Cley Night Sky

Norfolk Coast AONB Dark Skies Festival September 2021

North Norfolk boasts some of the darkest skies in the country and is one of the few places in the UK where you can see the northern lights, or aurora borealis. To celebrate our incredible dark skies, the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is running a Dark Skies Festival between 25 September - 10 October 2021, when you can enjoy a range of events along the coast. Booking is essential for most events – find out more here.

Please note that face-to-face events are subject to Covid-19 social distancing regulations in place at that time, so please follow instructions from the event organisers as required. If necessary, events may need to be cancelled or switched to online at the last minute.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT NORTH NORFOLK'S DARK SKIES

Saturday 25 September 2021: Norfolk Coast AONB Dark Skies Festival launch.
James Wild MP will officially launch the 2021 Norfolk Coast Dark Skies Festival which this year has a theme of nature and dark skies. Kate Dougan from the Norfolk Coast Partnership will describe the dark skies work in the AONB and John Craythorne from King's Lynn & District Astronomy Society (KLADAS) will give a tour of the skies. Following this, if weather permits, enjoy a spot of stargazing on the terrace. Refreshments will be provided.
Venue: Thornham Village Hall. Time: 7.00-10.00pm.
Booking: If you would like to make a donation towards the festival on the night, you are most welcome to. Book your space here. Contact: aonb@norfolk.gov.uk

Star Gazing

Saturday 25 September 2021: Horsey After Dark.
Experience an exclusive after hours event organised by the National Trust. Discover the spooky history of the windpump, learn about the nocturnal creatures that come alive at night and enjoy spectacular unspoilt views of the night sky over the broads. There will be night sky photography workshops, lantern making, and the café will be open. Enjoy a hot drink in the firefly garden and soak in the unique atmosphere of Horsey after dark.
Venue: Horsey Windpump, Great Yarmouth NR29 4EF. 6-9pm.
Booking: Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for children. Booking is advisable - send your first name and number of adult or child tickets to horseywindpump@nationaltrust.org.uk. There will be a limited number of tickets available on the evening and payment will be taken on arrival.

Horsey Windpump

Saturday 25 September 2021: Into the Dark at Holkham NNR.
Take an exclusive night-time walk around Holkham National Nature Reserve with our expert wildlife guide. Starting as the sun begins to go down over the marshes, we will explore the pinewoods, freshmarshes, sand dunes, salt marsh and beach. With some creatures settling down for the night and some just waking up this will be a sensory treat. Bats, owls, moths and a whole lot more will take centre stage on this atmospheric journey around this wonderful part of the Norfolk Coast. This event is aimed at families, children aged 5yrs+. Please note you will need to be able to walk leisurely for 2 hours. Please also wear appropriate clothing for the weather and sturdy footwear.
Venue: The Lookout, Lady Anne's Drive, Holkham. 6.30 - 8.30pm.
Sorry this event has now sold out.

Holkham LookOut

Saturday 25 September and Saturday 9 October 2021: Dark Sky Adventure at How Hill.
A guided night walk to experience the weird and wonderful night-time world around How Hill National Nature Reserve in the heart of the Broads; an adventure of astronomy, night creatures and sensory discovery; rounded off with just a touch of night magic! Time: 7.00-9.00pm
Cost: £6 adult, £5 for under 16s. £18 Family (2 adult 2 Children) Age 7+ (No unaccompanied children).
Booking essential: Email Toad Hole Cottage (ToadholeTIC@broads-authority.gov.uk) or call 01603 756096

Visit North Norfolk

Sunday 26 September 2021: Stargazing at Wiveton Down Dark Sky Discovery Site
Join the North Norfolk Astronomers to see the stars high up on Wiveton Downs, one of four Dark Sky Discovery Sites on the Norfolk Coast. Named because of their pristine night skies that allow you to marvel at the Milky Way and other celestial wonders. This event is weather dependent, please dress appropriately and wear sturdy footwear as the ground is uneven. If you need to bring a torch, please bring a red torch or one with a red filter on it. For more information contact NNAS at events@nnas.org. This event is free and booking is not essential.
Venue: Wiveton Down Dark Sky Discovery Site - NR257SN: Travel 1200m south-west from Wiveton village. At the brown sign turn left over a cattle grid and into the reserve car park.

