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YDNP-West Orton Calley, Cumbria

Current tourism projects

Our project list is always a growing one! Here is some information on some of the things we will be doing over the coming months for tourism businesses in the Yorkshire Dales.

Encouraging businesses to become Dark Sky Friendly

We are now offering tourism businesses the opportunity to become recognised as being Dark Sky Friendly, by signing up to our Dark Sky Friendly business initiative. Some of you may already qualify, or are very close to qualifying, so please have a look at the measures what you’ll need to offer. It’s free to apply and successful applications will be provided with a ‘Yorkshire Dales Dark Sky Friendly Business’ logo to use and will be highlighted on our website as being Dark Sky Friendly. You can learn more about how to be a Dark Sky Friendly Business here.

Astro-tourism training course

In January 2021 we offered a free astro-tourism training course for tourism businesses in the Yorkshire Dales. Run by astro-tourism experts Neill Sanders and Richard Darn, it was a great opportunity to learn more about what our International Dark Sky Reserve status means for the Yorkshire Dales and what benefits this might bring to local businesses such as the growing interest from visitors looking to experience a truly dark sky. The session was recorded so if you’d like to view the session, please contact us.

Updating the visitor section of our website

We have recently been working hard to update and improve the visitor section of our website. It is still work in progress (including improving the search facility) and we know there are sections that are incomplete and need updating. We are hoping to eventually list all tourism businesses operating in the National Park so if you would like to be included for FREE please contact us. We have a high number of entries that are missing an image and we’d love to feature more, so if you are able, please don’t forget to send us an image (landscape in orientation and larger than 2000px wide) to feature alongside your listing.

If you would like to be added or have any information changed please contact us and we will be happy to update this for you.

The Yorkshire Dales Experience Collection

During 2018 and 2019, we worked to develop the ‘National Parks Experience Collection’, as part of the Discover England Fund. The project aims to increase the number of international visitors to England, by supporting local businesses to create immersive experiences which will appeal to international visitors. In 2020 this project was extended to create bookable, authentic experiences, aimed at the domestic market.  Whilst the funded work to create new National Park experiences has come to an end, we know there are so many more opportunities out there that we’d like to promote.  So, if you’re already offering or interested in creating authentic experiences which sell what’s special about the National Park, please contact us.

Our Festivals

Our Festivals are really taking off now and we are now focusing on our Dark Skies Fringe Festival from 22 to 31 October 2021 and our Dark Skies Festival 2022 which is taking place from 18 February to 6 March 2022.

For our Dark Skies Festival 2021 we went virtual for the first time. The majority of events were presented by phenomenal astronomers who, in normal times, we would work with during our festival, so it gave the audiences and businesses the opportunity to see and meet presenters who they can see for real when we host actual festivals.

We hosted over 40 events, reached over 4 million people on social media, engaged with over 43,000 people, and entertained 178,000 people. There was a variety of fascinating talks on the night sky, giving insight into our precious wildlife when the sun goes down, tips on stargazing and family friendly activities such as making ‘Constellation Biscuits’! Read our festival full report here.

The Three Peaks

The Three Peaks area is one of the most well known and most walked places within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. If you want to work with us as a Friend of the Three Peaks there are opportunities such as featuring on the Three Peaks App, profit share on retailing Three Peaks souvenirs, opportunities for volunteering for practical work with the Three Peaks ranger as well as showing your support for the work to improve the rights of way in the area.