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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 Fringe Festival 2020 (23 October - 1 November)

We're thrilled to launch our first Dark Skies Fringe Festival. It's a chance to celebrate the special dark skies of the North York Moors for a second time in one year!

Expect much of the same sparkle and celestial fun that you've grown to love throughout February's festival. Established favourites include Noctural Adventures with Forest Holidays at Cropton and Keldy; Night Navigation experiences with Large Outdoors; Astro-photography evenings with Steve Bell and ghost walks in Robin Hood's Bay with Whitby Storyteller.

There's a whole host of new stars joining in on the fun too. Find your inner adventurer on a dark skies trail run with Carlton Lodge; become an investigator by dissecting owl pellets; take a magical mystery night walk with Adventures for the Soul, spend three nights under the stars at a dark skies friendly B&B in Ampleforth and moorland meanders under a moonlit sky with Rewilding Adventure.

Head to the Dark Skies Festival website to see the full programme of events and book your place to outer space! All events have Covid-19 safety measures in place, and most must be pre-booked. Numbers will be limited and therefore early booking is recommended.


Dark Skies Festival 2021 (12-28 February 2021)

Festival logo

The new dates are out! Get ready for lots of nocturnal action as it's themed around Nature at Night. You could be getting up close and personal with things that go bump in the night! We're working on a line up to provide a fascinating insight into our precious wildlife when the sun goes down. In turn, revealing the importance of dark skies and how being free from light pollution plays a crucial role to many species' existence.

More details are coming soon, including a festival leaflet with event highlights. See below for a flavour of our main Festival and what to expect.

Highlights in 2020 included:
  • A special talk and stargazing session at Castle Howard: Exploring the dynamic universe by Professor Andy Newsam, Liverpool John Moores University
  • BBC The Sky at Night presenter, Chris Lintott will talk about his recently published book - ‘The Crowd & The Cosmos - Adventures in the Zooniverse’
  • Exploration of deep space like never before with virtual reality specialists View It 360
  • Go Ape! Night Zip
  • Yoga, dark skies and mindfulness experiences
  • Stay and gaze experiences
  • In search of the elusive Aurora presentation and stargazing
  • Dark Skies gravel biking challenge with Yorkshire True Grit
  • A multimedia, indoor planetarium pop-up experience, a 360 degree journey through the stars
  • Moonrock geocache, galactic treasure hunts, Young Artist Starry Night Workshop and other crafty activities at our National Park Centres
  • Stargazing safaris
  • Romantic Valentines breaks with your own stargazing equipment
  • Ghost walks through Robin Hood's Bay
  • Dark Runs and Night Navigation Expeditions
  • Night time photography workshops
Check out the 2020 Dark Skies Festival leaflet