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This is a great year for stargazers – we are getting our last glimpse of Haley’s comet until 2061, we have seen several Super Moons, in August we saw the Perseids Meteor Shower and later this year the Northern Lights will be visible in some parts of the UK.
Scotland is probably the best place to sit and stare at the wonders of the galaxies. With more dark skies than anywhere else in the UK, and horizons stretching as far as the Arctic Circle, it offers some of the best stargazing opportunities in all of Europe.
In order to fully appreciate the splendour of the Scottish skies, you need to leave the big cities and towns and head into the countryside. Choose a cottage or luxury holiday home to get away from it all and watch the stars without any interruption.
Here are a few of the best spots to see the stars in Scotland:
1. Galloway Forest Park
It was the first par in the UK to be recognised as Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association and at 300 square miles, there is plenty to explore by day or by night. Conditions are so clear in the park that you can see thousands of stars and the Milky Way with the naked eye.
Rugged Perthshire offers countless locations and opportunities for stargazing, but visibility is generally best around the lakes. Loch Rannoch and Loch Tay are worth a visit for their clear skies and fresh air.
3. Isle of Skye
It may be remote, but this only makes the Isle of Skye a better location for stargazers. With some of the darkest skies in Europe there is nowhere better for a look at the universe, at any time of the year.
4. Outer Hebrides
With a sparse population and remote location, there is very little light pollution around the Outer Hebrides, making it a great place to explore the night skies. In winter months the Northern Lights are visible from the northern parts of the islands.