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Dark Skies Festival

Join us to celebrate and explore the wonders of Exmoor after Dark

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Dark Skies Festival Events & Booking

dark skies festival

EVENTS LIST  including Availability and Booking details. 

  • Many events are now fully booked - we are noting which ones here on this website listing  -it is as up to date as possible.
  • The festival includes events run by Exmoor National Park Authority and other events being run by businesses and groups. Details of how to book can be found under each event listing.
  • IF AN EVENT IS CANCELLED  DUE TO BAD WEATHER ( or any other reason) IT WILL BE MARKED AS SUCH ON THIS LISTING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. For events being run by other organisations it may be worth checking with their own website/social media page or phone number if you are in doubt.

Tuesday 17th October 7.30pm - Minehead Regal Film Society, Regal Theatre

Film Showing -  2001: A Space Odyssey
This classic Stanley Kubrick's mind-blowing 1968 sci-fi classic co-written by Arthur C Clarke who was born in Minehead. Arthur C Clarke memorabilia will be temporarily on display here courtesy of Minehead Museum.  
Advance booking recommended at the Regal Box Office, The Avenue, Minehead or call 01643 706430. Adult £5, Child £3.


Thursday 19th October 10.30am - Dulverton Town Hall

Astrophotography Talk 'Night Sky Photography First steps'
The Royal Photographic Society are delighted to present a 1.5-2hr talk by Dr Lilian Hobbs as part of Visit Exmoor's 'Focus on Exmoor' photography festival. Would you like to take some photographs of the night sky, but don’t know how or think your camera is not good enough, then come along and hear how to get started in taking photographs of the night sky. All you need is a camera a tripod, and some clear skies. We will even learn how to take star trails photos using  an action camera like a GoPro. Lilian Hobbs LRPS is an astro-photographer living close to the light polluted skies of Southampton, where she takes most of her photographs from her garden observatory which has been featured on the BBC Sky at Night. Ticket price £5. Tickets available on the door - please bring the correct money.
Book at http://www.rps.org/events/2017/october/19/night-sky-photography-first-steps


Thursday 19th October - 6pm Exford

Guided Walk, Stargazing & Farmhouse Supper with Wild About Exmoor

An evening of walking under the stars following the Exe Valley Way up onto the moor, followed by a delicious home cooked meal at a traditional Exmoor farmhouse. Our telescope is available for guests use at the farmhouse, please bring torches, and stout footwear. Meet at 6pm Exford car park signed opposite the Crown pub, and we will walk from there, followed by supper finishing approx. 9.30pm. £25 per head , with complimentary drinks. Half price for children minimum age 10 unless by prior arrangement. Booking essential - call 'Wild about Exmoor' on 01643 831 759.


Friday 20th October 7pm – Winsford Village Hall (ENP event)

Festival Launch and Astronomy Talk by Will Gater (Astronomer, journalist and presenter) introduced by Andrea Davis, Deputy Chairman of Exmoor National Park.
Tonight he’ll be talking about Exmoor's dark skies and the spectacle of the Northern Lights and how, under the right conditions, they can be photographed - and occasionally seen - from dark-sky sites like Exmoor. Ticket Price £5. There will also be the premiere of the National Park's new short film celebrating our Dark Skies.
More details and Booking Here


Friday 20th October 6pm - Bossington Beach

Glow Stick Night Swim
As 'wild' outdoor swimming grows in popularity, join the 'Channel Adventure' team for a night swim with glow sticks at Bossington Beach.
Visit https://www.channeladventure.co.uk/exmoor-dark-skies-festival/ for further details.


Friday 20th October 7pm - Westermill Farm, Exford

Guided Night Walk.....  with Camping Option
Join the Channel Adventure team for a guided night walk from Westermill Farm. There's also great camping available there and other adventurous daytime activities.
Visit their website https://www.channeladventure.co.uk/exmoor-dark-skies-festival/ for further details.


Saturday 21st October – 5pm to 7pm - Porlock Recreation Ground

Children's Event - night walk, stargazing, crafts and marshmallows at the Pavilion, Porlock Recreation Ground. Children must be accompanied. For more details call 07796 108380.


