October 2023 

A new Dark Sky Discovery Hub on Exmoor opened to its first visitors during Exmoor Dark Skies Festival.
The project, at Wimbleball Lake, was made possible thanks to generous funding from Exmoor National Park Authority, Hinkley Tourism Action Partnership and our supporters. 
Located within Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve on Exmoor, Wimbleball is a designated Dark Sky Discovery Site and is the perfect place to stargaze and engage with nature and the outdoors in its greatest form.
The new hub has been built on grassland overlooking the lake. The structure has low seating designed to let you lean back and experience views out over the lake and the starry skies above with a circular flat patio style platform in front for the use of telescopes. 

Neil Reeves from South West Lakes said: “Looking out over the lake at night is a magical experience. We’re delighted that visitors can now use this facility to rest, gaze upwards and watch the planets, spot constellations or see shooting stars. It’s also a great location for astrophotography and to learn about nocturnal wildlife.  

“Hikers taking part in the Moonlit Walk for Exmoor on Friday 27 October will be among the Hub’s first night-time visitors. We’ll be developing a series of inspiring and educational events to take place all year and we’re grateful for funding support from Exmoor National Park Authority and Somerset Council through the Hinkley Tourism Action Partnership, to help us develop the hub. It’s a fantastic addition to the activities on offer at the lake and for those staying at our campsite.” 
Katrina Munro from Exmoor National Park Authority said: “We’re delighted that this facility increases the opportunities for visitors and residents to appreciate our dark skies. This will be our third Dark Sky Discovery Hub, joining those at North Molton and Exford. Each hub is unique, offering different opportunities to discover more. Along with our Dark Sky Discovery Trail, accredited Dark Sky Friendly businesses, and the annual Exmoor Dark Skies Festival, everyone can now enjoy our dark skies all year round. 
“Whether it’s simply looking up and appreciating the wonder of a star-filled sky or learning more about the universe from a stargazing guide, this special quality of Exmoor is something to be celebrated.”
Andrew Cockcroft, Hinkley Point C Senior Stakeholder Relations Manager, said: “The Hinkley Tourism Action Partnership has successfully supported a diverse set of initiatives to develop tourism across Somerset and this project is no exception. The new hub will help in opening up the incredible beauty of the night sky to many more people and we look forward to the benefits it will surely bring to the wider tourism industry.”
Wimbleball  attracts around 200,000 visitors every year with both local residents and tourists visiting for on water activities, walking, cycling, angling and experiencing the great outdoors on the moor.
Facilities include ample outdoor space and parking, Activity Centre, café, campsite, toilets and play area. Importantly the lake and its surrounding land also provides for a variety of wildlife and habitats.


About us 

We believe engaging with the natural environment enables people to grow. Our reservoirs and lakes are home to many wonderful animals and boast important habitats and built historic sites. We pride ourselves on enabling people of all abilities to enjoy these special locations by providing access both on and off the water. It’s your outdoors – come and explore.