Explore the dark night skies at Peaks and Pods and begin your own stargazing adventure right here. Learn about the thousands of stars right above our heads with the help of our Stargazer Kit – a wicker basket full of goodies for the intrepid explorer. Point the binoculars to the sky, turn the sky wheel, set up your stargazing app and read about the stars – all whilst keeping warm and cosy under our fleecy constellation blankets. You’ll be star struck in no time!
Why is Peaks and Pods a good location for stargazing?
We’re on the edge of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and close to Gisburn Forest Hub – one of the AONB’s five Dark Sky Discovery Sites. The Forest of Bowland is one of the darkest parts of England – we can see thousands of stars overhead.
Peaks and Pods is a Dark Sky Friendly Business, awarded by the AONB for promoting stargazing and working to reduce light pollution. Our elevated position on our farm allows wonderful, uninterrupted sky views and each pod has its own private patio area for stargazing. All the pods have fairy lights tucked under the roof at the front, but generally the lighting on site is low-level or motion activated.
The fabulous starry sky photos on this page were all taken at Peaks and Pods by guest Nathan Roker. That’s how beautiful the nights can be!
What’s in the Peaks and Pods Stargazer Kit?
- Binoculars for adults and children
- Planisphere (star wheel)
- Stargazing books for adults and children
- Stargazing app sheet
- Constellation guide poster
- Stargazer fleece blankets
All guests may borrow the kit for one night during their stay, free of charge. Just drop us an email to arrange it before your stay.
What special events are planned in the local area?
Bowland’s Dark Skies Festival comes to nearby Gisburn Forest on February 18th 2020.
The ‘After Dark Family Event’ will be held from 5pm to 6.30pm. Explore the forest at night – make your own space themed pizzas to cook over the campfire, make a woodland star and discover a whole new world after dark. Children £9. Adults £4. Under 3 free.
Booking is essential. Make a booking through Bookwhen.com/outdoors4all. For further information phone 07814 464872/07801 794514 or email email@example.com.
‘Tales from a Dark Forest Night’ will take place at Gisburn Forest from 7pm to 8.30pm.
Join outdoor lovers in the forest where they’ll be keeping cosy in the yurt, listening to night-time tales with local storyteller Sue Allonby. It’ll be great for families with children eight years and over. £3 per child (adults are free).
Booking is essential. Tel: 01200 448000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I find out more about Dark Sky Discovery Status?
The Forest of Bowland AONB has information on its website – forestofbowland.com/star-gazing.
The AONB has been working with local amateur astonomer Robert Ince, who is running events in and around Bowland during 2020. Visit his Go Stargazing website for more information – gostargazing.co.uk/organiser/robertince/.
How is stargazing different during the seasons?
Information by Robert Ince:
A great time to view brighter galaxies, and planets like Jupiter and Saturn are also well placed. Nights are still long and the weather is warming up so it’s a great time to observe. The constellation of Leo dominates the southern sky.
You will see fewer stars around mid-summer, but watch out for ghostly noctilucent clouds high in the sky. You will also see tantalising glimpses of the Milky Way to whet apetites for the months ahead. Watch out for August’s Perseid meteor shower – one of the year’s best. Truly dark skies return at the end of July.
Together with the spring, this is a prime viewing time Nights are properly dark and the Milky Way is overhead in the evening, resembling a shimmering river of stars. Star clusters also look fantastic. Meteor showers like the Leonids can put on a good show in November.
The season of sparkling skies! The sky is often at its most transparent as temperatures dip. Glittering star clusters and magnificent constellations like Orion grace the sky, along with bright nebula. Wrap up warm and the rewards can be amazing.