See the Northern Lights in Scotland – Attend the Outer Hebrides Dark Skies Festival

Paul Honeywell

Paul Honeywell

Published 12 January 2023

The best night skies in Scotland – Discover the wonders of the cosmos

A special event is the Hebridean Dark Skies Festival. This festival celebrates the unique and beautiful night sky you can observe in this part of the world, which has some of the darkest skies in Europe. The festival is from 9 to 21 March 2023.

One of the festival’s highlights is the chance to see the aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights. These dazzling displays of light are caused by charged particles from the sun colliding with the Earth’s atmosphere, most commonly seen in the polar regions. However, due to the unique location of the Hebrides, the Northern Lights are often visible during the festival, making it an extraordinary event.

In addition to viewing the Northern Lights, the festival includes various other activities, such as stargazing tours, astronomy talks, and workshops on astrophotography. There are also opportunities to learn about the history and culture of the Hebrides, with events such as traditional music performances and storytelling sessions.
The festival takes place in different locations throughout the Hebrides. Visitors can explore the stunning landscapes of the islands while also enjoying all the festival has to offer.

At Òran na Mara, our clear unpolluted air and lack of background light mean that you can also experience the night skies outside the front door.

The Milky Way can be viewed on a clear night, stretching from one horizon to the other, and our star and moon maps help you to navigate your way across the cosmos.

Isle of Harris in January
Isle of Harris Night Photography Milky Way