Star Gazing

Thursday 30 September 2021: Wild at Night at RSPB Titchwell Marsh.
Titchwell Marsh RSPB Reserve is one of 4 Dark Sky Discovery Sites on the Norfolk Coast - named because of their incredibly pristine dark skies. This guided walk as the sun sets will provide you with the opportunity to see and celebrate the wonders of dark skies, specifically for wildlife, as our knowledgeable guide points out some of the amazing nocturnal creatures that call the reserve home. Event runs from 6.30 - 8.00pm.
Venue: Titchwell Marsh Dark Sky Discovery Site (Follow signs from the A149 Coast Road to RSPB Titchwell. Note that there is limited parking in the staff car park after 5.00pm and ample spaces in main car park. From the car park follow path past visitor centre onto main reserve path. Walk north for approximately 150m to the first bench).
Booking essential: Places are limited, please email titchwell@rspb.org.uk or call 01485 210779 to book.

RSPB Titchwell

Saturday 2 October 2021: A guided tour of the night sky.
Discover the wonders of the night sky from one of our Designated Dark Sky Discovery Sites with highly experienced astronomers from the King's Lynn Astronomical Society. There will be a collection of telescopes for people to see Jupiter, Saturn, galaxies, star clusters and much more. The event is subject to clear skies, please wear sturdy footwear and dress for all weathers. 7.00pm til late. 
Venue: Barrow Common Dark Sky Discovery Site, Brancaster (From the A149 at the Jolly Sailors pub in Brancaster Staithe, head south on Common Lane for 1km to Barrow Common).
Booking: The event is free of charge, but booking is essential. To book your place phone John Craythorne on 01945 701038 or email jcraythorne43@gmail.com.

Dark skies

Sunday 2 October 2021: Star gazing from Kelling Heath Dark Sky Discovery Site.
Join the North Norfolk Astronomers to discover the skies above Kelling Heath, one of four Dark Sky Discovery Sites on the Norfolk Coast. Named because of their pristine night skies that allow you to marvel at the Milky Way and other celestial wonders. This event is weather dependent, please dress appropriately and wear sturdy footwear as the ground is uneven. If you need to bring a torch, please bring a red torch or one with a red filter on it. Event timings: 7.30-10.30pm.
Venue: Kelling Heath Dark Sky Discovery Site (From entrance to the Park, drive to the main car park adjacent to the Village Square. From here follow the main road on foot, to the left for around 200m until you reach a track on the right. Walk approximately 55m down the track until you reach the sports field).
Booking essential: The event is free of charge, but booking is essential. To book your place phone Kelling Heath Holiday Park on 01263 588181. Meet at reception for a guided walk by NNAS to the Dark Sky Discovery Site.

Wednesday 6 October 2021: Dark Skies Evening Stroll.
A walk around Cley reserve, at dusk, led by one of the NWT volunteer guides. This will be a chance to experience the unique atmosphere of our beautiful coastal reserve as darkness descends, possibly see some unusual wildlife, and weather permitting, enjoy the night-time skies in an area with minimal light pollution. Please bring a small hand torch.
Venue: NWT Cley Marshes Nature Reserve, 5.00 - 7.00pm.
Booking essential: £4.50 NWT members, £6.50 non-members, plus booking fee. Booking is essential via the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Eventbrite page.

NWT Cley Nature Reserve

Saturday 10 October 2021: Into the Darkness at Holkham.
Take an exclusive night-time walk around Holkham National Nature Reserve with our expert wildlife guide. Starting as the sun begins to go down over the marshes, we will explore the pinewoods, freshmarshes, sand dunes, salt marsh and beach. With some creatures settling down for the night and some just waking up this will be a sensory treat. Bats, owls, moths and a whole lot more will take centre stage on this atmospheric journey around this wonderful part of the North Norfolk coast.
Venue: Holkham Nature Reserve. Time: 6.30-8.30pm. 
Booking essential: Book via the Holkham website.

Salt Marshes at Holkham Nature Reserve