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Dark Skies Festival

The Exmoor Dark Skies Festival 2019 will run from 14th October (when there is a full moon) until Sunday 3rd November. (These dates also incorporate the staggered half terms for Devon and Somerset).

During the year we'll be adding full details of events and booking arrangements on this page so do check back!

There will be plenty of events taking place at venues all over Exmoor, from stargazing talks and sessions to night time adventures so we look forward to welcoming you to enjoy some of the darkest skies in the country.

Events will include Guided Night Walks, Family Astro party, Night Mountain Biking, Stargazing Talks, Wildlife at Night, Wild Swimming, Planetarium sessions and more!

If you're interested in running an event during the 2019 festival or just knowing more about it, please contact Katrina Munro on 01398 322236 or email KJMunro@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk

A full printed Festival Programme will be available from August. In the meantime here are some draft details - plenty more details and many more events and booking details will be added in the coming months......

Tuesday 15th October -eveningPlanetarium sessionsBampton

Evening Planetarium sessions for adults and children. Booking through the Exmoor National Park Authority from August.

Tuesday 15th 6pm Guided Walk, Stargazing & Farmhouse Supper with Wild About ExmoorExford

Join Wildaboutexmoor for an evening of walking under the stars following the Exe Valley Way up on to the moor, finishing with a delicious home cooked roast dinner at our traditional Exmoor farm cottage.Meet at Exford carpark at 6pm, The evening runs until approx. 9.30pm

Please bring torches and stout footwear .Booking essential on 01643 831759. www.wildaboutexmoor.com

£35 per head with complimentary drinks and starry information, plus the use of our telescope and binoculars.Half price for children, min age 10 years(unless by prior arrangement)

Thursday 17th OctoberNight Walk, stargazing and Pub Supper at the CrownExford

Meet up in Exford for a night walk with stargazing followed by supper in The Crown, a traditional Exmoor pub.

We meet at 6pm and walk up onto the moor as the stars come out, then back to Exford for some exploration of deepest, darkest space with our telescopes and binoculars. Lots of starry information and refreshments, then a short walk to the pub for supper which will be individually priced to allow full choice of the menu.

£15 adults, Half price for children, Booking essential on 01643 831759 www.wildaboutexmoor.com

Friday 18th October - eveningPlanetarium sessionsBarnstaple

Planetarium session for adults and children.Booking through the Exmoor National Park Authority from August.

Friday 18th to Sunday 19thMyths, Magic and Monsters – Dark skies weekendWheddon Cross

A flexible 2 night dark skies break with your choice of  Barn, S/C Cottage or B&B.

Saturday daytime - free to enjoy the National park with recommended activities – why not attend the Dar k Skies Big Adventure Day? (see below)

Saturday evening fun talk at Little Quarme www.littlequarme-cottages.co.uk ‘Myths, magic and legends in the Sky’  - relating Greek myths to the constellations - accompanied by toasting marshmallows on the fire and followed by dinner of chilli/veggie chilli/curry, rice, pitta breads and dessert (apple crumble and clotted cream and cheesecake), tea and coffee, all outside if weather permits

www.exmoorhouse.co 01643 841432 for B & B www.exmoorcampingbarn.co.uk 01643 841393 for S/C www.littlequarme-cottages.co.uk 01643 841249 for S/C.

Friday 18th October, Meet 4.15pmStarry-night Farm Visit with Stargazing Guide, Talk and SupperExfordA unique chance to meet the farmers and the animals at a remote old Exmoor farm. As well enjoying a farmhouse super by the large inglenook fireplace, you'll be given a talk by a local stargazing expert from Exmoor Stargazing and he'll have his telescopes and knowledge on hand to help guide you across the starry sky above (weather permitting). £35 per person. Phone Shaun of West Country Farm & Food Tours to book on 01643 863002.
Friday 18th October - starting approx. 5.30pmExmoor Stargazing Experience and Dinner at the Luttrell Arms HotelDunster

Explore the skies about Dunster with members of Exmoor Stargazers in the garden of this award winning hotel then enjoy a celebration of Exmoor produce with a fabulous three course meal. £35 per person - this includes a £5 donation to CareMoor - helping to keep the National Park special. Call 01643 821555 to book. www.luttrellarms.co.uk

Saturday 19th October

Dark Skies 'Big Adventure'

Webbers Post

ENPA and the National Trust. Join the adventure! Come and explore the natural world with family games and activities lasting all day.  Come play in the woodland, make a den and maybe hear the roaring stags on the nearby hills.  More details from the Exmoor National Park Authority from August.

