Northern Lights in Scotland: a magical sight in the sky
The Northern Lights: What it is
The sun’s wind causes the sky to glow with colour. Its charged particles interact with the Earth’s atmosphere. The gases in its composition react, and the glow begins. It can be imperceptible to the eye or bright and impressive, colouring the whole sky.
The best time to observe the Northern Lights is on quiet and dark nights between September and March. The sky should be cloudless. Stay away from streetlights, brightly lit buildings and other places with light pollution. The Northern Lights appear when there is strong solar activity, but on other days there is no need to wait for them.
The islands are the closest to the North Pole. This makes them one of the best places in Scotland to see the Northern Lights. The islands offer wildlife and the chance to see orcas, seals, birds and otters. It is not difficult to experience the Viking atmosphere here. A well-planned trip will take you to the Up Helly Aa fire festivals with their torchlight processions, ship burnings and feasts.
Scattered in the north-west of Scotland in the Atlantic Ocean are the Outer Hebrides Islands. The archipelago has many secluded islands far from light-polluted areas. When travelling here, you should definitely visit the islands of Harry and Lewis – parts of the Isle of Lewis and Harris.
Exploring historic towns such as Stornoway and white sand beaches can be an interesting way to spend your time. Neolithic monuments such as the Standing Stones of Callanish can be visited. The unspoilt natural scenery will provide the perfect backdrop for the northern lights.
Most of the islands in the archipelago are plains and the observer can see more of the sky. The northern lights will be fully revealed to him. You can admire the colourful lights from the beach at Dingshaw, sections of the coast of Brough of Birsay and other places.
Isle of Skye
Many areas of the island are free of light pollution. For this reason, there will be no problem finding a spot to watch the celestial lights. The northernmost point of the island, Rubha Hunisha, is best suited for this purpose. There are no less than nine places specifically for skywatching on the Trotternish Peninsula. Here you can stay in the Shulista Croft teepees.
In addition to beautiful natural landscapes, the island is known for its fishing villages. Tourists are attracted by award-winning restaurants and ancient castles. The island produces the finest whisky.
Moray Speyside and Aberdeenshire
Starry skies and lights have always attracted tourists to the Moray Coast. Overnight accommodation here can be found in Porthknockie and Nairn. From time to time the Moray Astronomy Club hold open events to watch the northern lights. These are ideal for learning more about this unique natural phenomenon.
Here tourists can watch the sky and walk along the sandy beaches. Historical ruins and castles, beautiful forests and other interesting places can be seen along the coast. Tourists can taste whisky in Speysad. There are more than 50 factories in the region to produce this drink. You can look for seals, dolphins and otters in the coastal waters.
The county is located on the northern edge of the mainland. The area is characterised by low levels of light pollution. This makes it a suitable place to observe the sky. This can be done from the lighthouse at Noss Head. Near Duncansby Head, Thurso Harror, Dunnet Head there are other great places to hunt for lights in the sky.
Cairngorms National Park
The park has many secluded spots for skywatching. It is home to some of Britain’s largest natural woodlands and the ancient Caledonian Forest. There are many activities for the outdoor enthusiast. There is also a brewery and several distilleries.
Galloway Forest Park
The park is a huge woodland area, the largest in the UK. It was the first area in the country to be recognised as a Dark Forest. It offers ideal conditions for stargazing and northern lights viewing. In addition to studying the sky on the territory of the park you can get involved in viewing ancient forests, local fauna. Tourists have the opportunity to engage in various types of active recreation.
Northern Lights is a natural wonder, unique in its beauty. It is worth it to go on a trip to interesting places. It will give great pleasure to any traveller.