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!

We were delighted that our Dark Skies project officer and star stargazer Johanna Korndorfer was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live recently. The radio show’s hosts’, Nicky Campbell and Clare McDonnell, interest was piqued by the news that local authorities in Geneva, Switzerland, were switching off the city’s lights for a night to allow the stars to shine through.

Nicky was keen to hear what our Dark Skies Cumbria project will achieve. Johanna explained that the project aims to recognise how wonderful our Cumbria dark skies are and protect them for future generations. Johanna said ‘We don’t realise how much light we’re really using. Two percent of the earth’s surface is covered in more light per year. Fifty percent of animals are nocturnal and all of this extra light is very disruptive to them’.

Nicky Campbell summed it up nicely when he said ‘If the lights are off, you see the most beautiful sky. You see the sky of the ancient mariner’. Hi co-presenter Clare McDonnell added ‘You realise we are just all tiny little specs in the big universe’. 

You can hear the interview on https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0008rc4 from 57 minutes.