Category Archives: dark skies


Exmoor National Park Authority is pleased to confirm that it will running Exmoor Dark Skies Festival from Thursday 19 October to Sunday 29 October 2017 – a ten-day festival of activities for families and enthusiasts to celebrate Exmoor’s dark skies and enable people to experience the exceptional quality of our starry nights.

There will be bookable sessions in the pop-up planetarium and informative and engaging talks, guided star-lit walks and children’s workshops with the education team and rangers. Exmoor National Park would also welcome other organisations and tourism businesses who would like to take part. Groups may wish to host their own event or support others and businesses may wish to use the festival in their own marketing to attract more visitors in this quieter season.

If you are interested in running an event or using the festival to attract more visitors and would like to discuss ideas, please contact Katrina Munro (Economy Project Officer) who is coordinating the event:; 01398 322236 

PHOTO: Great Orion Nebula M42 taken by Paul Jeanes from his observatory in Washford “under the darkest skies”.


On Tuesday 13 December, 6.30pm-8.00pm, join Seb Jay, author of Exmoor Dark Skies, for a talk and guided stargazing tour at Wimbleball Lake near Dulverton.

Highlights of the evening will include:

  • Seeing the December full moon through a telescope and a red supergiant on the verge of collapsing into a supernova!
  • Learning how to find Mars in the December night sky
  • Finding star clusters thousands of light years away with a telescope

The format of the evening will be dictated by the weather conditions.


Participants will gather in the Activity Centre Barn for a 20-minute talk to prep them on what they are looking out for in the night sky. They will then head outside where there will be telescopes in situ overlooking the lake for people to use.


Participants will gather in the Activity Centre Barn for a longer illustrated talk on what you can see from Wimbleball Lake at this time of year. There will also be an orbits activity to demonstrate why we have a full moon that night and Seb will also bring along a ‘build a constellation’ activity, plus an alien hunt!

Seb will also be signing and selling copies of his book, plus astronomy gift vouchers – ideal Christmas presents!

Refreshments will be provided by the Duck Café from 6pm in the Activity Centre.

Tickets are limited and cost only £7 for adults and £5 for children. For more information or to book call 01398 371460 or visit The event will be listed under ‘conservation event’.

PHOTO by Richard Wiltshire