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Days Out: Dark Skies Festival, Yorkshire

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Many people start off a new year looking for a new hobby, or aiming to finally explore something they’ve always wanted to – and the 2018 Dark Skies Festival is great way to satisfy your cosmic curiosity.

The festival, organised by the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Park, runs during February.

Visitors can get starry-eyed with the guidance of expert astronomers.

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There are plenty of options – some events serve up culinary delights to go along with your adventure, while for runners, walkers and cyclists there are plenty of active options, including a 3.5 mile guided night walk through the Land of Iron at Rosedale, bike orienteering at Hawes or an early morning social run up Great Shunner Fell for the sunrise.

Actor and former Cbeebies presenter Alex Winters will present a ‘Stories under the stars’ evening in the conservatory of the Spa Hotel in Saltburn.

If you’re looking for an adrenaline hit, you can hurtle into the darkness on a zip wire at Go Ape in Dalby Forest or explore the underground world at Crackpot Cave in Swaledale.

Learn how to capture the amazing views on camera with a session led by photographers at scenic spots like Settle, Bolton Abbey, Malham Cove, Sutton Bank and Whitby.

If you’ve got a love for wildlife, try an event such as the owl prowl at the National Centre of Birds of Prey at Helmsley or a Senses by Starlight Forest Schools evening in the woods at Aysgarth Falls.

There are lots of events for children to get involved in making rockets, telescopes, lanterns and planet pomp oms – and plenty more workshops for grown-ups who want to get involved too.

Whether you pick one event or try out a few, it’s an experience you’ll never forget – so wrap up warm and explore.

FACTFILE - DARK SKIES FESTIVAL

Dates: runs from February 9-25

Website: www.darkskiesnationalparks.org.uk

Events: Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors, South Downs and Exmore

Prices: generally £12 adult, £8 child but check website for details

More information: www.yorkshire.com

More days out suggestions HERE.