THE Yorkshire Dales National Park is the place to visit for a spot of serious star-gazing.

Three new Milky Way class sites at Malham, Buckden and Hawes have been accepted by the Dark Sky Discovery site initiative, which identifies places with good public access where people can freely view the night sky.

They were nominated by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA).

National park tourism officer Tracey Lambert said: “We’ve known for a long time just how special the skies are above the Yorkshire Dales National Park but it’s nice to have this recognised.

“It’s amazing what you can see – the Perseid meteor shower a few weeks ago was spectacular and earlier in the year it was possible to see the Northern lights.”

The authority has been working with local tourism businesses to help them promote star-gazing as another reason to visit the area, particularly between the end of August and the beginning of March when the night sky is at its darkest.

Another event for tourism businesses will be staged on Thursday, October 22, at Kilnsey Park Estate. It costs £10 per person and runs from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.

Richard Darn, an amateur astronomer and journalist who is running the event, said: “The Yorkshire Dales is a stargazer’s paradise. The Milky Way arches majestically across the sky on clear autumn evenings and star clusters sparkle like diamonds on black velvet. It’s a breathtaking scene that adds so much to the unspoilt character of the region and provides the stuff of holiday memories.”

Anyone wanting to attend the workshop should email while more information about Dark Sky Discovery is available at