We’re backing second Dark Skies Festival

We’re backing Exmoor’s second Dark Skies Festival from October 20 until November 4 (2018) with a Pie at Night Stargazing evening on November 1.

During the event expert astronomer, Seb Jay will be on hand with his telescopes to guide guests through the night sky.

Those who don’t have a telescope can have one-to-one sessions with our co-owner and chef, John, who is also a keen astronomer, using the hotel’s telescope to view the night sky as well during the evening.

Exmoor National Park is Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve and it’s not very well-known out there as a place to stargaze, with or without a telescope, so we’re keen to support anything like this that helps raise awareness of this wonderful night sky and what we can see from our very own doorstep.

Exmoor’s international dark sky designation means that in favourable conditions it is a fantastic place for viewing the stars with the naked eye and a telescope isn’t always necessary.

The evening will start from 7pm where we will welcome guests to our restaurant and dining room for drinks and a hearty Cottage Pie supper will then be served from 7.30pm. A little later in the evening, Seb, who wrote the book ‘Exmoor Dark Skies’, and John will be on hand with the telescopes to guide everyone through the night sky. Seb will impart some of his extensive knowledge gained from more than 20 years of stargazing.

Exmoor is one of the best places in the country for stargazing as it has very little light pollution and is often free from clouds. According to the Campaign for Dark Skies, less than 10% of people in the UK can see a natural night sky full of stars above them. But interest is growing annually.

For Exmoor Dark Skies Festival, John is more than happy to guide guests who stay with us through the wonders of the solar system, and beyond, with the aid of the hotel’s Newtonian Telescope.
As one of his other passions is photography, there’s always the chance for guests to do some astrophotography as there are some great photos to be had when the skies are clear.
Tickets for the Pie at Night Stargazing evening on Thursday, November 1 cost £19.50 per person.

This includes either a 125ml glass of wine, a bottle of beer/cider or a soft drink and a cottage pie supper plus the guided talk by Seb and chance to view the stars. In the event of cloudy weather, Seb will give an indoor presentation instead.