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Aysgarth Forest School as part of our Dark Skies Festival Copyright Stephen Garnett

What to do to enjoy the stars

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is renowned for its breath-taking landscapes, rich culture, and diverse wildlife. However, one of the park’s most impressive attractions is its dark skies, which provide a perfect backdrop for stargazing.

Why the Yorkshire Dales is an ideal destination for stargazing

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is a designated Dark Sky Reserve, which means it has minimal light pollution, making it an ideal location for stargazing. The Park’s remote location also adds to its appeal, allowing visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse themselves in the beauty of the night sky.

Best places to stargaze in the Yorkshire Dales

There are many excellent locations throughout the Yorkshire Dales National Park to stargaze. Some of the most popular include our Dark Sky Discovery Sites:

  • Hawes: Hawes is a small market town in the Yorkshire Dales. The town is located in a remote location, away from the light pollution of nearby towns and cities, making it an ideal spot for stargazing.
  • Tan Hill Inn: Located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, Tan Hill Inn is the highest pub in Britain and one of the best places to stargaze. The pub is located in a remote location, away from the light pollution of nearby towns and cities.
  • Malham Cove: Malham Cove is a popular tourist attraction in the Yorkshire Dales National Park due to it’s iconic landscape. However, it is also an excellent location for stargazing. Visitors can climb to the top of Malham Cove to enjoy a panoramic view of the night sky.
  • Buckden Car Park: An officially recognised place where anyone can stargaze with minimal lighting and free of charge to stargazers between 7pm and 6am.

Tips for stargazing in the Yorkshire Dales

  • Check the weather: The weather can have a significant impact on stargazing conditions. Be sure to check the weather forecast before heading out to stargaze.
  • Pack warm clothing: Even during the summer months, the temperature can drop significantly at night. Pack warm clothing, including hats and gloves, to stay comfortable while stargazing.
  • Bring binoculars: Binoculars can enhance your stargazing experience by allowing you to see more detail in the night sky.
  • Join a stargazing tour: If you’re new to stargazing, joining a stargazing tour can be an excellent way to learn more about the night sky and get the most out of your stargazing experience.
  • Get involved in our annual Dark Skies Festival: Local businesses in and around the Yorkshire Dales National Park host various events to help visitors get under the starry skies and experience the best of the Yorkshire Dales by night. The main Festival will take place from 14 February to 02 March 2025.
  • Stay with a ‘Dark Sky Friendly’ businesses: These businesses offer specific activities, facilities, information or services to enhance your stargazing experience.

Stargazing in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is an unforgettable experience that offers visitors the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse themselves in the beauty of the night sky. With its designated Dark Sky Reserve status and remote location, the park is one of the best locations in the UK for stargazing. So why not pack your warm clothing, grab your binoculars, and head to the Yorkshire Dales National Park for a stargazing adventure you’ll never forget?

More stargazing info

Find out where to go and what you can see in the night sky go to our specific ‘Stargazing’ page. You can also read our Stargazing leaflet for top tips on viewing the sky at night. For a calendar of all the interesting astronomical events to look out for month by month, head to Go Stargazing’s website

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