The dark skies of winter have crept in, which means there is now plenty more opportunity to catch a glimpse of some fascinating astronomy phenomena. The skies in rural North West Wales make the perfect place to gaze at the stars, with much less light pollution than further east.


Pack up a couple of blankets, a flask of hot chocolate and wrap up in your favourite winter coat. As darkness falls it gets pretty cold, especially in more exposed areas, so make sure you are kitted up appropriately. If you are new to star spotting, take along a star map (here is a link to one for the November sky) to help guide your viewing. Here is a short summary of ‘what’s on’ in the sky this month:



Leonid Meteor Shower – 18th November 2015

The Leonids peak every year on or around the 18th November, when the Earth passes through debris left by comet Temple-Tuttle. The best time to view is either just after midnight, or right before dawn. Look eastwards or straight up and it won’t be long before you see sparks of light flying across the sky.

Visible Planets – Throughout November

If you’re an early riser, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of Venus, Mars and Jupiter as they rise before dawn. With a good set of binoculars, you may even be able to make out Jupiter’s four major moons as tiny specks of light on the same orbital plane. Take a walk from Caernarfon Castle heading south to escape the town lights, then look eastwards anytime from 2-3am to catch sight of the three planets. They are easily recognisable as all three shine bright with a steady light, unlike distant twinkling stars. Venus and Jupiter are brightest, with the fainter glow of Mars sitting between them.

Aurora Borealis – Mid October to Mid November

Increases in geomagnetic activity predicted between mid-October and mid-November will cause the ‘auroral oval’ to widen and spread further south, allowing the spectacular sight of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, to be seen from parts of the UK. Penmon Point on Anglesey’s eastern coast, is a popular spot for aurora watchers.  The sound of the waves lapping the pebble beach and the eerie toll of the lighthouse bell makes the experience of being out in darkest hours of the night even more exhilarating.

The Science Bit: Coronal holes that begin the solar cycle in the Sun’s ‘polar’ regions have shifted towards the Sun’s equator during the current phase of the solar cycle. Now in alignment with Earth, rather than pointing out into the Solar System, the high speed solar winds that they generate disturb Earth’s magnetic field, creating the incredible light displays high up in the Earth’s atmosphere. This configuration, coupled with the fact that the aurora is more likely to be seen in autumn and spring, increases your chances of seeing this incredible phenomena during this month. You can sign up for aurora alerts, to save you from standing around in the cold on the off chance of them appearing.

All of this depends on clear skies of course! Not something that can be guaranteed here in Wales!

Will you be out star spotting this month? Where is your favourite spot to gaze at the night skies? Tweet us @GwestyrCelt

Photo Credit: Kris Williams 

Easter Spring Break, The Perfect Holiday in Caernarfon.

- Posted on 28th Feb 2018 -

With Easter at the end of March this year, we’ve got plenty of space in March and April for the pe...

Mother’s Day 2018, That Special Treat

- Posted on 20th Feb 2018 -

With Easter at the end of March this year, we’ve got plenty of space in March and April for the perfect spring break at the Celtic Royal Hotel. Trea...

Take a look at some of our older Blog Entries here

  • February 2018 (3)
  • January 2018 (1)
  • December 2017 (1)
  • October 2017 (1)
  • September 2017 (1)
  • May 2017 (1)
  • April 2017 (1)
  • February 2017 (1)
  • January 2017 (1)
  • October 2016 (1)
  • September 2016 (1)
  • July 2016 (4)
  • June 2016 (5)
  • May 2016 (4)
  • April 2016 (2)
  • March 2016 (2)
  • February 2016 (2)
  • January 2016 (2)
  • December 2015 (5)
  • November 2015 (4)
  • October 2015 (4)
  • September 2015 (4)
  • August 2015 (6)
  • July 2015 (4)
  • June 2015 (6)
  • Customer Comments

    Four Seasons Club

    20th December 2018

    The members of the Four Seasons Club would like to thank all the staff at Celtic Royal. Everyone is so friendly & helpful & happy to go the extra mile with a smile!

    Emily B

    24th February 2019

    I stayed at the hotel with my husband and 2 children 8 and 10. The room was comfortable, large and spotless, the communal spaces in the hotel had character and charm and the breakfast was excellent. The staff were friendly and efficient and the swimming pool a real added bonus. The proximity to the town was a wonderful bonus - 5 minutes walk to the castle and main square. Yes the decor in the room is a little dated, but this hotel represents fantastic value for money. There is so much to do in the area, it's a great base to climb Snowdon and visit the Zip World centres. We didn't have time to visit the Welsh Mountain Zoo or do the Railway - two nights in the area just wasn't enough. we can't wait to go again!