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Look at the stars...

Offering a highly effective way to leave the stresses and worries of the day behind, a night walk beneath the stars really helps to get life into perspective.

Winter is the perfect season to enjoy an evening walk while taking in the staggering beauty of the marvel that is the night sky. A spontaneous night walk is of course a brilliant thing to do as and when the mood takes you, but if you want to really maximise the number of stars you're likely to see then you'll want to check a moon calendar and the weather forecast.

Try to avoid a full or nearly full moon when the moon's brightness will mean stars are less visible. Check the weather forecast to increase your chances of a cloudless, or at least semi-clear night.

It helps of course if you can find a good open vantage point and to get as far away from the light pollution of urban sprawl as you can.

Some easy constellations to look out for are:

Orion's Belt

Look to the south-west for three bright stars close together and almost in a straight line. The two stars to the north are his shoulders and the two to the south are his feet.

The Plough

Look north for the shape of a saucepan. It's visible all year in the UK. From here you can identify the North Star: just imagine a line rising up from the last two stars in the Plough and it will lead to this beautifully bright star.

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