Hill Top Cottage, Eastgate, Bishop Auckland County Durham DL13 2HY, UNITED KINGDOM
Welcome to Star Safaris!
Hello, I’m Gary and I run Star Safaris.
When I’m not taking photographs, observing the night sky, or spending time with my family, I run stargazing tours and courses. You’ll find the current line-up, under the ‘Events’ tab.
I’m a qualified teacher (Cert.Ed. & PGCE) with over 30 years’ experience in science education. I’m also a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.
But enough about me. You didn’t come here to read my C.V. You want to know how I can help you learn more about the night sky.
We always run events in interesting locations, many of which aren’t usually accessible in the dark. People enjoy this aspect immensely. But every site we use is surveyed thoroughly, to make sure it’s among the darkest in the country.
What's a Star Safari?
I used to run an observatory, which was nice but I prefer getting out, into nature. That's why I developed the concepts of 'Wild Stargazing' and 'Star Safaris'.
We take people out to beautiful, dark locations, and teach them about the night sky - as our ancestors would have experienced it.
At some locations, we start with an indoor briefing and a stargazing talk. Sometimes, this is delivered before the tour, over Zoom, especially when we're going somewhere without indoor facilities.
The emphasis is on naked-eye observation, but at some events we may use smartphones and/or binoculars. Sometimes we run special events where you can listen to music with a commentary, through a wireless headset.
So, why a 'Star Safari'? If you've ever been on a regular (animal) safari, you'll know the tour is all about the environment and the thrill of the search for wildlife. You may, or may not, see what you went for, but you'll still have a good time.
In England, cloudy skies are a fact of life, but we do get some pristine clear skies too. You just never know what you're going to get. So, we make all the events enjoyable, regardless of the conditions. But, more than that, if you're not lucky enough to get a clear night, we have a guarantee.
We’ll do everything we can to create a memorable experience for you and your loved ones. You’ll leave knowing a great deal more about stargazing than the majority of people.
The photograph is one of mine, taken at our most popular location, High Force Waterfall.