Exmoor Dark Skies

Enjoy the Exmoor Dark Sky Experience at Simonsbath House Hotel

- Lovely viewing space at front of hotel
- Ground sheets/blankets provided
- Dining by arrangement to fit night skies programme
- See Exmoor Events (Exmoor events) for details of any organised activities during your visit to Simonsbath House

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Exmoor National Park is home to some of the darkest skies in the country so it's a great place to gaze at the stars.

Exmoor Dark Skies Festival Friday 22nd October to Sunday 7th November 2021. Now in its fifth year, this annual festival comprises a series of stargazing events all over the National Park

Click here to go the 2021 EXMOOR DARK SKIES FESTIVAL WEBPAGE

For thousands of years, humans have looked up at the night sky and wondered at what they saw. This wonder helped to define our sense of who we are, our myths and legends, our religious beliefs and a sense of our place in a wider cosmos. But truly dark skies are becoming less common and at places like Exmoor, where there is minimal light pollution, on a cloudless night you can see the milky way, thousands of stars and astronomical sights with the naked eye. Exmoor has been designated as an International Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark Sky association. So why not take the time on Exmoor to look up and rediscover your sense of wonder?

Some particularly good spots for stargazing are:

-Holdstone Hill
-County Gate
-Brendon Two Gates
-Webbers Post
-Anstey Gate
-Haddon Hill
-Wimbleball Lake

Dark Skies Pocket Guide - to help you get the most from Exmoor's dark skies we have produced a pocket guide - download it here or pick up a copy from one of our National Park Centres

Astronomy Equipment - we sell a range of books, telescopes and other helpful material at our National Park Centres

Telescope Hire is available to all from our National Park Centres - You can see one of the telescopes and how to use them in this short video. Telescopes can be hired from the 3 Exmoor National Park Centres (Dulverton, Dunster and Lynmouth) which you then take out yourself onto Exmoor to see the stars.Check the link for each Centre's opening hours and contact details to book your hire.£25.00 cost of hire for a night, £10.00 cost for any additional nights, £100 deposit (which is refunded). We are currently implementing a 72 hour period between hire in order to clean and isolate the equipment due to the Coronavirus.

Exmoor Weather Reports - Good weather for stargazing? Check out the Exmoor Weather forecast from the Met Office here

Dark Sky Places Annual Report - Over the last 12 months many individuals and organisations have been continuing to promote and protect Exmoor’s beautiful dark night time skies. Find out more in our annual Dark Sky Places Report prepared for the International Dark Sky Association.

If you're thinking of visiting Exmoor and would like to contact someone about stargazing and stargazing events then please email Katrina on [email protected]

EXMOOR DARK SKY FRIENDLY' ACCREDITED BUSINESSES

The following accommodation and experience/activity providers have all received dark skies training and have been accredited as Dark Sky Friendly businesses. They understand the importance of Exmoor's dark skies, why they need protecting and can help you make the most of our incredibly dark skies with advice and stargazing equipment/resources available for your stay.

Experience Providers:

-Wild About Exmoor (Experience providers) www.wildaboutexmoor.com

Accommodation Providers:

Court Farm, Exford (Holiday Cottages) www.courtfarm.co.uk
-Exmoor Character Cottages, Minehead (Holiday Cottages) www.exmoorcharactercottages.co.uk
-Heale Farm, Parracombe (Holiday Cottages and Retreats) www.healefarm.co.uk
-New House Farm Cottages, Witheridge (Holiday Cottages) www.newhousecottages.co.uk
-Pinkery Centre for Outdoor Learning, Simonsbath (School and large private group exclusive bookings) www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/pinkery-centre
-Porlock Visitor Centre, Porlock (Visitor Centre) www.porlock.co.uk
-Rosanda House, Minehead (Self Catering Holiday Flats) www.rosanda.co.uk
-Salad Days & Holi Beach Huts, Dunster (Holiday accommodation) www.dunsterbeachhut.com
-Stockham Farm, Dulverton (Holiday Cottages) www.stockhamfarmexmoor.co.uk
-Syms Cottage, Cutcombe (Holiday Cottage) Facebook link
=Westerclose House, Withypool (Holiday Cottages) www.westerclose.co.uk
-Wimbleball Lake, South West Lakes Trust (Camping & Activity Providers) www.southwestlakes.co.uk/location/wimbleball-lake
-Yarn Market Hotel, Dunster (Hotel) www.yarnmarkethotel.co.uk The hotel is running a special two night Stargazing Break from 26-28 February 2021. Email [email protected] for full details.