Northern lights over Saltwick Bay
Star trails over Buster Ancient Farm

Welcome to the National Parks Dark Skies Festival 2017

18 to 26 February 2017

National Parks remain some of the darkest places in England and we are excited to celebrate this with our second Dark Skies Festival.  The Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors have teamed up again and this year welcome the South Downs to be part of the festival family.

Our Dark Skies 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, running or caving at night, attending a stargazing party, or taking part in a daytime event, learning more about star constellations or making a rocket.

Most events will take place across the three National Parks from 18 to 26 February but there are a few events outside these dates so check the event listings by following the links below for full details.

North York Moors events

South Downs events

Yorkshire Dales events

Our National Parks

North York Moors

When the sun sets in the North York Moors, another breathtaking view emerges – a sky full of stars! The low levels of light pollution and dark skies of the National Park are one of the things that makes it such a special place. Come and join in our star-filled festival of fun and learn more about the magic above us, with events suitable for all ages.

Events in the North York Moors

South Downs

We think our star-studded skies overhead are as valuable as our beautiful rolling landscapes and, with properly dark skies in the South East of England under threat, our International Dark Sky Reserve status is a statement that the skies of the South Downs are worth protecting.

Events in the South Downs

Yorkshire Dales

Its superb dark skies are one of the things that make the Yorkshire Dales National Park so special. With large areas completely free from local light pollution, it's a fantastic place to start your stargazing adventure.

Events in the Yorkshire Dales