Here are 10 of the best places to see the Northern Lights in Scotland this fall and winter.


It’s a sight that has caused excitement, awe, joy, and even fear over the centuries – the brilliant multi-colored Northern Lights that sometimes light up the dark skies of the Northern Hemisphere.

A major tourism industry has established itself in recent years, charging desperate people to experience the phenomenon of large quantities for trips to the vast and dark wilderness of Iceland and Scandinavia.

But the truth is, Scotland is far enough north to offer a decent chance to see the Northern Lights, and there are plenty of places where the skies are dark enough for the lights to shine.

The moving patterns of green, blue, purple, and red are caused by solar storms on the sun’s surface, which create clouds of electrically charged particles that are forcefully expelled.

Some of these particles collide with Earth, others get trapped in the planet’s magnetic field, where they are attracted to the north and south poles.

This collection of particles collides with atoms and molecules already in the atmosphere, heating them up and making them glow – creating the Northern Lights.

The closer you are to the North Pole, the more likely you are to see them, with most of Scotland in the area where they are – in theory – regularly visible.

And fall and winter are the best time to catch a show, with long, cold nights and (hopefully) clear skies providing the perfect conditions.

Sure, you have to be in luck, but regular checking of the Aurora Watch website, which measures the amount of solar activity each day, will let you know when it’s worth going out and trying your luck.

Here are 10 of the best places in Scotland to chase the aurora.

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