Save the Date: Second stargazing festival will be out of this world

Save the Date: Second stargazing festival will be out of this world

Dates for the second North Pennines Stargazing Festival have been announced and after last year’s stellar success, the 2018 festival promises to be out of this world.


Running from 20 October until 4 November stargazers in and around the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark will have almost 30 star-themed events and tourist experiences to enjoy. The programme covers the autumn half-term holidays for schools in Durham, Cumbria and Northumberland and will offer family-friendly events to enjoy the dark skies of the North Pennines AONB. There will also be lots events aimed at aspiring astronomers as well as visitors with a general interest in the night sky and stargazing.

 

Shane Harris, Responsible Tourism Lead for the North Pennines AONB Partnership, said: “The North Pennines AONB is the darkest mainland AONB, and has some of the darkest skies in England. Away from the intense light pollution in many areas, there are amazing opportunities to see the wonders of the night sky.

 

“The bigger and better festival this year will mean that more people will have the chance to come along to one of the events, and there are opportunities for visitors to the area to come and stay to enjoy the amazing experience of our truly dark skies.”

 

Last year over 800 people attended Stargazing Festival events, including over 250 at the family Skywatch at Killhope Lead Mining Museum. This popular Skywatch event will run again in 2018 alongside numerous new additions and experiences to the programme.

 

Michelle Gorman, Managing Director at Visitor County Durham: “We’re thrilled, once again to be working in partnership with the North Pennines AONB Partnership on the second North Pennines Stargazing Festival. Following on from the huge success of last year’s event, we’re hopeful that the exciting programme of star-studded events and experiences will attract visitors of all ages to the area to appreciate the magnificence of the North Pennines dark skies”.

 

The 2018 North Pennines Stargazing Festival is once again being organised by the North Pennines AONB Partnership. It is being funded by Durham County Council, Northumberland County Council and Visit County Durham.

 

For more information on the North Pennines Stargazing Festival events as they are released, please visit: http://www.northpennines.org.uk/exploring/stargazing/

 

 

ENDS

 

Notes for editors

Visit County Durham: Sophie Hardy T: 03000 261 223 E: sophie.hardy@visitcountydurham.org  

Social Media: Twitter: @VCDBusiness | Facebook: VCD Business | LinkedIn: Visit County Durham

 

  1. The North Pennines is one of England’s most special places – a peaceful, unspoilt landscape with a rich history and vibrant natural beauty. It was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1988. The purpose of this nationally recognised designation is the conservation and enhancement of the natural beauty of the area.

 

  1. At almost 2,000 sq. kilometres the North Pennines is the second largest of the 46 AONBs (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and is one of the most peaceful and unspoilt places in England. Visit www.landscapesforlife.org.uk for information about the AONB Family.

 

 

  1. The North Pennines lies between the National Parks of the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and Northumberland with the urban centres of County Durham away to the east. Parts of the AONB are within the boundaries of five local authorities; the three counties of Cumbria, Durham and Northumberland, Carlisle City Council and Eden District Council.

 

  1. The North Pennines AONB Partnership is an alliance of 24 public, statutory and voluntary sector bodies with an interest in the future of the AONB. The work of the Partnership is carried out by its Staff Unit which takes action to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area, to raise awareness of its special qualities and to improve the quality of life for local people.

 

  1. UNESCO Global Geopark - As well as being an AONB the North Pennines is a UNESCO Global Geopark. This puts the area’s Geopark status in the same UNESCO family as World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves. UNESCO Global Geoparks are places with outstanding geology where special effort is made to make the most of geological heritage to support community and economy. Locally this includes producing geo-trails, developing projects with school and community groups, producing displays for visitor attractions and holding geology festivals and events. Funding has been secured for a new programme of activities for 2018 – 2021 that includes new downloadable trails, interactive facilities at Bowlees Visitor Centre and a range of community and school projects.

 

  1. About Visit County Durham:

     Visit County Durham (VCD) is the Destination Management Organisation for County Durham working on behalf of businesses and public agencies. They came into being on 1 April 2006 and are a private, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, with a board of directors including an executive director.

     The Company’s main funder is Durham County Council. The private sector also contributes financially to our work in return for benefits and activities that meet their needs.

     Visit County Durham assists the county to fulfil its potential as one of North East England’s lead destinations, attracting visitors to the region from across the UK and from target overseas markets. Its objective is to ensure that the tourism sector performs to its maximum capacity and brings economic benefits to the county in the form of wealth and job creation. Its broad aims are to attract people to the area and to provide visitors with the best possible experience

Published: 13, June, 2018


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