The curse of light pollution is an increasing blight on the restful occupation of star-gazing into clear skies. However, the clear skies of summer can be the perfect time for this contemplative activity. This year, the National Trust has offered a guide to their best five places to see the stars:

1 Black Down, Sussex: Get closer to the stars on the highest point in the South Downs, just over a mile from Haslemere

2 Teign Valley, Devon: Discover the stars at this beautiful area on Dartmoor National Park and close to Castle Drogo

3 Stonehenge, Wiltshire: Soak up history in this most atmospheric of places at night and enjoy the wide skies of Salisbury Plain’s chalk downlands

4 Mam Tor, Derbyshire: Escape the bright city lights of Sheffield and experience the tranquil blackness of the Peak District’s dark skies

5 Friar’s Crag, Cumbria: There’s nowhere more restfully contemplative place than Friar’s Crag in Keswick which juts out into the spectacular lake of Derwentwater

The Trust is also keen to highlight the Perseids meteor shower of shooting stars which is due to peak on the night of August 12 – it should be a cracking show as the moon will be only a crescent. For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/darkskies

** For more news stories like this every week subscribe and save

* Follow us on Twitter

Pic: NTPL