Explore the Cosmos at the North York Moors National Park’s amazing ‘Dark Skies Festival’ running from 14th February – 1st March 2020. Delve deep into space with over 100 events taking place over 17 days including star gazing safaris, night navigation, talks from leading UK astronomers, ghost walks, night zips, runs and bike rides in the dark, stay and gaze experiences and photography workshops that will spark your imagination. Did you know that over 2000 stars can be seen from the National Park by just the naked eye!
Make this the perfect half term for busy young families. The National Park Centres at Sutton Bank and Danby will be hosting a programme of daytime workshops and activities for families to enjoy, including Moonrock geocache, Galactic treasure hunts, stargazing crafts and young artist Starry Night workshops. Check out the Night and Day trail at Dalby Forest too.
Search for the elusive Aurora Borealis – A magical and inspirational phenomena that graces the Northern night skies. Learn how to predict them and where to go to see them.
Revitalise and connect as you enjoy yoga and mindfulness under starry skies.
A night navigation experience navigating moors, hills and woods while stargazing, listening out for nocturnal wildlife and enjoying the local area in a new light!
Some of the events require booking – for a full list of the 100 events and to book please go to:- darkskiesnationalparks.org.uk
From Crag House Farm you will have fantastic views of the night sky, we are a dark skies friendly business and supply binoculars, books, warm blankets and hot chocolate ready and waiting for your nocturnal outings. From here you could also head over to the three Dark Skies Discovery Sites at the nearby Moors National Park Centre Danby, Dalby Forest and Sutton Bank National Park Centre. for the best chance to see the Milky Way with just the naked eye.
Here’s a few top tips plus essential gear for you to think about-
Dress up warm Clear nights can be chilly so layer up
Food Stargazing can be hungry work so snacks and hot drinks are recommended and some events provide refreshments.
Mobile phone These are very helpful for stargazing apps, in emergencies and doubles up as a compass to help find a constellation or star.
Red light torches Keeps your eyes in night vision mode. A red bike light will work!
Binoculars A good pair can show 25 or even up to 50 times more than the naked eye.
Patience It takes 20 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. It is also essential when waiting for clouds to part.