Yorkshire’s Dark Skies Festival 9th February – 25th February 2018

Dark Skies Festival Aysgarth Forest School cStephen Garnett

Yorkshire’s Dark Skies Festival returns for half-term week in February 2018

Additional eight days for Yorkshire’s 2018 Dark Skies Festival with host of new star-studded events lined-up

A night zip wire experience and stargazing combined with a stellar eating experience will be just two of numerous new events in a much-expanded Dark Skies Festival across North Yorkshire in February 2018.

From the inaugural event in 2016, the Festival has proven to be such a hit with visitors that the joint organisers, the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Park Authorities have extended next year’s event from nine to 17 days (Friday 9th February to Sunday 25th February) to coincide with both UK half-term holiday weeks.
The additional dates will enable visitors to spend longer discovering the thrills, fun and nocturnal wildlife wonders that come with getting outside after dark as well as simply marvelling the beauty of the National Parks’ pristine night skies.

Among more than 50 events, new activities in the North York Moors will include a rare opportunity to feel what it’s like to fly through the night sky. Strapped safely to a zip wire, adrenaline-seekers will be able to plunge more than 200 metres into the darkness of Dalby Forest courtesy of Go Ape.

Visitors will also be able to indulge in an evening’s stargazing against the backdrop of some of North Yorkshire’s most historical landmarks. For instance in the Yorkshire Dales, visitors will embark on a celestial safari in the grounds of Bolton Castle near Leyburn in the company of astronomer Richard Darn while being treated to mulled cider and innovative canapés made with local produce by talented chef Guy Fairhurst.

There will also be more opportunities for activity seekers to experience caving, cycling, walking or running under the night sky including a new gravel biking event run by Yorkshire True Grit at Newburgh Priory near Easingwold. The 2018 Festival will include numerous family-friendly events too. As well as watching the star-studded cast of the National Parks’ and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauties’ dark skies in the company of astronomers, youngsters will be able to get crafty making rockets, telescopes and planet lanterns. They can also join Forest Schools and go on a night time foray into Freeholders Wood near Aysgarth where they can learn woodland skills and sit round a campfire devouring an evening meal.

Rohan Heritage

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