Stargazing event to showcase the Bannau Brycheiniog’ Dark Skies

Together with partners from the University of Glamorgan and Usk Astronomical Society, the National Park Authority is set to take advantage of its deep dark skies with a stargazing event at Craig-y-nos Country Park, Pen y Cae in the Upper Swansea Valley on Saturday, October 6.


Craig-y-nos Castle was once the home of famous opera star Madam Patti – but now the castle’s grounds are set to play host to a galaxy of stars in a special star-studded party.


From 7pm until 10pm on Saturday, October 6 Craig-y-nos Country Park will play host to a stargazing event which will see experts from the University of Glamorgan and Usk Astronomical Society on hand to help visitors make the most of the Bannau Brycheiniog’ incredible dark skies. Specialist telescopes and a portable planetarium will be available to help educate visitors on shooting stars, nebulae, galaxies, clusters and planets, while hungry stargazers will also be able to enjoy delicious refreshments from the Country Park’s Changing Seasons Tea Rooms and Restaurant.


The event is part of the on-going work conducted by the National Park Authority and Bannau Brycheiniog Park Society to gain official Dark Skies accreditation. The two bodies’ bid to gain official accreditation is currently being reviewed by the International Dark Skies Association. If the application is successful it would mean the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park would be one of only a handful of destinations around the world to be granted this prestigious status.


Ruth Coulthard, Funding Development Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, said: “The historic and natural setting of Craig-y-nos Country Park should make it a unique place to showcase the quality of our dark skies. We’re hopeful that the IDA will approve our application for Dark Skies accreditation, so we can ensure our special skies are preserved for future generations to enjoy.”


Mrs Carys Howell, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Member Champion for Visitor Centres, added: “The Authority has held a number of successful stargazing events at the National Park Visitor Centre near Libanus, and we hope to make these special events accessible to even more stargazers by also holding events at the wonderful Craig-y-nos Country Park.


“I would encourage budding astronomers and stargazers to book their places as soon as possible, as there is expected to be high demand for this fantastic event.”


Tickets for the stargazing event at Craig-y-nos Country Park are priced at £6 for adults and £4 for children. Book your tickets by calling 01874 623366 or visiting either the National Park Visitor Centre near Libanus or the Changing Seasons Tea Rooms and Restaurant at Craig-y-nos Country Park. Ticket prices include parking and entry to the planetarium. For further details please email us.