Galloway Forest Park, Scotland
Galloway Forest Park, in Scotland's southwestern corner, was named the United Kingdom's first Dark Sky Park in 2009. No wonder. Sprawling over 185,000 acres (748, 67 hectares) with few buildings, it's easy to spot 7,000 stars, the Andromeda Galaxy and the Aurora Borealis with the naked eye. Star gazing is so easy here, the Forestry Commission lists 10 viewing sites within the park, along with recommended sites for setting up a telescope [sources: Forestry Commission, The Galloway Forest Park]. There are numerous astronomy-related programs and activities regularly occurring at Galloway Forest Park, too, such as Stargazing for Beginners and a Meteor Shower Watch [source: Forestry Commission].
"Wild" (unregulated) camping is allowed in the park, plus there are five "bothies" scattered around, which are small, plain, unlocked structures anyone can use [source: The Galloway Forest Park]. Formal campgrounds can also be found nearby.