Start Gazing Retreat at Sharpham Trust

Stargazing & bat walk: a nocturnal nature experience


RESCHEDULED DATE: FRIday 22 SEPTEMBER, 6.45pm to 9.10pm

Meet the creatures of the night at Sharpham!

See bats and stars (hopefully) on this very special event that awakens your senses to nature at night-time.

The Sharpham Estate beside the River Dart hosts various bats, while our streetlamp-free dark skies are perfect for stargazing on a clear night.

We’re one of the few places in the UK and Europe where the Greater Horseshoe Bat can be found.

And we are home to Lesser Horseshoes and other types of bat too.

Bat Detecting

This event is for you if you are:

  • Adults and children of any age and experience looking to discover more about nocturnal wildlife, the night sky and space
  • Interested in learning more about the species of bat native to Devon
  • A fan of the Great Outdoors
  • Looking for a fascinating, family event

You'll experience:

  • You’ll find out more about these endangered mammals, you’ll try bat detecting and hopefully you’ll witness these elusive mammals in Sharpham’s grounds
  • You'll get a chance to use a bat detector that you can tune to the frequency of these incredible animals, eavesdropping on their echo-location sounds as they hunt for food
  • This packed event also includes – clouds permitting! – a tour of the night-sky, thanks to Dartmoor Skies. Using their telescope, weather permitting, you’ll see celestial objects including stars, planets, galaxies and nebulae!
  • Dartmoor Skies leaders share fascinating facts and observations, helping you to understand the night sky - and perhaps continue your astronomy after this event.
  • If it is cloudy, there will be an introduction to astronomy with lots of hints and tips so that you can explore the sky for yourselves when you get home.

What should you bring?

  • A healthy snack if you get peckish along the way
  • A hat
  • A torch
  • Waterproofs
  • Good comfy shoes or wellies
  • Paper and pen if you want to take notes
  • Bottle of water
  • If you have your own bat detector do bring it along

Above: Jupiter (right) and Saturn shining above The Great Run at Sharpham, in a long exposure shot taken by Rob of Dartmoor Skies


This event takes place on Friday 22 September, from 6.45pm to 9.10pm

The event will include an astronomy talk and telescope session, and guided bat walk with bat detectors will take place. Running order and locations around the grounds will be dependent on the weather.

PLEASE NOTE: If the weather is cloudy there will be slideshows by the visiting experts up in our woodland campsite, still outdoors, so wrap up warm. If it is wet we will have to cancel and will make the call the day before.


Listing us in 15 of the UK's best virtual wellbeing retreats: "Start the new year with this inspiring choice of online health breaks"

The Guardian The Guardian

"The Mindfulness for Beginners retreat in Sharpham House helps bring peace into your life"

Woman & Home
February 2023
Woman & Home

Putting us at Number 1 in a list of the best UK and European meditation retreats - "It’s good news that the estate has unveiled the 18-room Coach House, converted from its 18th-century stable yard, and concentrating on nature-based mindfulness."

The Times Travel section - January 2022 The Times Travel section - January 2022
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Sharpham Trust Woodland Retreats

Events at Woodland Campsite

This event will be based at the Woodland Campsite which has it's own car park signposted as you drive onto the estate.

Get Directions View Venue


Thanks to The National Lottery Heritage Funding, we have a number of free places on this event for adults and children, for those who would find it hard to attend otherwise.

Adult £6 – standard cost (helps support and sustain the work of The Sharpham Trust)

Adult £3 – subsidised cost for those who need it (still helps Sharpham)

Adult free – fully funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund for people on low incomes or unwaged

Children (age 6 – 17) free - fully funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund

There is a maximum of 2 children aged 6-13 per adult. Minimum age of 6 years old to attend this event.


Terms & Conditions

Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy

Available dates

2023 22 Sep

Stargazing and Bat Walk