Dart Skies

Exmoor's First Dark Skies Festival is coming!

19th to 29th October 2017

The Festival, running from 19th to 29th October, celebrates Exmoor status as Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve. The Festival will appeal to families and children as well as those more experienced in watching the stars.

Events include a large family astro-party, star-gazing evenings, specialist talks, mobile planetarium sessions, guided night walks, night adventure sessions and much more...

Full events listing here

Why not stay at our unique National Park Centre at Pinkery during Dark Skies Festival Week? - its right in the darkest part of our Dark Sky Reserve! Find out more here.

The Exmoor Dark Skies Festival is a great way to celebrate the area’s International Dark Sky Reserve status. With some of the darkest skies in Europe, Exmoor is the perfect place to visit to stargaze and discover more about the night sky.” Seb Jay, astronomer

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dark skies festival

Exmoor National Park

The first International Dark Sky Reserve in Europe

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 our 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 know a rare site. Our night times are filled with the orange glow of street lighting and we are all more likely to be looking at a television that looking at the start. 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 -  Update October 2017

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.

'In Starlight' is a short film made by Somerset based artist Frances Harrison inspired by Exmoor's Dark Skies.

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


Exmoor Dark Skies Festival

Across Exmoor National Park.
19th Oct 2017 - 29th Oct 2017
The Festival, running from 19th to 29th October, celebrates Exmoor status as Eur...
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Historic North Hill Guided Walk

Marshalling Yard Car Park, North Hill (car park on right after caravan and camping site immediately as trees end)
25th Nov 2017 10:30am-1:30pm

Full Moon and Stars and Candlelight Break

Yarn Market Hotel, Dunster
30th Nov 2017 - 4th Dec 2017