There are currently just 17 dark sky reserves in the world, listed by the International Dark-Sky Association. Six of these reserves are in the UK, with two in Yorkshire – the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks.

The stunning dark sky of Yorkshire’s two National Parks, free from light pollution, are one of the county’s very special qualities. They are officially the best places to see stars because of the low light pollution levels and clear horizons. From a town or city, you’ll be lucky to spot more than a handful of stars but the further away you get from streetlights, the better the view – in the darkest areas of Yorkshire’s National Parks you can see several thousand at any one time.

This accolade provides Yorkshire with a great opportunity to celebrate its exceptional dark skies, promoting locations, events and businesses which provide opportunities to look up into the night sky.  As well as enhancing habitats for wildlife, improving health and wellbeing, and bringing increased economic benefit to its tourist industry.

It also gives opportunity to enhance Yorkshire’s dark skies by giving increased importance to appropriate lighting – sensitive to the impact on its surroundings.  An additional benefit being to reduce unnecessary consumption of electricity thereby minimising carbon footprint and energy costs for properties.

The Yorkshire Dark Skies Festival will be held in 2023 on from the 10th to the 26th of February, with events in both National Parks. The Dark Skies Festival is all about discovering, learning, and enjoying the dark and the stars you can see as a result.

Here you can find all the brilliant ‘Dark Skies’ events that businesses in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks are holding:

Article supplied by John Darby, Yorkshire Blue Badge Guide –