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Dark Sky Discovery Sites


Forest of Bowland, Lancashire, BB7 3AY

Add Dark Sky Discovery Sites to your Itinerary

credit Robert Ince

The Forest of Bowland is home to 4 Dark Sky Discovery Sites at Beacon Fell Country Park, Crook O'Lune Picnic Site, Slaidburn and Gisburn Forest Hub.

Dark Sky Discovery Sites are recognised by the Dark Sky Discovery Partnership, managed by the Science and Technology Facilities Council UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh, as places within the UK that are both dark and easily accessible, but where it is possible to observe the spectacle of the Milky Way or the constellations, such as Orion, with the naked eye.

There are several designated Dark Sky Discovery Sites within Bowland: 

Beacon Fell Country Park – Grid ref: SD 5670 4280 
Gisburn Forest Hub - Grid ref: SD 7453 5591 
Slaidburn Village Car Park - Grid ref: SD 7136 5235 
Crook o’ Lune Picnic Site - Grid ref: SD 5219 6479 

The winter months, with longer night and darker skies, tend to be the best time to stargaze, but there are events taking place throughout the year where you can observe a magical spectacle in the skies above. 

Dark Sky Friendly Places To Stay 

A number of tourism businesses in the National Landscape  have become 'Dark Sky Friendly' - this means that they've attended a training workshop run by the National Landscape and local astronomer, are proactivley reducing light pollution at their business, are flexible with guests wishing to star gaze, and can provide information about star gazing in the area. 

These include; Dale House Camping Barn and B&B, Spread Eagle Sawley, Bowland Wild Boar Park, Orchard Glamping, Laythams Holiday Lets Retreat and more. Click here for the full list.


Book Tickets


Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Free AdmissionFree

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.

Opening Times

Dark Sky Discovery Sites (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)


  • National AwardsDark Sky Discovery Site Dark Sky Discovery Site 2016



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Beacon Fell Country Park, GoosnarghA Country Park with 185 acres of extensive conifer woods and moorland. Visitor Centre with cafe, picnic areas, 6 car parks, forest walks and viewpoints. Summit 266m above sea level.

Gisburn ForestGisburn Forest, GisburnAll year round, Gisburn Forest offers different experiences for different people.  Explore on foot, on horseback or by bike.  Find popular trails and quiet glades or explore this accredited Dark Sky Discovery Site after dark.

Crook O' Lune and Picnic Sites, Crook O LuneCrook O' Lune Picnic Site is a popular and attractive spot, (Accessible Toilets) where the River Lune travels a big curve through tree-lined banks. Woodies offers tea, coffee, bacon butties, The Crook O' Lune was captured by the artiist JMW Turner

Credit Graham CooperSlaidburn, Ribble ValleySlaidburn is a picturesque grey stone village set on the banks of the Hodder in the moorland region of the Forest of Bowland AONB.

Forest of Bowland, Lancashire

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