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!

7pm Thursday 11 February

Matt Gaw talks about his book Under the Stars and his campaigning against light pollution.

Artificial light is everywhere. Not only is it damaging to humans and to wildlife, disrupting our natural rhythms, but it obliterates the subtler lights that have guided us for millennia. In this beautifully written exploration of the power of light, Matt Gaw ventures forth into darkness to find out exactly what we're missing: walking by the light of the moon in Suffolk and under the scattered buckshot of starlight in Scotland; braving the darkest depths of Dartmoor; investigating the glare of 24/7 London and the suburban sprawl of Bury St Edmunds; and, finally, rediscovering a sense of the sublime on the Isle of Coll.

Matt Gaw is a writer and naturalist who lives in Bury St Edmunds with his young family. His first book was the highly acclaimed, The Pull of the River: A Journey into the Wild and Watery Heart of Britain (2018). His journalism has been published in the Telegraph, Guardian, Times and BBC Countryfile magazine and his broadcast credits include BBC1’s Countryfile, Radio 4 Extra and Radio 5 Live. He edits Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s magazine and runs nature writing workshops for children and adults.

Under the Stars: A Journey Into Light (published Elliott & Thompson, 2020) is his second book, and has been picked as a Book of the Year by Kate Blincoe in CPRE's Countryside Voice who declared “I urge you to read Under the Stars. It will change the next few months into a place of adventure and opportunity, right on your doorstep … Nature writing at its best” and by Stephen Moss in his Round up of 2020 Nature Books.

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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Ticket Quantity Price

Under the Stars and Campaigning

Decrease Increase £3.50