Saturday 21st October – Depart Exford 5.30pm - **FULLY BOOKED**

Dusk Safari by Barle Valley Safaris
Learn about the area from the knowledgeable team on a 2.5hr safari. Experience real Exmoor on a dusk safari; hear intriguing local legends and listen out for the red deer stags bolving. Price £25pp Book by calling 07977 571494 or email exmoorwildlifesafaris@gmail.com


Saturday 21st October 6pm to 10pm - Wimbleball Lake (ENP event) **FULLY BOOKED**

Astro Party
‘Your Place in Space’ themed family party hosted by UK Space Ambassador Jo Richardson from Space Detectives with interaction and audience participation, space crafts, experiments and virtual reality headsets, followed by Stargazing with Tiverton & Mid Devon Astronomy Society, Night Forest Walk with a National Park Ranger, and Campfire and Marshmallows.
More details and Booking here


Saturday 21st October - 6pm Exford

Guided Walk, Stargazing & Farmhouse Supper with Wild About Exmoor

An evening of walking under the stars following the Exe Valley Way up onto the moor, followed by a delicious home cooked meal at a traditional Exmoor farmhouse. Our telescope is available for guests use at the farmhouse, please bring torches, and stout footwear. Meet at 6pm Exford car park signed opposite the Crown pub, and we will walk from there, followed by supper finishing approx. 9.30pm. £25 per head , with complimentary drinks. Half price for children minimum age 10 unless by prior arrangement. Booking essential - call 'Wild about Exmoor' on 01643 831 759.


Saturday 21st October 7pm - Westermill Farm, Exford

Guided Night Walk & Camping
Join the Channel Adventure team for a guided night walk from Westermill farm. There's also great camping available there on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st and other daytime activities.
Visit  https://www.channeladventure.co.uk/exmoor-dark-skies-festival/ for further details.


Sunday 22nd October 5.15pm - 8.30pm -  Webber's Post (ENP event)

Meteors over Dunkery Walk
Join an Exmoor Ranger to walk to the top of Dunkery Beacon as the sun goes down, where hopefully we may see a meteor shower in action. The red deer rut should also be in full swing, so we should see and hear them in the gathering darkness. No need to book -  just turn up. This is a free event with donations to CareMoor invited.

GR - SS902438


Sunday 22nd October 5.30pm - Exford   *only 1 space left!*

Dusk Safari by Barle Valley Safaris
Learn about the area from the knowledgeable team on a 2.5hr safari. Experience real Exmoor on a dusk safari; hear intriguing local legends and listen out for the red deer stags bolving. Price £25pp Book by calling 07977 571494 or email exmoorwildlifesafaris@gmail.com


Sunday 22nd October 7pm - Dulverton Town Hall

Film Showing: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (cert PG)  Celebrating the 40th anniversary of this acclaimed sci-fi adventure about a group of people who attempt to contact alien intelligence. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Tickets non-members £4.50, students and accompanied children £2.50. Tickets may be available on the door at £4. Book in advance at Dulverton Post Office 01398 323474 or e-mail janaross2003@yahoo.co.uk Bar open from 7pm.


Monday 23rd October -  Lynton Town Hall (ENP event)

Planetarium Afternoon and evening sessions -  More details and Choose and Book your session here.


Monday 23rd October - 7pm Lynton Town Hall, Jubilee Room (ENP event) - **FULLY BOOKED**

Exmoor Stargazing Adventure with Astronomer Seb Jay - A Journey across the Universe
A talk by Seb Jay followed by stargazing with Exmoor Stargazers
More details and Booking Here


Monday 23rd 19th October - 6pm Exford

Guided Walk, Stargazing & Farmhouse Supper with Wild About Exmoor

An evening of walking under the stars following the Exe Valley Way up onto the moor, followed by a delicious home cooked meal at a traditional Exmoor farmhouse. Our telescope is available for guests use at the farmhouse, please bring torches, and stout footwear. Meet at 6pm Exford car park signed opposite the Crown pub, and we will walk from there, followed by supper finishing approx. 9.30pm. £25 per head , with complimentary drinks. Half price for children minimum age 10 unless by prior arrangement. Booking essential - call 'Wild about Exmoor' on 01643 831 759.


