• Cranborne Chase AONB Office, Rushmore Farm, Tinkley Bottom, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, SP5 5QA  Tel: 01725 517417

Star Tips for Profit

Mar 4, 2019
Learn how to attract more paying guests: astrotourism expert hosts series of business workshops in Blandford, Shaftesbury & Broad Chalke.


Star tips to help local businesses capitalise on ‘astrotourism’, the latest tourism craze, are being offered through a series of seminars being organised in and around Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Richard Darn, an astrotourism expert, will be running events in Blandford, Shaftesbury and Broad Chalke for local businesses to give them the inside track on how to pull in the stargazing crowds.

Cranborne Chase has exceptionally, high quality starry nights and the AONB has embarked on an exciting project to gain International Dark Sky Reserve status and wants everyone to benefit. The event timetable:

  • Tuesday 19 March from 7-9pm at Chalke Valley Stores (The Hub), High Road, Broad Chalke, Wiltshire SP5 5EH
  • Wednesday 20 March from 7-9pm at Royal Chase Hotel, Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 8DB
  • Thursday 21 March from 7-9pm at Hall & Woodhouse Visitor Centre, Bournemouth Road, Blandford DT11 9LS

Amanda Scott of the Chasing Stars project at the AONB, said: “These events will give businesses the tools to take advantage of the value of our dark skies. To coin a phrase, this is teaching people how to milk the Milky Way. Cranborne Chase has very low light pollution making it an amazing place to stargaze with up to 2,000 stars being visible in the right conditions. 

“With the added benefit of being only a few hours from London and other large cities, we’re hoping local businesses can capitalise on this unique feature of our area.”

Richard Darn, said: “Stargazing can open up businesses to new markets. It has happened successfully in other areas and it can happen here. Turning your Airbnb, campsite or restaurant into a stargazing-friendly venue doesn’t have to be expensive and it can help encourage more visitors to the area over quiet, winter months.”

Cranborne Chase AONB is aiming to join an exclusive club of a dozen protected areas to gain international recognition for its dark skies and to become a Dark Sky Reserve. Anyone can support the AONB’s quest by signing the Dark Skies Pledge at www.chasingstars.org.uk