Scotland has some of the best ‘dark skies’ in the world with vast swathes of the country living without the glare of artificial street lights.
Head into deep country, into the hills and to the islands – pandemic permitting, of course – and get close to the wonders of the universe. We look at 10 of the country’s best ‘dark sky’ spots, many which have been internationally recognised for their glorious star gazing potential.
1. Glenlivet ,The Cairngorms
Feel on the edge of the world in the Tomintoul and Glenlivet - Cairngorms Dark Sky Park where one of the country's last wildernesses will provide the perfect backdrop to a night with the stars.
Photo: David Newland
2. The Isle of Coll
Coll is the only island in the UK to be named an International Dark Sky Community. The Coll Bunkhouse runs ‘Coll and the Cosmos’ astronomical adventures, with the next one due to take place in early March 2021, pandemic permitting.
Photo: Cosmos Planetarium
3. The Isle of Lewis
The joy of astronomy on the islands has been brought together by the Hebridean Dark Skies Festival, which is set to return in Februrary 2021 when An Lanntair in Stornoway will fuse star gazing with a programme of music, film and storytelling to bring the wonders of the universe a little closer.
Photo: Scott Davidson
4. Waternish, Isle of Skye
Skye is one of the darkest sites in the whole of Europe, and Waternish one of the darkest places on Skye, without a single street light on the whole peninsula. Standing outside the Stein Inn, the nearest streetlamp is in Dunvegan, more than five miles away as the crow flies.
Photo: Gill Williams