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South Downs Dark Skies Festival 2018

Friday 9 February – Sunday 25 February

Two weeks of cosmic fun with star parties, talks and family activities taking place across the South Downs National Park celebrating our wonderful dark night skies.

Please note that some events are weather dependent, please check our website and social media before travelling.


Friday 9 February

Public Talk at Clanfield Memorial Hall by Hampshire Astronomical Group
A 3 year journey to asteroid Bennu followed by 5 seconds of terror.
£3 on the door for non-members.

Friday 9 to Monday 19 February

Daily science stage shows at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium
Presenter-led planetarium shows and extra hands-on activities
Adults £12 / Concessions £9.60 / Child £8.40

Saturday 10 February

Stargazing South Downs at Midhurst Rother College, West Sussex
16:00 – 21:00
The South Downs Dark Skies Festival’s free flagship event, Stargazing South Downs, will include indoor talks and activities, a chance to meet some of the wildlife that loves the night, discover the secrets of taking stunning dark-sky photography, as well as stargazing.

Astrophotography ‘How to’ Sessions – part of the ‘Stargazing South Downs’ event at Midhurst Rother College.
Sessions at 16:30 and 18:00 with a practical outdoor session at 19:00.

Sunday 11 to Sunday 18 February

South Downs Planetarium Shows, Chichester
Various topics
£7.00 Booking essential

Tuesday 13 February

Stargazing at Slindon College, near Arundel
Free Event – No booking required

Thursday 15 to Saturday 17 February

CANCELLED – Cycle the Solar System in the South Downs
We are very sorry that we have had to cancel this event, unfortunately we have had too few bookings to make it possible to run.

Huge apologies to those who have booked tickets, we are organising your full refunds now. We hope you’ll still be able to come to one of our other great events.

Thursday 15 February

Stargazing at Old Winchester Hill
FREE Event – Booking advisable

Friday 16 February

CANCELLED – RSPB Pulborough Brooks Stargazing Party!
Due to a forecast of heavy cloud cover, this event has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and hope to rearrange soon.

Early Evening Stargazing
The Observatory Science Centre, Herstmonceux 10:00-20:00
Adult £8.25 / Child £6.25 / Sen £6.60. No booking required.

Stargazing Evening at Butser Ancient Farm with Hants Astro
Adult £5 / Under 16 FREE. Booking essential.

Saturday 17 February

Open Evening at the Observatory Science Centre, Herstmonceux
18:30 – 23:00
Adult £8.25 / Child £6.25 / Sen £6.60. No booking required.

Dark Skies at Amberley Museum
10:00 – 17:00
Dark-sky-themed activities and crafts

Monday 19 February

Stargazing and Night Hike with the National Trust at Harting Down
19:00 – 21:30
Adult £5 / Child £3. Booking essential.

Tuesday 20 February

Stargazing at Devils Dyke
18:00 – 21:00
FREE EVENT but £3 parking. Booking advisable.

Wednesday 21 February

Introductory Astronomy Session at Gilbert Whites and the Oates Collection
18:00 – 22:00
£15. Booking essential.

Thursday 22 February

Family Space Explorers at Gilbert Whites and the Oates Collection
18:00 – 19:30 and 19:30 – 21:00
Adult £10 / Child £8.

‘Night Sky over Bordon’ – talk and stargazing with the Deadwater Valley Trust
Talk and stargazing with the Farnham Astronomical Society.
FREE event. Booking advisable.

Stargazing at Goodwood
18:30 – 21:00
FREE Event. No booking required.

Saturday 24 February

Talk and Stargazing with the Eastbourne Astronomical Society on the Gun Platform of the Redoubt Fortress, Eastbourne
18:00 – 20:00
FREE Event. No booking required.

The Centurion Way after dark

18.00 – 19.00

FREE Event. No booking required


Watch this space as more events are being added as the festival grows, and if you would like to get involved in holding your own event please drop a line to darkskiesfestival@southdowns.gov.uk

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