Best time to travel to Scotland

Stargazing in Scotland

Scotland has plenty of stargazing gems

Best time: all year round (best from August to March)


Stargazing at the edge of a Scottish forest makes you realize how huge the world is and how tiny we are compared to it. Stargazing is a meaningful hobby that helps you relax and escape the annoying thoughts you might deal with during the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This article is dedicated to the most beautiful places to enjoy the night sky in Scotland. And this country has a lot to offer!

Galloway Forest Park

In 2009, the International Dark-Sky Association designated Galloway Forest Park as the fourth Dark Sky Park in the world and the first in the UK. This park is huge—a 299 sq mi (774 sq km) forest has plenty of spots where the night sky is extremely clear. For example, you can head to the Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre or Loch Riecawr for open views over the water. You can also get great views from any of the three visitor centers: Kirroughtree, Glentrool, and Clatteringshaws.

Isle of Coll, Inner Hebrides

The Isle of Coll is a gem of Scotland’s stargazing culture. It hosts a stargazing weekend break called Coll & The Cosmos, which is designed to appeal to a broad audience. You don’t need to have some knowledge of astronomy to visit this event. The organizers will do their best to explain the magic of the night sky in a funny and easy way. The event features different large telescopes, Bluetooth-controlled telescopes, myriad binoculars, and a digital 6m indoor planetarium.

Royal Observatory

Royal Observatory is located in Edinburgh and invites everyone interested in stargazing. Every Friday night from October until April, the Royal Observatory Edinburgh hosts Public Astronomy Evenings, where guests can enjoy the sky and planets through telescopes and tour the observatory’s historic Victorian telescope dome.


Kintyre is one of the most stunning places in Scotland for stargazing. The west coast of Kintyre often offers its visitors an opportunity to view the Milky Way in all its glory. Since it’s a famous spot among stargazers, they throw regular stargazing events in the Argyll Hotel in Bellochantuy.

More spots

As you might have guessed, Scotland is abundant in stargazing spots. Here are a few more to help you choose your next destination: Newbattle Abbey, Assynt, Moffat, a hot tub in Ardgartan Argyll or Strathyre, Caithness, and Glen Nevis Visitor Centre near Fort William. The best time for stargazing in Scotland is from August to March, when the sky is at its darkest. We bet you will never forget the night sky in this country.

Practical info

When is the best time to stargaze in Scotland?

The ideal period for stargazing in Scotland is August to March, as the sky is pitch dark. Scotland has areas of little to no light pollution, which are known as 'dark sky' areas. You need to visit spots with low light pollution to get the most exceptional views of the stars. This will allow you to witness the brilliance of the stars without any interference. Show more

Where is the best place in Scotland for stargazing?

While Scotland has various places for stargazing, some of the best are Glen Nevis Visitor Centre near Fort William, Galloway Forest Park - the world's fourth Dark Sky Park and Scotland’s first - and Royal Observatory in Kintyre. Others include Newbattle Abbey, Assynt, Caithness, inner Hebrides, Isle of Coll, Moffat, and hot tub in Ardgartan Argyll or Strathyre. These spots have little to no light pollution and offer an excellent experience for viewing the stars. Show more

What is the Isle of Coll & The Cosmos event about?

Isle of Coll & The Cosmos event is a stargazing weekend break that takes place on the Isle of Coll. This stargazing event caters to a broad audience, from beginners to experts in astronomy. You do not require any astronomy knowledge to attend. With the help of large telescopes, Bluetooth-controlled telescopes, and a digital indoor planetarium, the organizers make the stargazing experience both engaging and informative. Show more

How can people observe the sky at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh?

The Royal Observatory Edinburgh offers Public Astronomy Evenings every Friday night from October to April. Visitors have access to telescopes and the chance to explore the observatory's historic Victorian telescope dome. Plus, the Society for Popular Astronomy provides a free stargazing event annually, during the International Astronomy Week on Blackford Hill. These events provide opportunities to glance at the sky and planets indirectly shining through the telescopes. Show more

Are there any additional stargazing spots in Scotland besides the ones listed in the article?

Scotland has a vast number of stargazing spots, even more than listed in this article. Other hotspots to consider are Glenlivet estate in Speyside, Culzean Castle, Outer Hebrides, Isle of Skye, Coll Bunkhouse, and Press Mains Cottage in the Scottish Borders. They provide the best stargazing conditions, providing low light pollution and clear skies. These spots offer stargazers an escape from urban life and a chance to appreciate the beauty of the night sky. Show more

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