Tuesday 24th October - Dulverton Town Hall (ENP event)

Planetarium Sessions - Afternoon & evening  - More details and Choose and Book your session here.

You may like to take part in the Star Safari workshop in the National Park Centre during the afternoon as well - see below.


Tuesday 24th October - 2pm to 4pm Dulverton National Park Centre (ENP event)

Star Safari  - A free workshop for children and families. Star spotting exercise, binocular and telescope making, planet wordsearch and tot's dot to dot! No need to book, just drop in anytime between 2-4pm for this free workshop.


Tuesday 24th October – 6pm - Goat Hill (ENP event) - ***FULLY BOOKED**

Night Navigation & Stargazing Walk
Enjoy an exhilarating walk across Exmoor on a clear, moonless night with an Exmoor National Park Ranger.
More details and Booking Here


Tuesday 24th October 5.30pm - Exford - ***FULLY BOOKED***

Dusk Safari by Barle Valley Safaris
Learn about the area from the knowledgeable team on a 2.5hr safari. Experience real Exmoor on a dusk safari; hear intriguing local legends and listen out for the red deer stags bolving. Price £25pp Book by calling 07977 571494 or email exmoorwildlifesafaris@gmail.com


Tuesday 24th October 6.30 to 9pm - National Trust Dunster Castle

After Dark: Family fright night
Whether you're 5 or 50 you can scare yourself silly on our self-led ghostly walk in the castle grounds. Bring your torch. Adult £4, Child £2. NT members free. No booking required. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/0c16fb43-83fe-46f2-baa0-b4a9683361ab/pages/details


Wednesday 25th October 10am to 4pm - Webbers Post (ENP event)

Big Adventure Day
with National Park Rangers. Explore the natural world with family games and activities. Play in the woodland, make a den, do some solar gazing with a giant telescope and maybe hear the roaring stags. Hot drinks and food available. Free event, donations to CareMoor invited. No need to book  -  just turn up  Why not come back for the Stargazing evening at 7pm?


Wednesday 25th October 7pm - Webbers Post (ENP event) - **FULLY BOOKED**

Exmoor Stargazing Adventure with Astronomer Seb Jay - A Journey across the Universe A talk by astronomer Seb Jay followed by stargazing with giant telescopes and Exmoor Stargazers. Hot drinks and food available.
More details and Booking  Here


Wednesday 25th October 6pm - Pinkery Pond  

Glow Stick Night Swim  -  with potential for overnight stay in the heart of our dark zone!
with Channel Adventure. As 'wild' outdoor swimming grows in popularity, join their team for a rare opportunity for a night swim in Pinkery Pond. Visit their website https://www.channeladventure.co.uk/exmoor-dark-skies-festival/ further details.

**Why not combine this event with a stay at our National Park Pinkery Outdoor Centre?** Find out more here.


Thursday 26th October 5.30pm - Exford - * only 1 space left!*

Dusk Safari by Barle Valley Safaris
Learn about the area from the knowledgeable team on a 2.5hr safari. Experience real Exmoor on a dusk safari; hear intriguing local legends and listen out for the red deer stags bolving. Price £25pp Book by calling 07977 571494 or email exmoorwildlifesafaris@gmail.com


Thursday 26th October – 6pm Exford - Minibus to remote farm on Withypool Common - ***FULLY BOOKED ***

Starry-night Farm Visit with West Country Farm & Food Tours
Enjoy a unique night time tour to a very remote farm deep in the heart of the moors in company with an expert star gazer with two powerful telescopes.  Tour includes transport and stargazing followed by a visit into the farmhouse, sit and relax in front of the massive inglenook fire and enjoy home-made bread and soup, tastings and refreshments. There's also a night sky talk with slides. Tour strictly limited to 14 people.
For details contact Shaun on 01643 863002 or visit www.westcountry-farmandfood-tours.co.uk


