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!

Seventy people attended our Dark Skies officer Jack’s online Dark Skies and Light Pollution talk on Friday 27 November. In some wonderful feedback they share their dark sky experiences….

“I spent a week on Ascension Island when transferring to St Helena. Every night I would go for a walk along the beach. A totally clear sky with a stunning collection of stars. Also camping in the American desert.” - David

“The most beautiful night time sky I saw was in India. When visiting Windermere I am always pleasantly surprised at how few lights there are and how the stars glow (when it’s not clouded over).” - Danielle

“I did my GP training on the west coast of Cumbria and lived on the tiny road linking High Lorton to the Whinlatter Pass.  At the road junction there is a seat facing Hopebeck and the Buttermere/Crummock/Loweswater fells. The stars were amazing and with such a good back drop too.” - Julia

“Just standing at my gate gazing upwards and loving the enormity of it. Brings human frailty into perspective.” - Fiona

“Memories from Borrowdale on cold frosty nights when Milky Way very clear, also seen shooting stars.” - W

“I remember running along the Gibson Knott to Helm Crag ridge in the dusk/dark with the lights of Grasmere twinkling below me. Also a night swim in Alcock Tarn one August which was magic. And a bivvy this September on Seat Sandal with clear skies and wonderful views of the Milky Way above.” - Alison

“On a bus number 555, a couple of years ago, I was visiting the Lakes. It became dark. When we passed through Windermere, I could not see anything due to the darkness, but I felt where I was. This feeling of blindness was so beautiful, which evoked me that I was in the right place.” - Basak

“Watching sunset and then the full moon rise from Farleton Knott. Walked for hours in moonlight.” - Margaret

“My best memory of night skies in the Lake District is of three successive September evenings around thirty years ago when I walked from a B&B in Seatoller and back to have a pint in the Scafell Hotel in Rosthwaite. I have never seen such depth of stellar magnitude before or since. That’s when I saw the Milky Way.” - Adrian

“Walking out at Christmas from a hotel in one of the western valleys ....sheet ice on the ground, sparkling stars in the sky.” - Richard

“Saw Saturn’s rings through a telescope in Chile.” - Kathy

“Going to an area near me called Devil’s Dyke after midnight to watch the Perseid meteor shower in August a few years ago when it was the best in years. We saw so many it was an amazing spectacle.” - Marcia

“When I first moved to Penrith 10 years ago it was truly thrilling to me to be able to look up and see the stars so clearly at night. I’d grown up in a big city down south where I never experienced that. So sad Penrith is losing its beautiful sky and it must be contaminating the sky in the north lakes park too.” - Susan

If you were at the event and would like to give some feedback you can access the feedback form here.

Need more Dark Skies? There will be lots more online events at our Dark Skies Festival which will be online from 5-21 February 2021. 

Photo by Rob Fraser.