Last night was a warm, clear night (don’t get many of those this summer) and it coincided with the height of the Perseid meteor shower (learn more here), so I convinced Keryn we should go up to Alexandra Palace at about 10pm and see if we could see anything. We wandered around a bit looking for a good place to take a few shots of London at night and eventually settled on a spot above the road where we had a nice view of London town. We took a few shots of London, a few of the Palace and surrounds and then decided we weren’t going to see much in the way of shooting stars in London as the palace gives off too much light. So, we hoped in the car and made our way out of the city to find somewhere a little less bright to watch the sky.
We made our way north and ended up (After a few detours and missed turnings) near Wipsnade zoo on a hilltop with a lookout. Along the way we had nearly run out of petrol, but that was something to worry about for the trip home. There were lots of people around, even though it was nearly midnight, all looking up at the sky waiting for the meteors to appear. Actually, there were people out everywhere, when we left Alexandra Palace there were lots of people (mainly couples funnily enough) sitting down star gazing. At the lookout it didn’t take long for us to see a few shooting stars. It wasn’t exactly a fireworks show but there were several bright streaks across the sky, the trick was to look at the right spot at the right time, half the time you’d be staring into space and only catch the tail end of a short burst out of the corner of your eye. We stayed there for ten minutes/quarter of an hour and would have seen half a dozen or more before we decided to move on.
The next task was petrol station seeking, Keryn thought we had about ten miles of gas once the red alert light came on, and that light was on for a good while before we got to the lookout. It turned out alright in the end and we found an open station to refuel at, though the tank must have been practically empty as it took a lot of gas. After that we made our way back to London, stopping off at another lookout along the way for another short bit of star gazing. The trip home from there was uneventful, even if we did take a few more of the now obligatory wrong turns. We always get where we’re going though, and we’ve discovered some great places by chance (Wells Cathedral for instance).