A star-filled sky is one of nature's most natural wonders! But they’re become harder than ever to experience. 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 in our National Parks, you could see as many as 2,000 twinkling above you.
National Parks are a stargazer’s paradise, with some of the best night skies in the country and we are excited to celebrate this at our annual Dark Skies Festival. It’s all about discovering, learning and enjoying the dark and the stars you can see as a result, with events suitable for all ages.
Since 2016's inaugural event, the Dark Skies Festival has become an unmissable fixture in the calendar, with the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and South Downs National Park Authorities celebrating the jewels of the night sky over 17 days during February and March.
You’ll also find events at other times of the year; check the event listings in your area to find out what’s happening.
12 - 28 February 2021 marks the sixth Dark Skies Festival. It's never too early to get the dates in your diary. See you in February 2021!
The year space travel became a reality. We hope you joined us as we explored the cosmos in the fifth Dark Skies Festival. It was the largest event line up yet, bringing headline acts and celestial events from 14 February to 1 March.
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:
Launched by the Dark Sky Alliance in October 2018, National Parks are amongst a number of bodies to support the Big Dipper campaign, which aims to draw attention to the light pollution creep caused by beams emitted from powerful external LED floodlights and security lighting.
The Big Dipper is highlighting how property owners can help reduce the orange-white glow, which is seen above built-up areas and is increasingly spreading across the countryside, by ensuring the beam of light from exterior lamps is dipped downwards rather than projected outwards.
The Big Dipper campaign is asking people to:
Further information on light pollution and interactive maps can be found at www.nightblight.cpre.org.uk.