Close
CareMoor

Stargazing

Dart Skies

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
  • Wimbleball Lake

On a clear night the night sky of Exmoor is simply stunning. Many astronomical sights can be seen through the naked eye and even more can be discovered through a telescope or binoculars.

Dark Skies Pocket Guide  - to help you get the most from Exmoor's dark skies we have produced a pocket guide - download it  here or pick up a copy from one of our National Park Centres

Telescope Hire is available to all from our  National Park Centres -  You can see one of the telescopes and how to use them in this short video.

Exmoor Weather Reports  - 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 prepared for the International Dark Sky Association.


The first International Dark Sky Reserve in Europe

Here are some upcoming events that you might like....

Wednesday 8th April 2020 - Ranger Guided Walk - Dunkery under the Supermoon.

Meet Webbers Post car park at 6.45pm

Grid ref: SS092438

Join a National Park Ranger for a guided walk up to the highest point on Exmoor under the Supermoon - The moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be fully illuminated.  The Moon will be at its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual. Come and celebrate Exmoor's dark skies - did you know Exmoor is an International Dark Sky Reserve? - we have some of the darkest skies in the country.

Please note the walk is about 4 miles long and parts are on uneven, narrow paths in the dark - a reasonable level of fitness if required and you must wear suitable clothing and footwear.

No advance booking necessary. Donations to CareMoor will be collected on the night. Recommended £3 per person.

Saturday 18th April 2020 - Astro Party (for families) at Wimbleball lake

Arrival & Welcome 3.30pm  Finish 8.30pm at Wimbleball Lake Activity Centre, Brompton Regis

4pm-6pm Space Detectives, 6pm-7pm Campfire and Picnic 7pm-8.30pm Walk through the Planets

Enjoy a fun activity session as a family, including Walk though the Planets with Hugh Saxby, a Dark Skies Ranger presentation, Rocket Building and Launching hands-on workshop and Virtual Reality headsets with Jo Richardson from Space Detectives and wildlife input and crafts from our expert National Park staff. We'll be taking a break together for a campfire, marshmallows and picnic tea (please bring your own). Hot drinks will be available. Book on-line here or call 01398 322236 to enquire further.

16th to 31st October 2020 Exmoor Dark Skies Festival

- see www.Exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/darkskiesfestival

startrails-dunkery-beacon_15430162147_o-auto-correct.jpg

Dunkery Beacon Moonrise and sunset walk

Dunkery Gate car park
9th Feb 2020 4:30pm-6:30pm
We meet at dusk and climb up to the top of Dunkery Beacon as the sun sets over t...
Read more

stargazing night hike and pub supper

The Crown pub, Exford
15th Feb 2020 5:30pm-7:30pm

Dunkery Beacon Moonrise and Sunset

Dunkery Gate car park
9th Mar 2020 5:30pm-7:30pm

Ranger Guided Walk - Dunkery Under the Supermoon

Webbers Post Car Park
8th Apr 2020 6:45pm-8:45pm

Dunkery Beacon Moonrise and sunset

Dunkery Gate car park
8th Apr 2020 7:15pm-9:15pm

Astro Party (for families)

Wimbleball Lake Activity Centre, Brompton Regis
18th Apr 2020 3:30pm-8:30pm