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Stargazing

COVID-19 Advice

If you visit Exmoor, please remember that social distancing measures continue to apply - please observe these at all times for your safety and the safety of communities, businesses and staff working in the National Park.

STAY ALERT, CONTROL THE VIRUS, SAVE LIVES.

Link  for latest updates.

You may find our Plan Your Visit Page helpful.


Dart Skies

Dark Skies Map

Exmoor National Park has some of the darkest skies in the UK so it's a great place for Stargazing. Read more below or use this map to find our recommended family stargazing and astronomy observation sites along with the locations of our Exmoor Dark Sky Friendly Accredited businesses. click on the map for full screen


Exmoor's Dark Skies

Our dark skies are some of the best in the UK. We have minimal light pollution and on a cloudless night you can see the milky way,  thousands of stars and astronomical sights with the naked eye. In 2011 Exmoor was designated as an International Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark Sky association. So why not take the time to visit Exmoor and look up

Exmoor Dark Skies Festival 2021 - visit the festival webpage here 


New for 2021!!! An Astronomer's Guide to Exmoor National Park

- this free downloadable document has been written by astronomer Jo Richardson and is designed to show the reader why Exmoor is one of the best places in the UK for stargazing. It also contains tips on locations for lunar, constellation, dep sky and  Summer Milky Way observations including notes on parking, equipment set-up and facilities. There's also a picture gallery giving examples of what wonders have been captured by local astrophotographers. Download the Astronomer's Guide Here.


Telescope Hire

Is available to all from our  National Park Centres - where we also sell a range of books, telescopes and helpful material. You can see one of the telescopes and how to use them in this short video. Telescopes can be hired from the 3 Exmoor National Park Centres (Dulverton, Dunster and Lynmouth) which you then take out yourself onto Exmoor to see the stars. Check the link for each Centre's opening hours and contact details to book your hire.£25.00 cost of hire for a night, £10.00 cost for any additional nights, £100 deposit (which is refunded). We are currently implementing a 72 hour period between hire in order to clean and isolate the equipment due to the Coronavirus.

More Stargazing Info

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.Some particularly good spots for family stargazing are::

  • Holdstone Hill
  • County Gate
  • Brendon Two Gates
  • Webbers Post
  • Anstey Gate
  • Haddon Hill
  • Wimbleball Lake

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.

If you're thinking of visiting Exmoor and would like to contact someone about stargazing and stargazing events then please email Katrina on KJMunro@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk

Exmoor Dark Skies Newsletter - To sign up for our Dark Skies E-newsletter to find out about any events or the 2021 festival enter your name and email address to sign up to our newsletters.


Exmoor "Dark Sky Friendly" Accommodation Providers

The following accommodation and experience/activity providers have all received dark skies training and have been accredited as Dark Sky Friendly businesses. They understand the importance of Exmoor's dark skies, why they need protecting and can help you make the most of your visit with advice and stargazing equipment/resources available for your use.

Experience Providers

Accommodation Providers





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nightjars in the forest

near Dunster
22nd Jul 2021 8:30 pm - 10:30 pm
join us for drinks and canapes in the forest whilst we chat about our migratory ...
Read more

stargazing and night hike

exford
18th Oct 2021 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Exmoor Dark Skies Festival 2021

Throughout Exmoor
22nd Oct 2021 - 7th Nov 2021

stargazing and night hike

exford
18th Oct 2021 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Night Hike, Stargazing and Farmhouse supper

The Crown, Exford
30th Oct 2021 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

stargazing and night hike

exford
18th Oct 2021 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm