Dark Skies Festival

A night zip wire experience and stargazing combined with an eating experience will be just two of the new events added to the 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. The event will run from 9th to 25th February.

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 at the beauty of the National Parks’ pristine night skies’.

New activities under the night sky

Among more than 50 events, new activities in the North York Moors will include the 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 canapés.

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, including craft activities to make rockets, telescopes and planet lanterns.

A number of events will be free while others will have a small charge attached.

Further programme information and booking details will be available over the coming months on www.darkskiesnationalparks.org.uk.

(Photo credit: Steve Bell / NYMNPA).