Dark Skies Cumbria

Light up February with a spectacular array of online events celebrating the wonders of our night sky

Live events over 17 evenings in February give you the opportunity to explore our dark skies with astronomers, astrophotographers, authors, filmmakers, lighting and design professionals, performers, poets and outdoor adventurers.

Book Now for individual event information and booking options. We've also produced this handy little leaflet which you can download as a reminder of what's in a line-up which we think is out of this world!

(View / Download Festival Line-Up - pdf)

Saving Our Night Skies

Cumbria's dark skies allow us to see the natural wonder of the stars, but are also critical for the health wildlife and our own natural well-being. Sadly light pollution in Cumbria is increasing each year, threatening to obscure our view of the stars and blinding and confusing animals so they can’t feed or find a mate. We need urgent action now to stop light pollution. Stargazers, photographers, wildlife lovers and local communities… please help.


Or you can give by text to 70085. Just message DARKSKIES along with your chosen donation amount (eg DARKSKIES 5 to donate £5). Standard message rates apply.

The Lake District and Cumbria offers some of the most spectacular and precious skyscapes in England and we want you to join us on an interstellar adventure. Download our Dark Sky Discovery Pack and get started today!

7.30pm Friday 12 February

Performance Art exploring nightfall in Grubbins Wood through choreographic practice.

Film - On the Patterns We Gaze

In this evening’s talk, dance artist Ellen Jeffrey explores what we can learn of the night by dancing in the dark: what we can encounter of the nocturnal world by venturing out and moving with it. Sharing a short film of her work, On the Patterns we Gaze (2019), Ellen will share her research into creating night-time choreographies and movement workshops beneath Cumbria’s dark skies. This presentation will explore how in conserving night’s darkness we are also conserving ways of moving through the world – of meandering, wandering, and slowing down – and how they are essential to our encountering and understanding of the more-than-human environments we live with.

Ellen Jeffrey is a dance artist, choreographer and researcher based in Lancashire, UK. Currently completing a PhD in night-time movement at Lancaster University (funded by AHRC), Ellen’s research focuses on studying and creating time-specific choreographies that respond to the changes and alterations in natural environments. Her latest work, On the Patterns we Gaze (2019), was performed in Grubbins Wood, Cumbria, where she also ran a series of night-time workshops for the local community (supported by Cumbria Wildlife Trust and funded by the AHRC). Having graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London (BA Dance Theatre) and University of the Arts, Helsinki (MA in Live Art and Performance Studies) she has worked for dance scholar Dr Valerie Preston-Dunlop and performed on projects with Sap Dance, LPM Dance Theatre, BBC Wales, Vera Tussing Projects and Summit Dance Theatre, as well as choreographing and performing her own works in Finland and the United Kingdom. She is currently an Associate Lecturer at Lancaster University.

This will be a live online presentation via Zoom. Please sign up using the booking button below and we will email you links and instructions for joining the session. (Please check your spam email box if you don't receive a confirmation email).

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Ellen Jeffrey, Exploring nightfall dance event

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