Where To Spot The Northern Lights In Scotland

Shutterstock © the Northern lights over Shetland

You don’t have to go to Iceland to see the northern lights, it’s possible to catch a glimpse here in Scotland! Here are some of the best places to spot them…


Scotland offers some spectacular opportunities to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights.

While sightings of the Aurora Borealis are never guaranteed due to the natural variability of the phenomenon, certain locations increase your chances of catching this celestial display.

It must be a dark, clear night and often the illumination of a full moon helps. While the best time of year is during the winter months from September to March.


Shetland Islands

The most northerly part of the UK, Shetland provides an ideal location for observing the Northern Lights. Being the closest you’ll get to the North Pole in Scotland, Shetland’s clear, unpolluted skies create a perfect canvas for the dancing colours of the auroras.


Galloway Forest Park

Designated as an International Dark Sky Park, Galloway Forest Park in southwest Scotland minimizes light pollution, providing a tranquil setting to witness the Northern Lights. Various dark sky tours are on offer which if timed perfectly may include a northern lights sighting.


Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye, with its remote and unspoiled landscapes, provides a dark sky away from light pollution. The Old Man of Storr or the Quiraing are excellent spots for capturing the auroras against stunning natural backdrops.


Cairngorms National Park

As one of the darkest places in Scotland, Cairngorms National Park offers optimal conditions for photographing and viewing an aurora. The elevated terrain and lack of city lights enhance the visibility of this natural wonder.


Various online tools exist to track the likelihood of spotting the northern lights in Scotland. This is one of our favourites (CLICK HERE)

Discover more of Scotland’s perfect stargazing skies >>