TV presenter, village ghost walks lined up for Dark Skies Festival

Ravenscar dark skies'picture: Tony Bartholomew.
Ravenscar dark skies'picture: Tony Bartholomew.

A children’s TV presenter will join the stellar line-up in the 2018 Dark Skies Festival which takes place next month across various locations.

More than 30 new events and locations will feature in the festival, which runs from February 9 to 25.

These will include a Stories under the stars storytelling evening hosted by actor and former CBeebies presenter Alex Winters in the conservatory of the Spa Hotel, Saltburn.

Other new events around the Whitby area include:

· family crafting activities at both YHA Whitby and Boggle Hole

· night-time photography workshops from Whitby Bandstand and the YHA with Richard Burdon (on February 17 and 24)

· ghost walks at Robin Hood’s Bay and a candlelit walk through Staithes, learning more about smuggling and the stories behind the shipwrecks.

· a romantic afternoon tea followed by some stargazing at the Old Chapel (now Secret Seaview) in Robin Hood’s Bay on February 14, plus a showing of the classic movie ET at Secret Seaview on February 10.

Adrenaline-seekers can also hurtle into the darkness on a zip wire at Go-Ape in Dalby Forest or venture underground at Crackpot Cave in Swaledale to see caving’s answer to the stars with the sparkling calcite formations in the cavernous roof. The event is jointly organised by the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks.

For crafters and art appreciators, the Inspired by… gallery in Danby will be showcasing how artists and jewellery designers interpret the beauty of the National Parks’ dark skies.

Mike Hawtin, Outdoor Activities Tourism Officer for the North York Moors National Park Authority, said: “Whether visitors want to feel as though they’re careering into the cosmos, sedately studying the stars or being wowed by the world of space, the festival has an event for them.”

The Moors National Park Centre at Danby also has a Dark Sky Discovery location, where skies are sufficiently dark to potentially view the Milky Way with the naked eye.

Visit www.darkskiesnationalparks.org.uk for the full programme and for booking details.

A number of events will be free while others will have a small charge attached.