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Top stargazing spots

VisitScotlandNikkiVisitScotlandNikki Member, VisitScotland Staff
Has anybody ever visited one of Scotland's top stargazing spots? We've got quite a few great locations - from the UK's first Dark Sky Park, the Galloway Forest Park, to Moffat, recently declared Europe's first Dark Sky Town.

Over the next few weeks, Mars will be closer to earth than it has been in over a decade - a mere 46.8 million miles - so we've got a better chance of seeing it shining brightly in our clear night skies.

Anyone planning to go and have a look? 

Check out all the info on stargazing in Scotland here.


  • VisitScotlandJoanneVisitScotlandJoanne Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    I haven't been to the Dark Sky Park in Galloway (yet!), but we have some fantastic spots for stargazing up here in the North Highlands - particularly Caithness and Sutherland.

    I quite often head up to the car park at Culloden Battlefield in Inverness and although it's only about a mile from a housing district, it has excellent stargazing opportunities. I've even managed to see the Northern Lights from up there a few times, which was amazing!

    In our Inverness Visitor Information Centre, we have a display focused on good stargazing spots across the north, as well as information on how to improve your chances at seeing the Northern Lights and spotting the International Space Station on its orbit around Earth. If anyone's ever in the area, it's well worth having a look at! :smile:
  • VisitScotlandAlisonVisitScotlandAlison Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    The Mills Observatory in Dundee was Britain's first purpose built public observatory.  They run all sorts of family friendly events over the summer and in the winter have  special nights when you can observe the heavens through the huge telescope.  I saw the rings of Saturn from there!
  • wheeliehoosewheeliehoose Member
    in 2013 the Isle of Coll became Scotland's first Dark Sky community.  There are no street lights on the island so it is perfect for stargazing. The hotel even provides glow in the dark skyscapes in every bedroom and moon and star maps in the lounge!
  • VisitScotlandJulieVisitScotlandJulie Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    I'm taking note of all of these. Wonderful. I would like to find places that would be accessible without having a car but I know this can be difficult.  :'(
  • wheeliehoosewheeliehoose Member
    @VisitScotlandJulie you can actually visit Coll without a car..... bus or train to Oban, ferry to Isle of Coll and there is a B&B, Hotel, Bunkhouse, shop and activities all within about 10mins walking distance of the ferry terminal!
  • VisitScotlandJulieVisitScotlandJulie Member, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    @wheeliehoose Wonderful. Thank you. Good to know. I'll have to make some plans to go.  :)
  • VisitScotlandAmandaVisitScotlandAmanda Member, Administrator, Moderator, VisitScotland Staff
    edited November 2016
    For any stargazers who will be in Scotland on Monday, 14 of November 2016 we could be in for quite a treat with the 'Supermoon' set to light up our skies. It'll be one-third brighter and 14% bigger than a normal moon. Here are the best spots for viewing:

    Viridian Skies is running a Supermoon Stargazing evening at Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre in the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park on Monday, 14 November.  For more information go to
    Other top spots to enjoy the night sky in Scotland include:
    Spey Valley, Cairngorms National Park
    Home to very dark skies in autumn and winter, as well as many distilleries for a warming wee dram. 
    Loch Trool, Galloway Forest Park
    Galloway Forest Park is a huge natural wonderland with 777 km² of forested glens, lochs and the highest hills in southern Scotland. Here, there are few buildings and even less light pollution. The International Dark Sky Association chose it to be the very first national park in the UK to be honoured with Dark Sky Park status. There are only two other such parks in the whole of Europe.
    Moffat – a Dark Sky Town
    Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway takes the title of Europe's first Dark Sky Town, having adopted special street lighting to keep light pollution to a minimum in order to preserve the wondrous starry, starry skies.
    North West Sutherland, between Kylesku and Inchnadamph
    Arguably the darkest sky location in the UK and possibly Europe, ideal for taking in the wonder of the dark skies above.
    Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides
    Nine locations on Skye have been officially named ‘Dark Discovery Sites’ after they were judged to be perfect spots for stargazing.

    If you take photos make sure you share them with us!

    Kiwi gal, relocated to Scotland. 
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