Cranborne Chase National Landscape International Dark Sky Reserve

Chasing Stars International Dark Sky Reserve logoCranborne Chase National Landscape is an International Dark Sky Reserve and much of the reserve is in Dorset.

One of only 21 International Dark Sky Reserves (IDSRs) worldwide, these Reserves are places recognised for the quality of their night skies, and which take measures to maintain and improve this quality. They are great places to stargaze and as Cranborne Chase National Landscape is 380 square miles, that’s a lot of space to give it a go!

Thanks to the help of local communities, local parish and county Councils as well as volunteer astronomers and a whole host of other people, the dark skies of Cranborne Chase National Landscape are VERY dark.

It took a long time to achieve this designation but the work doesn’t stop there. We have to keep making our dark skies darker and they are grateful to each and every person who helps by dipping their security light, puts black out blinds on their skylights and takes the time to tell everyone else just how great dark skies really are. They hope you enjoy them as much as they do.

Visit Dorset is delighted to be working in partnership with the Cranborne Chase National Landscape Chasing Stars team, who have assisted with information for these website pages.

Together we aim to raise awareness of the Dark Sky Reserve status, promote the beauty of the night sky and the reasons why preserving them is great for our environment and health.

We handrawn heart our unique environment

Experience rural Dorset


The country town of Shaftesbury close to Cranborne Chase AONB

Cranborne Chase

Read more about this designated area of outstanding natural beauty


There is mile upon mile of beautiful countryside in Dorset just waiting to be explored.

What does your Dorset look like? Adventures on our epic coastline? Visiting attractions with family? A walk through the beautiful countryside? Or perhaps a chilled out evening eating and drinking with friends? Discover a sample of your #VisitDorset images below and share your love for Dorset using the hashtag on Instagram.