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A new star-studded astro trail has opened in Wales

Move over Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta Jones, Wales has just landed its own star-hunting trail, and it’s more star-studded than an A-list red carpet.

The Cambrian Mountains destination of Wales has just opened a new astro-tourism trail recognising its recent accolade as one of the UK’s top spots to go star-gazing. Six stellar places  have been awarded Dark Sky Discovery Site status, putting them right up there on the celestial map.

The trail, which covers a driving distance of just over 50 miles, can be visited over the course of a few nights for a glimpse of Orion, The Great Plough and the North Star. It is accompanied by an illuminating Cambrian Mountains & Elan Valley Dark Sky Guide which details what to look out for throughout the year with a pair of binoculars or telescope.

“The Cambrian Mountains is one of best places in the world to view dark skies,” said Dafydd Wyn Morgan, Project Manager for the Dyfodol Cambrian Futures project, which is running the astro-trail.

“The clear skies offer incredible views of the Milky Way, meteor showers and the International Space Station when it passes over.”

“By day the six locations allow you to discover a community woodland brimming with wildlife, the UK’s tallest reservoir, a 12th century abbey and mining heritage stretching back to Roman times.”

The public can find the new Dark Sky Discovery Site locations at Coed Y Bont; Pontrhydfendigaid and the Arch near Devil’s Bridge; Llyn Brianne car park, Rhandirmwyn and Llanllwni Mountain; Pont ar Elan at the Elan Valley and the aptly named Star Inn Pub in Dylife. The new sites have been added to the Cambrian Mountains’ three previous established night sky locations of the Dolgoch and Ty’n Cornel Hostels and at the National Trust’s Llanerchaeron property.

“The fact we have many pubs and restaurants near the astro-trail should help soothe things. If it’s a bit cloudy or cold, people can pop in for a meal while they wait for the crystal clear dark skies,” Dafydd added.

“Visitors can enjoy a day walking on the hills then wrap up warm for a night of star gazing in the Cambrian Mountains.”

Download the Cambrian Mountains & Elan Valley Dark Sky Guide here.