Overlapping the boundaries of Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset, Cranborne Chase is a unique and diverse landscape, rich in rare flora and fauna. Fans of the Wessex writer Thomas Hardy might recognise it from early scenes in his 1891 novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
Cranborne Chase was the 14th International Dark Sky Reserve to be recognised in the world, first designated in October 2019. More than 50% of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has the lowest levels of light pollution found in England,
The undulating landscape of Cranborne Chase offers dramatic scenery and stunning panoramic views of the night sky, including the prominent summits of Breeze Hill (262m), Win Green (277m) and Melbury Hill (263m).
Stargazing events are hosted throughout the year, culminating in their annual Dark Skies Festival in February.
Tiffany’s tip: Hambledon is widely considered to be one of the finest Iron Age hill forts in Dorset, and at dusk is also a great spot for watching hares and finding glow-worms in the long grass.