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Dark Skies Festival

Northern Lights at Saltwick Bay Credit Andy Dawson PhotographyNorthern Lights at Saltwick Bay Credit Andy Dawson Photography

Friday 9 – Sunday 25 February 2018

Dark Skies Festival logo The North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales are a stargazer’s paradise, with some of the best night skies in the country. 

In an urban area you'll be lucky to see 20 stars on a clear night, but in an area of low light pollution, such as our National Parks, you could see as many as 2,000.

We're excited to celebrate this with our third Dark Skies Festival, teaming up with the Yorkshire Dales once again and in 2018, events and activities will be spread over two weeks!  

From Moors to Dales, come and join in our star-filled festival of fun, with events and activities suitable for all ages! Our Festival is all about discovering, learning and enjoying the dark and the stars you can see as a result. This could mean getting out for an activity such as cycling, walking, or running at night, attending a stargazing party, or taking part in a daytime event, learning more about star constellations or making a rocket.

2018 planning is still underway, keep checking back for updates.

Highlights in 2017 included:

  • A state-of-the-art, multimedia, indoor planetarium pop-up experience, a 360 degree journey through the stars inside this inflatable dome!
  • Treasure hunts and trails
  • Storytelling, telescope-making, rocket building, planet pompoms and other crafty activities
  • Deckchair outdoor cinema (wrap up warm!)
  • Night Vision using the latest infra-red technology
  • Open telescope sessions
  • Ghost walks through Robin Hood's Bay
  • Dark Skies Run
  • Guided night bike ride
  • Astronomy talks, advice and stargazing evenings

The full Festival programme will be available on our Dark Skies Festival website.

Bookings and information

Advance bookings and payment are essential for many of the festival events, unless stated as a drop-in event. Booking details are included under each individual event. Please note:

  • Children are welcome at most events but minimum ages may apply.
  • Dogs are allowed at some events, but must be kept on a short fixed lead at all times.
  • Appropriate clothing and footwear is essential. Wrap up warm especially for evening outdoor activities! A torch could be useful too.