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Dark Skies Festival Walks

Encounter the Magnificence of the Dark Skies on the North York Moors

With outstanding panoramic views across areas of ancient woodland, star clustered dark skies, splendid primeval abbeys and an abundance of wildlife makes for a breath-taking experience of seclusion and peacefulness.

For when the winter sun goes down and the darkness is upon us we feel compelled to retreat within the safety of our homes; closing out the nocturnal countryside instead of embracing in its enchantment. And yet, for the select few willing to break the taboo, the dark skies are a magical world.

When the moon is full, this secret landscape glows with an eerie sense of the eternal. It’s like walking into your dreams. Ridges and hilltops make good night walking, the open sky sparkling above. A shimmering moonrise over sea or lake startles with its sombre beauty. Spend your time slowly and silently. You’ll return blinking in the light, feeling like new, for it is truly amazing what can be seen in the dark.

All the walks start and finish at a highly recommended local hostelry or very close to one.

Please feel free to participate in as many walking events as you wish, each one explores a different section of the North York Moors National Park.

We will point out the main constellations, and the basics of celestial navigation.

Meet new friends as you walk and talk, relishing this new walking experience.

All the walks are led by experienced mountain leaders who take care of navigation so just enjoy the moment.

Continue the chat and join us for a sociable drink to round of the evening.


Dark Skies - Walking in Heartbeat Country

Friday 9th February 2024

Surrounded by high moors and interlaced with cascading streams and waterfalls, Heartbeat Country is a walker’s paradise. You will experience the Mallyan Spout Waterfall, which at over 60 feet, is the tallest waterfall on the North York Moors.

Situated on the popular North York Moors railway line with its magnificent steam engines Goathland station was also used by Warner Brothers as the setting for Hogsmeade Station in Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. For over 18 years this moors gem was known to millions has Aidensfield, and makes for one of the most intriguing walking locations within the National Park.

Robin Hoods Bay – A Smugglers Paradise

Saturday 10th | Friday 23rd February 2024

This coastal walk starts and finishes in Robin Hoods Bay the busiest smuggling community on the Yorkshire coastline during the 18th century. With countless tales of thieves, rogues and smugglers, this makes for one of the most intriguing walking locations within the National Park.

For this walk we follow the old railway line towards Whitby before heading back to the Bay along the Cleveland Way, with thunderous waves below and amazing dark skies above, experience this beautiful section of the Yorkshire Heritage Coastline.

Sutton Bank – White Horse Circuit

Friday 16th February 2024

Once described by James Herriot as the finest view in England, what better place to start your dark skies adventure. Heading off across Roulston Scar, where ancient tribes dating back to 400BC roamed this impressive plateau. From the plateau we descend down to the famous White Horse of Kilburn, before heading back up to the top and across to White Mare crag where Sir Harry De Scriven met his fate one stormy night.

The Cistercian Walk – A circular walk from Helmsley to Rievaulx Abbey and back to Helmsley

Wednesday 21st February 2024

This is a 7 mile circular walk linking ancient monuments set within the beautiful North York Moors. Starting in the charming Yorkshire market town of Helmsley we head off through the grounds of Duncombe Park before picking up the Cleveland Way and heading off towards Rievaulx Abbey, dating back to 1131became the largest and richest Cistercian Abbey in England. We then head back via the Cleveland Way and return to Helmsley.

Hole of Horcum – Levisham circular walk

Saturday 24th February 2024


The Hole of Horcum also known as the Devil’s Punchbowl is a spectacular natural amphitheatre scooped out of Levisham Moor. Legend says that the hole was formed when the giant Wade grabbed a handful of earth to throw at his wife Bell.

Reality suggests however that it was created over millennia by glacial meltwater. The path around the hole is on an earthwork dyke, which denotes a prehistoric boundary.

This is an 6 mile (10km) 3.5 hour circular walk that combines the Hole of Horcum/Levisham circular walk. For this walk we meet at the Hole of Horcum carpark situated on the A169.