THE SCARECROW FESTIVAL IN WRAY – Usually the first Bank Holiday in May
The villagers of Wray create some weird, wacky and wonderful scarecrow creations to surprise and delight visitors.
BIKES AND BARROWS FESTIVAL IN SCORTON – Usually the first Bank Holiday in May
Visit Scorton and look out for the decorated bicycles and wheelbarrows. The weekend features an outdoor music festival, dog show, sheep racing, food and crafts fair, children’s games, treasure trails and much more. A great weekend.
GARSTANG CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL – Early June
Come and see the magnificent floats, marching bands, Morris men, Rose Queens and their retinues. In the evening there is also a fancy dress section. The processions take place at 11am and 6pm. There is also a large fairground with a variety of rides and attractions.
SCORTON STEAM FAIR – Mid June
This is the biggest steam fair in the North West. Also see vintage cars, trucks, military vehicles, tractors and motor cycles. Also fairground rides and attractions.
GREAT ECCLESTON AGRICULTURAL SHOW – Mid July
This show is always a busy event popular with people of all ages. See the finest dairy cattle, shire horses, various breeds of sheep – Suffolks, Texels, Charollais and Swalesdales to name just a few. There are horse riding events and a variety of wonderful exhibits.
LYTHAM FESTIVAL – Late July
Lytham Festival is a popular music festival held every year on Lytham Green. Artists from around the world and the UK have appeared on the Lytham stage – Bryan Adams, Madness, Steps, Emeli Sande, Il Divo, Kylie Minogue, Rod Stewart and Michael Ball.
GREAT ECCLESTON TRACTOR PULLING CHAMPIONSHIPS – Late August
This year’s event will be hosting the European Tractor Pulling Championships. This is the largest tractor pulling event in the UK. The tractor pulls take place on the Friday and Saturday evenings and all day Sunday. Come and see and hear some machines which produce in excess of 9,000 horsepower!
GARSTANG VICTORIAN EVENING – Second Monday and Tuesday in December
People from all over the region join locals for an evening of fun. The town centre is closed to traffic with bands, singers, stilt walkers, Punch and Judy, and all kinds of street entertainers from 6pm. Wrap up warm and enjoy the Christmas cheer!
The landscapes of the Forest are captivating by day but after the sun sets there’s a whole new world to discover in the dark skies over Bowland.
Truly dark skies are becoming increasingly rare in our crowded little country. Light pollution is creeping into almost every corner of the UK, diluting the pitch blackness of night and obscuring the stars for much of the population.
In 21st Century Britain, many town and city dwellers may never have seen the Milky Way – our home galaxy – and will only catch the faintest glimpse of a handful of the brightest stars.
But there is an antidote to the bright lights of big city living – an oasis of velvety darkness where even the faintest stars in the firmament reveal themselves in all their sparkling glory.
More than half of Britain’s remaining dark skies are in National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Forest of Bowland is among them.
The night skies over Bowland have recently been recognized as some of the darkest in England and granted official status as Dark Sky Discovery Sites.
On a clear cloud-free and ideally moonless night, the skies above the Forest become home to all manner of legendary figures and mythical beasts. This is the domain of Pegasus, the winged horse, Taurus, the bull, Orion, the hunter, and Andromeda, a beautiful princess.
WHERE TO SEE THE STARS
There are five designated Dark Sky Discovery Sites within the AONB – all of which have parking and plenty of room to observe the sky: Beacon Fell Country Park, Gisburn Forest Hub, Slaidburn Village Car Park, Crook o’ Lune Picnic Site
WINTER: the absolute best time of year, when the skies are darkest and the stars at their brightest – and children don’t need to stay up late to enjoy the spectacle. Look out for the Milky Way on moonless nights, stretching like a faint plume of smoke directly overhead.
SPRING: Warmer nights make for more comfortable viewing and long dark nights mean there’s still plenty to see. Look out for spring constellations like Leo and the Plough.
SUMMER: On the plus side, it’s warmer, but the sky doesn’t get properly dark during June and July, so wait until August when you should look out for the Perseids meteor shower around the 13th.
AUTUMN: Dark skies return and with them, your chance to see fainter objects like the Andromeda Galaxy – the furthest object from earth that is (just) visible with the naked eye. Look for a faint blotch in the sky just above the constellation of Pegasus on moonless nights.