Butser Hill

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Article By: Matt Lynch
a month ago
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Butser Hill is a 592-acre National Nature Reserve near Petersfield in the South Downs National Park. It's a Site of Special Scientific Interest and one of the highest points in Hampshire. For all these reasons, it's a fantastic place to go on a walk. For those wishing to hike a section of the South Downs Way - the 100-mile National Trail in the South Downs National Park - this is a great section to do as it marks the highest point on the path. Rather than visit during the day, there's another special time I recommend you to visit. In 2016 the South Downs National Park became the 13th International Dark Sky Reserve (IDSR) in the world. Every year there is a 2-week festival to celebrate this galactic status. However, you can do a Dark Sky viewing at any time of year you desire and Butser Hill is one of the best locations in the park to get clear skies. (Harting Down, Old Winchester Hill, and Iping Common are also great spots!) If you head to the hill just as the sun is going down you can enjoy a walk around the summit as the sun sets. Then sip away at a thermos of hot coffee - or something stronger - whilst waiting for the stars to fill the sky. Don't forget to bring warm clothing and a head torch to get back to your car! TOP TIPS - Try to time your Dark Skies visit with a lunar event or another exciting change in astronomy. - If you have time, it could be well worth a trip to the Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium around the time of your visit. This would provide you with plenty of extra information about the skies above and could help you to learn some more about what you're actually seeing. Photo credits: Annie Spratt from Unsplash
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  • Butser Hill National Nature Reserve, Buriton, Petersfield GU32 1RT, UK
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  • Tags
    Family friendly
    Romantic
    Hidden gem

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