Stargazing in Peak District National Park
Stargazing – a simple yet intriguing and inspiring evening activity. The hope that a shooting star might pass, or that there will be a full moon, or seeing who can spot the biggest star – there’s so much excitement and interest in observing dark skies. We recommend stargazing between October and March, which is known as ‘observing season’ as this is the time from when clocks go back, and day light hours begin to fade and nights become longer.
The Peak District offers some dark skies where you can see afar, and one of the best spots is Hartington. The night skies are bursting with natural wonders and within the Dark Skies boxes you are given information about the above skies as well as advice on mobile apps to download which help you explore the dark skies.
Our Dark Skies boxes are also great for daytime enjoyment too, and include bird watching books for those who aren’t night owls. You can ask any of our friendly staff at the selected hostels for more information about hiring Dark Skies boxes. Equipment is available to hire from £5, and full kits are available for school groups to hire.
£5 equipment hire.
Other things to do nearby
YHA Hartington Hall is an ideal base to explore cycling of all natures from family friendly trails to endurance mountain biking routes.
The Peak District offers an ideal landscape for the more experienced climber, with amazing crags and bouldering opportunities just minutes from the hostel door.
In just 15 minutes you can be down by the River Dove, feeding the ducks, watching the herons and, if you're lucky, a kingfisher. A gentle, idyllic walk that everyone can enjoy.
There are an unlimited amount of mountain bike routes around the Hartington area for all abilities.
Sheen lies between the lower Dove and Manifold Valleys, well known for their scenic beauty. These are some of the most popular walks in the whole country.
The Tissington Trail is just 5 minutes drive away and provides links to the beautiful village of Hartington and the market town of Ashbourne.
The most important prehistoric site of the East Midlands, Arbor Low is a Neolithic henge monument atmospherically set amid high moorland. Some say that this is the finest Stone Age 'henge'
One of the most popular circular walks will take you down the valley into Milldale where you can visit the characterful shop/café.
Take an off-road route down to the River Dove, there's lots of rough and ready tracks for you to enjoy.
The hostel is on the doorstep of one of the most beautiful limestone dales in Britain, with trails offering steep cliffs and spires, rare woodlands species and quaint picturesque villages.
The White Peak offers climbing for all abilities. Popular sites include Dove Dale, the Manifold Valley and the famous Thors Cave - which boasts brilliant crags and bouldering.
Raven's Tor in Dovedale offers superb crack and face climbing on solid rock, all in a beautiful setting above the river.
The River Derwent at Matlock hosts a grade 2 rapids course, with 35 permanent slalom gates in place and floodlights for darker evenings. Contact Matlock Canoe Club for details.
The nearby Tissington Trail winds its way gently through beautiful White Peak countryside. Take the opportunity to visit historic Tissington village with its stately home, duck-pond and tearooms.
Travel to Carsington Water for their gently undulating eight mile off-road trail around the reservoir, or take on one of the 'Dark Peak' routes for a full day of challenging mountain biking.
A circular route taking in stunning Lathkill Dale can be tailored to your walking level.