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Dark Skies Festival

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

Dark Skies Festival 2020

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.

2020 marks the fifth Dark Skies Festival, and we're teaming up with the Yorkshire Dales once again, bringing headline acts and celestial events from 14 February to 1 March. 

2019 year was a great success, with over 90 events including our first Stay and Gaze packages. We received over 4,000 visitors across the 17 days enjoying all the dark sky events. 

Highlights for 2019 Festival included:

  • Special talk at Castle Howard: Our Place in the Universe by Dr Tim O'Brien, University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics 
  • Go Ape! Night Zip
  • Dining on the HM Bark Endeavour and stargazing on its deck
  • Dark Skies gravel biking challenge with True Grit
  • A multimedia, indoor planetarium pop-up experience, a 360 degree journey through the stars
  • Moonrock geocache, astro treasure hunts, rocket workshops and other crafty activities at our visitor centres
  • Whitby and the Cosmos Exhibition at Whitby Museum as well as a special preview lecture with Henrique Araujo, Professor of Physics at Imperial College
  • Ghost walks through Robin Hood's Bay
  • Dark Runs and Night Navigation Expeditions
  • Saving the Dark Film Screening
  • Photography workshops
Check out the 2019 Dark Skies Festival leaflet