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As we’re still in the depths of winter, there’s never been a better time to go stargazing! 
 
The North York Moors National Park is set to host its Dark Skies Festival from 15th February to 3rd March 2019, incorporating 17 days of discovery. 
 
50 years ago come July, man first landed on the Moon. Neil Armstrong set foot on our nearest celestial neighbour supported by Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. 
 
To celebrate this special occasion, the Dark Skies Festival will focus on our lunar satellite and there is a full moon during the first week of the event. 
 
With the support of volunteers and local businesses, dark sky fans can choose from over 50 events including moon gazing, astronomy talks, film screenings, night cycle rides, photography workshops, pitch black zip lining, ghost walks, planetariums, star gazing and more, orgnaised by the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authorities, together with the Howardian Hills and Nidderdale Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 
 
Most events require pre-booking to make sure you’re not disappointed. 
 
Events include Night Walks: 17th, 19th, 28th February, 5pm to 7pm. 
Cost £2.50 per person (adults). Discover the history and culture of the North York Moors at Staithes, Appleton le Moors and Robin Hood’s Bay. Booking required. 
Robin Hood’s Bay Ghost Walk: 16th, 20th, 23rd, 24th, 26th, 27th February; 1st, 2nd March at 6.30pm (one hour walk). Listen to tales of legend, the supernatural, smuggling and shipwrecks. £5 per adult, £3 per child. No booking required. 
 
Night Time Photography with Richard Burdon: 16th and 23rd February, 2nd March. With Steve Bell: 21st February. Learn to shoot stunning night shots at a variety of locations including Whitby, Castle Howard and Helmsley Walled Garden. Booking required. Details on Dark Skies website. 
 
Yorkshire True Grit Dark Skies: 23rd February from 4pm. A gravel cycling challenge under starry skies taking in varied terrain. 
Booking required, location is Newburgh Priory, £50 per person. 
 
Moon Gazing and Stargazing Evenings 
Various dates and locations, check website for more details. Booking required. 
Our Place in the Universe: 15th February from 7pm 
Dr Tim O’Brien from Jodrell Bank Centre of Astrophysics will give a fascinating talk that will suit seasoned astronomers and those with a general interest in dark skies. Booking required, location is Castle Howard. Tickets £15 per person. 
 
Go Ape! Night Zip: 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd February; 1st, 2nd March, every half hour from 6pm to 9pm. 
£12 per person, minimum height is on metre, maximum two children per adult. Great for adrenaline seekers in Dalby Forest. 
 
Saving the Dark Film Screening, various dates from 7.30pm. 
£5 per adult, £3 per child. An exclusive screening of this film that explores the need to preserve night skies and combat light pollution. Locations are Dark Sky Discovery Sites and Yorkshire Arboretum. 
 
Find out more and book here. Please check ALL event details before you travel. And we can help you get there and back with our taxi serivce. 
 
 
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