As the sun continues to set earlier each night, we’re presented with an opportunity to get to know the beauty of the stars overhead.
The Royal Observatory of Greenwich has revealed the top locations that you should travel to if you’re looking to get the clearest view of the night sky.
Included in the UK-wide list (commissioned by Google Pixel 4) were the likes of Sark Island in England and Snowdonia Reserve in Wales.
Scotland also made its share of appearances on the list as well. For those looking to enjoy the natural delight of the night sky in Scotland, these are the locations where you will almost certainly see the stars.
Galloway Forest Park
In November 2009, the International Dark-Sky Association assigned Galloway Forest as the four Dark Sky Park in the world - and the very first one in the UK.
According to the Galloway Forest Park website, the park is “really dark - a Gold Tier Dark Skies Park”.
A Dark Sky Park is a spot with extremely dark skies, thanks to people keeping light pollution under control. The Galloway Forest Park says that you’ll bag yourself a great view from any of its three visitor centres - either Glentrool, Kirroughtree and especially at Clatteringshaws.
The Isle of Coll
The Isle of Coll is situated in a small Hebridean island that’s found off the west of Scotland.
The Isle is home to a diverse community of flora and fauna and is described as having “outstanding natural beauty”. It has also been recognised by the International Dark-Sky Association for offering some of the best sky and star viewing across the whole of the UK.
You can reach the Isle of Coll either by ferry, which is the most popular option, or by plane. Once you’ve reached the Isle, it offers a huge variety of accommodation options, like B&Bs, camping, hotels, hostels and even motorhomes.
Tomintoul and Glenlivet
The skies above Tomintoul and Glenlivet bagged themselves the prestigious award of becoming Scotland’s second International Dark Sky Park in 2018.
The Tomintoul and Glenlivet - Cairngorms Dark Sky Park not only holds the accolades of being the darkest of the Dark Sky Parks in the UK, but it’s also the most northern Dark Sky Park in the world.
According to the Cairngorms National Park website, the best time for stargazing is during the darker months of the year - so from October to March is when you’ll get the best views.
The park also hosts Dark Skies events which offers the chance to view the likes of constellations and dark sky phenomena through telescopes, and also learn about the night sky. You can learn more here.