Set within the North York Moors International Dark Sky Reserve, Seafern Cottage is one of the best places in the country to see stars on a stargazing holiday. If you live in a town or a city, a light pollution holiday is going to be an ‘enlightening experience’ (excuse the pun) and one that will offer a whole host of events and activities specially created to introduce you to the wonders of the night sky.
WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT DARK SKIES?
In areas with light pollution you can probably still see hundreds of stars and you’ve most likely identified Orion’s Belt or The Plough. However, it is unlikely that you will have been fortunate enough to have seen the Milky Way, Saturn or the Northern Lights with the naked eye. In truly dark skies you will see thousands, not just hundreds of stars and their intensity is simply amazing.
WHEN TO GO STARGAZING?
Stargazing season runs from September to May and there is something to see each month. Autumn is the best time to see The Milky Way and meteors or shooting stars. The best time to observe star clusters like The Pleiades in the Northern Hemisphere is during the winter months, from October to March. The North York Moors organize two annual Dark skies Festivals, one in February and one in October which you can attend and learn all about the stars that blanket the skies above us. Take a look at their events programme here.
NEW TO STARGAZING?
Join Large Outdoors at Sutton Bank or Astro Dog at Dalby Forest for a guided tour of the night sky, using telescopes and binoculars, they will teach you the basics. If you'd like to capture the stars on camera you can join Steve Bell Photography to learn about taking images and when it's best to photograph the Milky Way, Noctilucent Clouds and the Northern Lights.
STARGAZING - SELF GUIDED
You can use Apps and printed guides to identify the constellations yourself. I am always amazed by how many stars you can see from the Seafern Cottage garden and by using our FSC guide and apps like Stellarium you can easily identify the constellations. Combining a walk with stargazing is a great way to keep warm, stay out longer and increase the opportunity to see more.
GUIDED STARGAZING – new for 2024
Unlock the mysteries of the skies and let us arrange for an experienced astronomer to come to you and deliver a dark skies session in the comfort of the Seafern Cottage garden. From £250 this 2 hour private tour of the skies is suitable for anyone over 12 years of age. Our stargazing guide would bring with them a range of telescopes and binoculars.
If photography is your thing let us put you in touch with your very own landscape and dark sky photography tutor for the weekend.
Seafern Cottage is accredited as a North York Moors dark skies friendly place to stay. We provide star charts, binoculars, torches, seating and blankets for you to enjoy gazing at the stars from our enclosed garden.