Stories about the stars can be found throughout history and all over the world including in Greek mythology; by the Aborigines in Australia; the Tupi people in Brazil; and the 'star people' or Lakota in North America who say they brought spiritual teachings, stories and maps of the cosmos which they then offered freely.
Dartmoor's Daughter will lead us on a gentle walk up to Hound Tor and introduce the Dartmoor context followed by Dartmoor Skies who will guide you through the visible constellations and set up telescopes so you can explore the night sky at your leisure.
LEVEL: Easy - this circular walk is approximately 2 miles, including an uphill and rocky section where we will then sit together to enjoy talks and viewing through telescopes before heading back.
WHAT TO WEAR/BRING: Sturdy walking boots; lots of warm layers including hat and gloves (a sleeping bag can be nice to sit/lie in whilst we stargaze); waterproof jacket & trousers; something to sit on; (head)torches with red film covers (this helps our eyes adjust so that objects in the night sky are easier to see) or rear bicycle lamps; snacks and a warm drink/flask. Sorry no dogs.
(Please take home everything you bring with you - Dartmoor is a unique moorland environment with livestock, wildlife and fauna so we aim to leave no trace please.)
MEETING TIME & PLACE: Please arrive at 7.45pm ready for an 8pm start at Swallerton Gate car park (near Hound Tor). Grid Ref SX739792. The car park is approximately 2 1/2 miles west of Haytor Vale on the B3387 - from this direction, turn right to Hound Tor & Manaton. Continue for 1 1/2 mile (approx.) to Swallerton Gate car park to the right.
Nearest postcode for SatNav is TQ13 9XG (approx location only). Car sharing is encouraged please. There are no public toilets here.
PRE-EVENT DINNER: The nearby Kestor Inn has tables available for dinner before our event at 8pm but you will need to book at least a week before please - The Kestor Inn, Manaton, TQ13 9UF Please telephone Wendy or Maurice to book - 01647 221626. Drinks or dinner at The Kestor Inn are payable directly to the owners.
WET WEATHER/CLOUDY SKIES PLAN: If the weather is unfavourable, we will contact you the evening before or morning of our walk to let you know that we will be going to the local Kestor Inn instead - they have kindly offered their private dining room to our group. We have planned talks, presentations, and quiz. Then if the weather clears during our evening, we can still go out into the garden with our telescopes. Please keep an eye on your emails (and spam folder) 12-24 hours prior.
CANCELLATION: The walk will go ahead in all weathers except strong winds which makes dowsing difficult. Please check your emails (including spam folder) 12-24 hours prior to our walk. Sorry no refunds if you change your mind about attending.
RISK: Walks and groups are at your own risk. No liability is accepted for accidents or incidents.
ORGANISERS: Dartmoor's Daughter creates walks and nature-connection experiences to enhance health, wellbeing and performance. All on the ancient, wild and beautiful land of Dartmoor.
Dartmoor Skies is a charity that aims to inspire people about astronomy and science. 50% of the event profits go towards their funding and equipment.