Saturday 19th OctoberGuided Walk, Stargazing & Farmhouse Supper with Wild About ExmoorExford

Join Wildaboutexmoor for an evening of walking under the stars following the Exe Valley Way up on to the moor, finishing with a delicious home cooked roast dinner at our traditional Exmoor farm cottage.Meet at Exford carpark at 6pm, The evening runs until approx. 9.30pm

Please bring torches and stout footwear .Booking essential on 01643 831759. www.wildaboutexmoor.com

£35 per head with complimentary drinks and starry information, plus the use of our telescope and binoculars.Half price for children, min age 10 years(unless by prior arrangement)

Saturday 19th October 6.30pm to 9pm

Night Mountain Biking Guided Ride (Intermediate)

Horner Farm, Porlock

Exmoor Adventures invite you to join them on this guided night ride. Ages 14+ Mountain Bikes, lights, helmets and gloves provided.  A good level of fitness is required. Cost: £45pp Level: Intermediate.

07976 208279 e: info@exmooradventures.co.uk

www.exmooradventures.co.uk

Sunday 20th Oct

5.15 to 8.30pm

Meteors over Dunkery

Webbers Post SS902438

ENPA – Weather permitting see the Orionid meteor Showers as you join a National Park Ranger and walk up to the highest point on Exmoor. No need to book, just turn up. Donations to CareMoor for Exmoor - helping to keep Exmoor special.

Monday 21st OctoberNight walk, stargazing and Pub Supper at the CrownExford

Meet up in Exford for a night walk with stargazing followed by supper in The Crown, a traditional Exmoor pub.

We meet at 6pm and walk up onto the moor as the stars come out, then back to Exford for some exploration of deepest, darkest space with our telescopes and binoculars. Lots of starry information and refreshments, then a short walk to the pub for supper which will be individually priced to allow full choice of the menu.

£15 adults, Half price for children, Booking essential on 01643 831759 www.wildaboutexmoor.com

Wednesday 23rd October 6pm - 8pm

Wildlife at Night

Exmoor Pony Centre  

Join the Exmoor ponies in discovering the Wildlife at Night on Exmoor. Family friendly event to inspire everyone to engage in their local wildlife. Hot chocolate and marshmallows. Opportunity to interact with the ponies.

Booking: Booking essential.

CONTACT US: 01398 323093    

info@exmoorponycentre.org.uk  

Charge: Adult £3, Under 16 £2

http://www.moorlandmousietrust.org.uk/events.php

Wednesday 23rd October 6pm

& Friday 25th October 6pm

Guided Walk, Stargazing & Farmhouse Supper with Wild About ExmoorExford

Join Wildaboutexmoor for an evening of walking under the stars following the Exe Valley Way up on to the moor, finishing with a delicious home cooked roast dinner at our traditional Exmoor farm cottage. Meet at Exford car park at 6pm, The evening runs until approx. 9.30pm

Please bring torches and stout footwear .Booking essential on 01643 831759. www.wildaboutexmoor.com

£35 per head with complimentary drinks and starry information, plus the use of our telescope and binoculars. Half price for children, min age 10 years(unless by prior arrangement)

Friday 25th October, meet 4.15pmStarry-night Farm Visit with Stargazing Guide, Talk and SupperExfordA unique chance to meet the farmers and the animals at a remote old Exmoor farm. As well enjoying a farmhouse super by the large inglenook fireplace, you'll be given a talk by a local stargazing expert from Exmoor Stargazing and he'll have his telescopes and knowledge on hand to help guide you across the starry sky above (weather permitting). £35 per person. Phone Shaun of West Country Farm & Food Tours to book on 01643 863002.
Friday 25th October Night E-Mountain Biking Guided Ride (Beginners)Horner Farm, Porlock

