Stargazing in West Sussex

There’s something irresistible about gazing up at a vast sky sparkling with stars. All you really need are warm clothes and a clear, dark sky which is why West Sussex is a particularly good choice. With a designated International Dark Sky Reserve, several Dark Sky Discovery Sites and Chichester Planetarium, it’s a great place to come and admire the celestial show.

Pop over to Iping Common, a nature reserve close to the market town of Midhurst with some of the South Downs’ darkest skies. Or visit Devil’s Dyke, tucked behind Brighton and Hove, it’s one of the best spots in the country for viewing the night skies.

From stargazing, astrophotography, nightscape walks, nocturnal wildlife and Dark Skies events we’ve got some great opportunities to help you make the most of our amazing skies. Read our unique itineraries below which offer numerous opportunities to explore West Sussex both day and night.

Stargazing for walking and wildlife lovers

With a selection of easy-access walks through nature reserves, this stargazing itinerary is cosmic for ramblers and wildlife watchers.

SDNP Dark Skies Festival resized

Stargazing in and around Chichester Harbour

Fancy stargazing by night and shopping, birdwatching and seeing stars on stage by day? This stellar itinerary is perfect for you.

Stargazing at Devil’s Dyke, perfect for foodies

This (g)astronomic itinerary around Devil’s Dyke provides starry nights, good company and good food. What could be better?

the moon

Stargazing at Bignor Hill’s ancient landscapes

If you like ancient landscapes and old-as-time starscapes, you’ll love this stargazing itinerary around Bignor Hill – a magical experience.

Stargazing tips and things to remember

    • Check the phase of the moon before planning your trip, as it’s best to go just before a full moon. You can do this with a quick search online or by using a lunar calendar app.
    • Use a compass to help you find constellations or stars (you can use your smartphone, but this will impact your raw vision of the stars). SkyView Lite is available on both Apple and Android
    • Even in the spring and summer months, it can quickly become cold underneath a clear sky. Make sure you wrap up warm to get the most out of your stargazing experience! Bring a hot drink and a mat to lie on.

The best places to stargaze in West Sussex

For the best places to view the stars, and Dark Skies tips and tricks, visit the South Downs National Park Dark Skies. Why not view Dark Skies festival dates and watch some of the amazing footage filmed at previous Dark Skies festivals.

Discover more outdoors

West Sussex has so much to offer those who are looking to take a break from the digital world, recharge and enjoy the great outdoors. Get inspiration for a wellbeing break or browse our array of walking, active and outdoors, and nature and wildlife attractions below.

Walking in West Sussex


Find the perfect place to
enjoy the great outdoors
on two feet


Active, outdoor activities in West Sussex

Active and

Cross-country trails,
cycling routes and
fantastic sports


Nature and wildlife in West Sussex

Nature and

Get back to nature and
discover new wildlife
in the countryside