The landscapes of the Forest are captivating by day but after the sun sets there’s a whole new world to discover in the dark skies over Bowland.
Truly dark skies are becoming increasingly rare in our crowded little country. Light pollution is creeping into almost every corner of the UK, diluting the pitch blackness of night and obscuring the stars for much of the population.
The night skies over Bowland have recently been recognized as some of the darkest in England and granted official status as Dark Sky Discovery Sites.
The Stargazers’ Calendar
WINTER: the absolute best time of year, when the skies are darkest and the stars at their brightest – and children don’t need to stay up late to enjoy the spectacle. Look out for the Milky Way on moonless nights, stretching like a faint plume of smoke directly overhead.
SPRING: Warmer nights make for more comfortable viewing and long dark nights mean there’s still plenty to see. Look out for spring constellations like Leo and the Plough.
SUMMER: On the plus side, it’s warmer, but the sky doesn’t get properly dark during June and July, so wait until August when you should look out for the Perseids meteor shower around the 13th.
AUTUMN: Dark skies return and with them, your chance to see fainter objects like the Andromeda Galaxy – the furthest object from earth that is (just) visible with the naked eye. Look for a faint blotch in the sky just above the constellation of Pegasus on moonless nights.