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Bowland Dark Skies Festival

Type:Nature

Forest of Bowland AONB, Forest of Bowland, Lancashire, BB7 3BB

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Bowland Dark Skies Festival

The Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has been officially recognised as having some of the darkest skies in England - a fact being celebrated next month with a week of special events during half-term.

Hetty Byrne, Sustainable Tourism Officer for the AONB said, "Light pollution means that truly dark skies are becoming increasingly rare.  With our Dark Skies Festival we want people to discover the magical sight of the planets and constellations visible above Bowland. The longer nights of winter are good for star gazing and, given the right conditions, you can feast your eyes on everything from the Plough to the Milky Way!

Running from Saturday 16th until Sunday 24th February the themed week includes guided star gazing and astrophotography with local amateur astronomer, Robert Ince; the chance to book into one of Bentham Golf Club's glamping pods or lodges and search the dark skies until the wee hours; wrap up warm and listen to nocturnal tales with storyteller, Sue Allonby and an invitation to step inside Yorkshire Planetarium's mobile dome for night-sky films with the wow factor.

"Bowland is beautiful during the day", said Hetty, "but seeing its star-filled skies at night is a fantastic experience. We advise early booking as the events are likely to be popular."

Visitors wanting to stay and explore the area for a little longer can choose from a number of Dark Sky Friendly businesses - many of them accommodation providers offering information about star gazing in Bowland.  Details available at https://forestofbowland.com/Star-Gazing/#businesses

Details and booking information for the Dark Skies Festival events can be found below:

Saturday 16th February – Dark Skies Glamp
7.30pm till late, Bentham Golf Club

Be guided on an incredible journey through the constellations and along the Milky Way. Explore the night skies using powerful telescopes, all provided and operated by a local astronomer, who will take you on an astronomical tour. Finish the evening in style by staying in one of Bentham Golf Club’s new, stylish glamping pods or lodges. Price includes stargazing and accommodation. A stargazing-only option is available at £15 per adult and £7.50 per accompanied child.

Booking essential. Contact Wenningdale Escapes to book on: www.wenningdale.co.uk Phone 015242 62455 or email hello@wenningdale.co.uk

£99 (per pod for 2)/£189 (per lodge for 4)

Sunday 17th February – Astrophotography Workshop
7pm – 10pm, Gisburn Forest

Come to our Forest of Bowland Dark Sky Discovery site and learn how to photograph the contrast of our dark skies and the beautiful stars above. Learn how to create star trails and other compositions that will leave you and your friends breathless, all with just a DSLR camera, lens and tripod. After time spent in the workshop there will be opportunities (weather permitting) to try the techniques out under Bowland’s dark skies. Suitable for adults and accompanied children 16 years and over.

Booking essential. For more information contact Robert Ince on 07511 403702 or email robert.ince.uk@gmail.com. To book go to: https://tinyurl.com/yb8yzogd

£27.24 per person

Tuesday 19th February – Planetarium Adventure
1pm, 2pm or 3pm, West Bradford

Step inside the Yorkshire Planetarium’s mobile dome for HD films with the wow factor! Journey through deep space, discover the constellations, learn about black holes and the life and death of stars and find out how humans went to the moon. A great half-term activity for families with children 8 years and over. (Younger children are welcome on the understanding that each session will last around an hour.)

Booking essential. Please contact the Forest of Bowland AONB office on 01200 448000 or email sandra.silk@lancashire.gov.uk

£5 per family (2 adults and up to 2 children)

Wednesday 20th February – Stories of the Stars
7pm – 8.30pm, Gisburn Forest

Bring along the family for an enchanting evening in Gisburn Forest! Cosy up around the fire for an evening of dark sky stories with storyteller, Sue Allonby and listen to our expert guide, Robert Ince, who will share stories of his own dark sky adventures. Weather permitting we’ll embark on our own journey to explore the night sky! A great half-term activity for families with children 8 years and over.

Booking essential. Please contact the Forest of Bowland AONB office on 01200 448000 or email sandra.silk@lancashire.gov.uk

£3

Sunday 24th February – Stargazing: SOLD OUT!
7.30pm – 9:30pm, Claughton-on-Brock

Enjoy the stars in the dark skies of the Wyre! We will be your guides along an incredible journey through the constellations and along the Milky Way, showing you how to find all sorts of objects for yourself. There will be powerful telescopes for you to gaze through but (weather permitting) we will also help you see the spectacle of skies with just your own eyes. Suitable for adults and children 10 years and over. (Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.) Please book early - places are limited.

Booking essential. For more information contact Robert Ince on 07511 403702 or email robert.ince.uk@gmail.com. To book go to: https://tinyurl.com/yaevrbux

£15/£7.50 (£40 per family ticket – and up to 3 children)

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