Exmoor Adventures invite you to join them on a Guided Night Ride on E mountain bikes. Ages 18+. E-Mountain Bikes, lights, helmets and gloves provided. An average level of fitness is required.Level: Beginner £55pp.

t: 07976 208279 info@exmooradventures.co.uk  www.exmooradventures.co.uk

Friday 25th-Sunday 27th October

Stargazing Hotel Break

Dunster

Enjoy a two night stay at the Yarn Market Hotel in the heart of this beautiful medieval town with plenty to do during the day and evening. A special dark skies themed break with darks skies talks, planetarium session and guided stargazing.

www.yarnmarkethotel.co.uk/events.htm

Telephone 01643 821425

Saturday 26th Oct      

Planetarium Sessions

& Talk by Dr Lilian Hobbs -  'In search of Aurora'

Dunster Tithe Barn

Planetarium sessions plus afternoon and evening talks with photos and film footage -  ‘In search of Aurora’ for adults and older children by Dr Lilian Hobbs. Booking through the Exmoor National Park from August.

Saturday 26th October 5pm to 7pmExmoor Dark Skies Children's EventPorlock Recreation GroundStargazing and Dark Walk, Crafts and Games, Hot Chocolate and Toasting Marshmallows. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Bring warm/waterproof coats, gloves and ideally a torch. Call Ann 07796 108380 for further details.
Saturday 26th October 6.30pm to 9pmNight E-Mountain Biking Guided Ride (Intermediate/Advanced)Horner Farm, Porlock

Exmoor Adventures invite you to join them on a Guided Night Ride on E mountain bikes. Ages 18+. E-Mountain Bikes, lights, helmets and gloves provided. An average level of fitness is required. Level: Intermediate/Advanced £55pp.

t: 07976 208279 info@exmooradventures.co.uk www.exmooradventures.co.uk

Saturday 26th October

Astrophotography Workshop

NT Arlington

With Keith Trueman

The Workshop will cater for all levels of photographer. Full tuition and guidance will be given throughout the workshop.

Areas covered will be the correct camera setting, techniques, composition, focusing at night, exposure etc.

At the end of the workshop you will have gained the knowledge to take photos of the night sky and stars, how to take star trail images and light painting techniques.

Price £45 pp. Booking link here from August.

Monday 28th October 2pm-3pmAstrophotography for allDulverton Town HallWant to know more about the joys and secrets of Astrophotography? Join Dr Lilian Hobbs of the Royal Photographic Society for an informative one hour talk. Booking through the Exmoor National Park from August.
Monday 28th October 3.30pm to 4.30pm'In Search of Aurora' Talk by Dr Lilian HobbsDulverton Town Hall

Dr Lilian Hobbs will inspire and educate you with amazing film footage and photographs of a recent visit to see the Northern Lights. Booking through the Exmoor National Park from August.

Tuesday 29th October

Author’s Book Reading-‘Jacob Starke is Afraid of the Dark’ & Nocturnal Poems

Lynmouth National Park Centre

Join author Peta Rainsford for a reading of her beautifully illustrated rhyming book about the dark, dark skies and nocturnal wildlife called ‘Jacob Starke is afraid of the Dark’. Peta will also include some interactivity and other nocturnal poems. Session aimed at 3 to 8 years. Signed copies of the book will be available to purchase from the National Park Centre. Free to attend but booking through the Exmoor National Park Authority from August.
Tuesday 29th OctoberRocket & Space Crafts for Children

Lynmouth National Park Centre

National Park staff and volunteers will be on hand with ideas and materials to help your children create fun space themed crafts such as space pictures, rocket building, star constellations, badges and more.
Tuesday 29th OctoberExmoor, Dark Skies and the National Park -Talk

Lynmouth National Park Centre

National Park Ben Totterdell will give an Introduction to Exmoor from the perspective of the National Park. What does our designation of International Dark Sky Reserve mean? How dark are our skies? How do we protect them? Why are they important?

Free but booking through the Exmoor National Park Authority from August. Donations to CareMoor welcome.

