Stargazing at Ravenscar in the North York Moors National Park. Photo credit: Tony Bartholomew
The North York Moors is 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!
80% of the world’s population live under light polluted skies. What do we lose when we lose sight of the stars? Excessive and improper lighting robs us of our night skies, disrupts our sleep patterns and endangers nocturnal habitats for wildlife. Here in the North York Moors, we are lucky that we live in a largely rural area, with low light pollution.
We also have three Dark Skies Discovery sites: The Moors National Park Centre, Sutton Bank National Park Centre and Dalby Observatories in Dalby Forest, nationally recognised places that are dark and easily accessible, and where it’s possible to see the Milky Way with a naked eye. There are plenty of Dark Skies Friendly businesses and other places to enjoy all our night skies have to offer too.
2020 is the year space travel becomes a reality, but you don’t need to leave Earth to do it! Join us for our own nebula adventure as we explore the cosmos for the fifth Dark Skies Festival, teaming up once again with the Yorkshire Dales, and bringing headline acts and celestial events from 14 February to 1 March.
Delve deep into space with over 100 events across 17 days, including stargazing safaris, night navigation tours, talks from leading UK astronomers, runs and bike rides in the dark, ghost walks, night zips, stay and gaze experiences and photography workshops that will spark your imagination.
The National Park Centres at Sutton Bank and Danby will also be hosting a programme of daytime workshops and activities for families to enjoy, including moonrock geocache, galactic treasure hunt, stargazing crafts and young artist starry night workshop. Check out the night and day trail at Dalby Forest too.
Most events require advanced booking and are popular so don’t delay! For more information and full festival programme visit the website HERE
The Dark Skies Festival runs from 14 February to 1 March at venues across the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks as well as the Howardian Hills and Nidderdale Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Details HERE