skies. The panels are changed each season.
Explore the universe with the help of these BBC Star Guides and Calendars – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2pZFdnsPGl1DDwH6pZbJKkh/star-guides-calendars
The Wirksworth StarDisc
If you are interested in astronomy and star gazing why not visit The StarDisc, situated at the top of Stoney Wood, near Wirksworth. It is a stunning space created by local artist Aidan Shingler to bring the wonders of the night sky to all.
The stunning StarDisc spans 12 metres. Carved into black granite is a star chart that mirrors the northern hemisphere’s night sky. The surface of the stone circle is inscribed with the constellations, their names, and a depiction of the Milky Way. Contrasting with the dark stone star chart is a perimeter of silver granite with 12 seats which denote the months of the year. By night, 72 lights illuminate the StarDisc, powered by our nearest star – the Sun.
In close proximity to the StarDisc are six Solar Calendar Stones, positioned by Keith Hunter a local engineer, to show precisely where the sun rises and sets at the solstices and the equinox.
Location: Stoney Wood, Wirksworth, Derbyshire, DE4 4EN
Latitude: 53.0859 N Longitude: 1.5781 W
Grid Reference: SK 28356 54381