Tuesday 29th OctoberHollerday Hill by StarlightValley of Rocks, Lynton

Join National Park Ranger and Tony Piper for a short amble up the hill from Lynton Town Hall. Through the trees round some bends, and hopefully a magnificent view of open sky, Bristol Channel and Welsh coastline. The view from the Iron Age Fort and Triangulation point can be one of the best on Exmoor.

The return will be via the zig zag down into the Valley of Rocks to the poets’ shelter, then back along the road to the Town Hall. About an hours walk, with a short mile of gradual climb. Sound foot-ware and a coat. Meet at Lynton Town Hall at …..pm

Free but booking through the Exmoor National Park Authority from August. Donations to CareMoor welcome.

Tuesday 29th OctoberNight Walk, Stargazing and Pub Supper at the CrownExford

Meet up in Exford for a night walk with stargazing followed by supper in The Crown, a traditional Exmoor pub.

We meet at 6pm and walk up onto the moor as the stars come out, then back to Exford for some exploration of deepest, darkest space with our telescopes and binoculars. Lots of starry information and refreshments, then a short walk to the pub for supper which will be individually priced to allow full choice of the menu.

£15 adults, Half price for children, Booking essential on 01643 831759 www.wildaboutexmoor.com

Wednesday 30th OctoberNight Sky Nebula Nosh at Dunkery Beacon Country House HotelWootton Courtenay

Supper and Talk and Stargazing with Astronomer Seb Jay at this award-winning boutique hotel and restaurant. Accommodation also available. Tel: 01643 841 241

www.dunkerybeaconaccommodation.co.uk

Wednesday 30th Oct 6pm - 8pm

Wildlife at Night

Exmoor Pony Centre  

Join the Exmoor ponies in discovering the Wildlife at Night on Exmoor. Family friendly event to inspire everyone to engage in their local wildlife. Hot chocolate and marshmallows. Opportunity to interact with the ponies.

Booking: Booking essential. 01398 323093  

info@exmoorponycentre.org.uk  

Charge: Adult £3, Under 16 £2

http://www.moorlandmousietrust.org.uk/events.php

Thursday 31st October 6.30 to 9.30pm

Stargazing Halloween Special!

Exford

Witches, wizards, ghosts and ghouls will gather in Exford car park at 6pm to follow the  pumpkin trail  up onto the moor for a spot of stargazing, looking out for low flying witches on broomsticks and scary happenings. Candle lanterns will light our way back to the farmhouse where a feast of witches fingers, roast beasties and eye of newt will be served complete with a hot witches brew (conventional alternatives for those of a nervous disposition!)

There will be a prize for best fancy dress and hideous forfeits for muggle outfits…..you have been warned!

£35 per person all inclusive.Half price for children, min age  8 years (unless by prior arrangement) Booking essential on 01643 831759 www.wildaboutexmoor.com

Saturday 2nd NovemberGuided Walk, Stargazing & Farmhouse Supper with Wild About ExmoorExford

Join Wildaboutexmoor for an evening of walking under the stars following the Exe Valley Way up on to the moor, finishing with a delicious home cooked roast dinner at our traditional Exmoor farm cottage. Meet at Exford car park at 6pm, The evening runs until approx. 9.30pm

Please bring torches and stout footwear .Booking essential on 01643 831759. www.wildaboutexmoor.com

£35 per head with complimentary drinks and starry information, plus the use of our telescope and binoculars. Half price for children, min age 10 years(unless by prior arrangement)

Friday1st NovemberAstrophotography WorkshopWistlandpound

With astrophotographer Keith Trueman

The Workshop will cater for all levels of photographer. Full tuition and guidance will be given throughout the workshop.

Areas covered will be the correct camera setting, techniques, composition, focusing at night, exposure etc.

At the end of the workshop you will have gained the knowledge to take photos of the night sky and stars, how to take star trail images and light painting techniques.

Price £45 pp. Booking link here from August.

Saturday 2nd NovemberFamily Astro partyWimbleball Lake

Join Exmoor National Park staff for Astro themed activities 2pm to 6/7pm for the family including Jo Richardson from Space Detectives with presentation and fun workshop, a walk through the solar system with Hugh Saxby, campfire, marshmallows and stargazing.

Booking through the Exmoor National Park Authority from August.