National Parks remain some of the darkest places in Great Britain and we celebrate our star-studded skies at Festivals throughout autumn and winter.
Our Dark Skies festivals are 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.
There are events for families, first-time stargazers and those wishing to expand their knowledge or astrophotography skills further. We work with local astronomy clubs and other star loving organisations to help you discover the wonder of the night skies above your National Parks.
As daylight hours begin to fade, October is a great time to celebrate the skies at the annual Exmoor Dark Skies Festival.
Since 2016's inaugural event, the Yorkshire collaboration has become an unmissable fixture in the calendar, with the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authorities celebrating the jewels of the night sky. Exploration was the theme in 2020 and both National Park's enjoyed their largest programme of events to date. Here's to another stellar line up in 2021.
Held over two weeks in February, the Festival celebrates their International Dark Skies Reserve designation with star parties, talks, observations and other family activities.
You don't have to wait for a Festival to admire the night sky in all its stellar glory. Find out where the best places are to go stargazing in our National Parks throughout the year.
Northumberland National Park forms part of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park. Unveiled in December 2013 and at 572 square miles (1,483 square kilometres) it is also Europe’s largest area of protected night sky. Thanks to its pristine skies it was awarded gold tier designation by the International Dark Sky Association, making it officially the best place in England for people to go to enjoy the heavens.
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
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