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Northern lights?

My grandmother and I have always dreamt of seeing the northern lights, therefore alongside my husband we were looking at travelling to northern Scotland for a few nights. 

The problem is - of course alongside the fact that we have no guarantees of seeing them at all - I need to find somewhere which has good visibility and is easy to drive to with minimal walking. Some walking is fine, but anything I can find online is 10km+ walking which just wouldn't be suitable. 

Could anyone with local knowledge help me please? Ideally travelling first week of April. 

Thank you :) 


  • ScathachScathach Member ✭✭
    As you say, spotting the NL is very unpredictable. It really depends on the sun activity.
    We had a big solar flare the past week and there have been some amazing displays in places like Orkney and Shetland.

    It depends where in Scotland you want to go but for example the isle of Skye could be a good place as there is not much light pollution. And as long as you go away from Portree you should be fine.
    Sometimes if the flare is strong enough you can see them in the north of Aberdeenshire around Cullen, Portsoy, Portnockie and so on...
    Areas like Caithness and Sutherland are quite good as well.
    In the south there's an amazing park called Galloway dark sky park. It's an official ISA Dark Sky park and light pollution in very minimal and offers some amazing dark skies. 

    But again, solar activity and clear skies are a must.

    You can check on AuroraWatch website to see if there is any activity. Usually the green means nothing. Orange tends to be in the northernmost parts of Scotland and red is quite strong and can push south as well.

    Hope this helps.

  • mustseescotlandmustseescotland VisitScotland Contributor ✭✭✭
    Totally agree with @Scathach - we live in the Moray Firth - and we have seen the Northern Lights - but it doesn't happen a lot. We have seen them in April (once!) - you might find our blog post (slightly) amusing - it isn't the most serious on the subject! 
    The independent online guide to Scotland, written by Gilbert and Johanna Summers - lifetime Scottish tourism experts, so you get the best vacation.

  • JemyJemy Member ✭✭
    A colleague of mine uses an app (sorry can't recall the name of it). He has used it to see the Northern Lists as far south as Edinburgh, which is so unlikely I didn't believe him until I heard a few people say they had seen it. 
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