When can I best spot the Northern Lights in Scotland?
Dear prospective aurora chasers 🙂
To see the Northern lights in Scotland , autumn and winter seasons have a good frequency of clear nights, therefor are probably the best time of the year to experience the auroral displays.
When the conditions are perfect and the sky glows with colour the rewards can be breathtaking!
Nights with long periods of darkness are ideal and it’s best to be cold with the sky clear of clouds.
A location limited light pollution and increased solar activity.
Keeping post until the small hours of the day may also increase the chances of spotting aurora.
Where to spot Aurora Borealis in Scotland?
While the northern reaches of Scotland offer better chances of spotting the ‘Mirrie Dancers’(as N.Lights are called in Shetland),
the aurora can be seen anywhere in Scotland when the right conditions are met and where the light pollution is at a minimum.
Here’s a list of some of the best places to see this color marvel:
- Shetland, Orkney and Caithness (eg. Noss Head, Wick)
- Lewis, Harris and the most northerly tip of Skye
- Aberdeenshire and the Moray Coast (eg. Nairn, Portknockie, Cairn o’ Mount)
- The far north west of Scotland (eg. Applecross, Lochinver, north of Ullapool)
- The Cairngorms
- Galloway Forest Park – the only Dark Sky Park in Scotland!
- Rannoch Moor and Perthshire
- Angus and the coast of Fife (eg. St Andrews)
- Calton Hill or Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh (if the aurora is really strong)
AuroraWatch UK is a free service offering alerts of when the aurora might be visible from the UK. It is run by scientists in the Space and Planetary Physics group at Lancaster University’s Department of Physics.
Sadly, neither predicting an Aurora nor actually seeing them is particularly straight forward but there are certain measures you can take to enhance your chances.
Starfish Taxis would be delighted to assist your travels for hunting the spectacle.
Let us know how you think we can assist you best.