Thursday 26th October 6.30 to 9pm - National Trust Dunster Castle

After Dark: Family fright night
Whether you're 5 or 50 you can scare yourself silly on our self-led ghostly walk in the castle grounds. Bring your torch. Adult £4, Child £2. NT members free. No booking required.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/0c16fb43-83fe-46f2-baa0-b4a9683361ab/pages/details


Thursday 26th October 5pm -  Webber's Post

Children's Night Ride - Balance bikers to under 16s  
A fun kids off-road biking event as part of the Minehead Merlins race series. Registration and practice from 5pm, first race starts at 5.45pm. Cost £3. Enquiries to Alicia Hockin 07717 83558 or visit www.facebook.com/MinheadMerlins


Friday 27th October 7pm -  Nutcombe Bottom **FULLY BOOKED**

Forest Wildlife & Stargazing Walk

with the Hawk & Owls Trust Chris Sperring and Forestry Commission Ranger Andy Harris. Free event but please book in advance, visit  book here


Saturday 28th October - Dunster Tithe Barn (ENP event)

Planetarium, Solar Telescope/Stargazing Sessions, Astro Workshop & Astrophotography Display throughout the day and evening. Exeter University Astrophysics group will be running hands-on indoor activities and exhibition of space images and the latest research.  More details and Choose and Book your session here.


Saturday 28th October - Meet 4.45pm at Bampton Recreation Ground

Journey through Space - An interactive guided stroll 'through the solar system' leaving the Recreation Ground, Morebath Road, Bampton at 5pm and walking to the Library and Resources Centre (LARC) on Station Road, Bampton where there will be craft activities on a solar system theme. £1 adults, 50p for children. Hot drinks and Glow sticks will also be available for a modest fee. No Booking required - just turn up at the Recreation Ground at 4.45pm. https://twitter.com/bampton_larcs


Saturday 28th October 5.30pm - Exford - ***FULLY BOOKED***

Dusk Safari by Barle Valley Safaris Learn about the area from the knowledgeable team on a 2.5hr safari. Experience real Exmoor on a dusk safari; hear intriguing local legends and listen out for the red deer stags bolving. Price £25pp Book by calling 07977 571494 or email exmoorwildlifesafaris@gmail.com


Saturday 28th October, 7pm -  Secluded Exmoor Farm ***FULLY BOOKED***

Autumnal Harvest Feast with Stargazing  National Trust and award winning North Devon based caterers, Seadog, will be roasting up an Autumnal, Harvest feast in a secluded Exmoor location. With a menu of local seafood, Exmoor game and seasonal vegetables, the communal feast will see guests enjoy sharing platters within the barn, and indulge in dessert under the stars by warmth of fire. Bookings are essential. Please send enquiries to seadogfoods@outlook.com


Thursday 2nd November 7pm - Wootton Courtenay ***FULLY BOOKED***

Stargazing Supper at Dunkery Beacon Country House Hotel Enjoy a chilli supper and presentation by astronomer Seb Jay then use of their 6” Newtonian telescope under Seb’s expert guidance. An alternative indoor presentation will be held in the event of poor weather. An accommodation package is also available. Visit www.dunkerybeaconaccommodation.co.uk for full details and booking.


& Running throughout the Festival:

Minehead Museum: Arthur C Clarke exhibition. Celebrating the birth of Arturo C Clarke in Minehead 100 years ago. This small but well-loved museum opposite the Railway Station celebrates all things Minehead. Free entry Tues-Sun.

Dunster and Lynmouth National Park Centres - Astro-photography exhibition by the Royal Photographic Society.

Porlock - Astro-influenced arts and crafts focus - There will be a variety of child and family friendly arts and crafts sessions, story-telling and a 'Dark Walk' with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Also, dark-skies influenced art exhibitions by local artists around the village. More information from the Porlock Visitor Centre.


For further details about the Festival please contact Katrina Munro - KJMunro@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk

Voyager dome