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Exmoor Dark Skies Festival 2018

#ExmoorDSF

20th October - 4th November 2018

After the success of last year's festival,  this year's Dark Skies Festival has been extended to cover two weeks. There will be a whole range of events for families, enthusiasts and those with a bit more understanding. Many events will be run by the National Park Authority but others will be run by organisations and businesses. All events will be listed here in due course and a full printed programme will be available from August 2018. Some examples of our events include:

Family Astro Party - Saturday 20th October

Orionids Meteor Guided Night Walk - Sunday 21st October

Talk & Stargazing - Saturday 27th October

Mobile Planetarium Sessions - Saturday 3rd November

More details will follow in the coming months but if you'd like to hold an event or have any queries, please contact:

Katrina Munro KJMunro@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk or call 01398 322236.

Exmoor National Park is home to some of the darkest skies in the country so it's a great place to gaze at the stars.

For thousands of years, humans have looked up at the night sky and wondered at what they saw. This wonder helped to define our sense of who we are, our myths and legends, our religious beliefs and a sense of our place in a wider cosmos.  But the dark skies that were the night time backdrop for the vast majority of human history are for many of us now a rare sight. Our night times are filled with the orange glow of street lighting and we are all more likely to be looking at a television or a smartphone than gazing at the stars. 

So why not take the time on Exmoor to look up and rediscover your sense of wonder? Good spots are Holdstone Hill, County Gate, Brendon Two Gates, Webbers Post, Anstey Gate, Haddon Hill and Wimbleball Lake. On a clear night the night sky of Exmoor is simply stunning when many astronomical sights can be seen through the naked eye and even more can be discovered through a telescope or binoculars.

To help you get the most from Exmoor's dark skies we have produced a new Dark Skies Pocket Guide -  download it  here or pick up a copy from one of our National Park Centres where you can also hire a telescope ! -  you can see one of the telescopes and and how to use them in this short video.

Good weather for stargazing? Check out the Exmoor Weather forecast from the Met Office here

Dark Sky Places Annual Report -  Over the last 12 months many individuals and organisations have been continuing to promote and protect Exmoor’s beautiful dark night time skies. Find out more in our annual Dark Sky Places Report that covers the period October 2016 to September 2017.

AtlanticSkyNet - We're working with partners on a new European project to develop Astro-Tourism in the area. Read more here.


The first International Dark Sky Reserve in Europe


Here are some upcoming events that might be particularly suitable if you love stargazing. Or you can browse all events here

Nightjar-Mike-Richards.jpg

Forest Night Walk

Nutcombe Bottom (SS977424) nr Dunster
29th May 2018 8:30pm-10:30pm
Come for a walk to search for wildlife in the woods of Croydon Hill. We’ll be on...
Read more

The Wimbleball Family Campout

Wimbleball Lake
1st Jun 2018 4:00pm - 3rd Jun 2018 11:00am

The Halse Farm Family Campout

Halse Farm
6th Jul 2018 4:00pm - 8th Jul 2018 11:00am

Evening Deer Search

Ashcombe Carpark & Toilets, Simonsbath
24th Jul 2018 7:00pm-9:00pm

Lear

Valley of Rocks, Lynton
31st Jul 2018 7:30pm-10:30pm

Lear

Valley of Rocks, Lynton
31st Jul 2018 7:30pm-10:30pm