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Make memories: spend an evening stargazing

Make this the year you enjoy new experiences – spend a magical evening stargazing in one of the UK's forests and have a night out with a difference!

by Danielle Woodward

Gazing up at a clear night sky is a wondrous experience – we are all made up of the atoms of exploding stars and spending an evening stargazing is a great way to gain perspective on our everyday problems.

Gather together your loved ones and head away from the light pollution of the city and spend an evening creating memories you'll treasure for years to come.

When you're planning, take a look at the National Trust's Top Tips for Stargazing before you set out and download the Star Walk app (iPhone) or Google Sky (Android) to find out which stars you can see from your location.

This year, Forestry Commission England is opening up forests at night solely for the purpose of stargazing, allowing everyone to enjoy an after-dark adventure.

If you're in the northeast of the UK, Kielder Forest and Observatory is hosting lots of events including Astronomy Photography, Aurora Nights, Family Astronomy and Night Sky Safari. 

Hamsterley Forest near Durham, has Dark Sky Discovery status and is offering an evening of stargazing through large telescopes with local amateur astronomer Neill Sanders.

If you're feeling romantic, spend Valentine's Day with your significant other at the Valentines Under The Stars event at Grizedale Forest in the Lake District.

Join Scarborough & Ryedale's Astronomical Society's public stargazing sessions on Friday 3 February and Friday 3 March in the Great Yorkshire Forest.

Learn how to observe stars and the basics of astrophotography at the Astronomy in the Forest event at Sherwood Pines on 27 January.

And once you've had your first-hand experience of stargazing, relive it all when Stargazing Live with Brian Cox and Dara O'Braiain, is on BBC Two at the end of March.

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