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Stunning stargazing sites in Dumfries and Galloway

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 grace@media-street.co.uk

It’s got to be said that Scotland boasts some of the most unique stargazing spots in the northern hemisphere. Those who have visited holiday parks in Dumfries and Galloway will know all too well about the overnight starlight spectacle which occurs. However for those who are thinking of visiting the world-renowned area and the most southerly point in Scotland, take a look at Sands of Luce’s stunning stargazing sites to plan a night of space exploration.

 

The perfect picturesque hiding spot

The unique and, at times, barren landscapes that surround Scotland are in fact the delights of international astronomers and physicists alike. The somewhat hair raising darkness that descends on the country during night hours has captured the eyes of many for centuries, due to very little light pollution and uninhabited land. This is what makes Dumfries and Galloway a perfect hiding spot for stargazers, who come back time and time again to see space in its full glory.

 

 

If Visit Scotland are proud of their stargazing sites, then we know you certainly will be too. If you are wanting to get out into the fresh air, pack a picnic and leave the hustle and bustle of life behind, we’ve picked just some of our many favourite free stargazing spots, with a description, and put them into an easy to read, interactive map, including:

 

  • Clatteringshaw Visitor Centre
  • Caldons Woodland
  • Kirroughtree Visitor Centre
  • Robert the Bruce’s Stone
  • Moffat
  • Luce Bay Holiday Park
  • Glentrool Visitor Centre

 

The science behind starlight in Scotland

Alongside the numerous free stargazing sports in Galloway Forest Park was named the UK’s first ever Sky Park and has attracted amateur and professional astronomers from around the world. The skies here have been measured at 23.6 out of 25 (scale from 0-25) on the International Dark Sky Associations scale of darkness. It is believed that you are likely to see up to 50 times more stars in the Sky Park than any a major city such as London or Manchester.

In 2017, dark sky experts gathered for the first European conference and “hoped the conference would further help to cement south west Scotland’s reputation as a premier destination for stargazing”, according to the BBC.

Environment Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham said at the conference: “Scotland’s natural environment, including its dark sky places, is one of its unique selling points and one that we should never take for granted.

“Dark sky places have an important part to play in raising awareness of light pollution and its effects on people and the environment.”

 

sky observatory

 

The Scottish Dark Sky Observatory

If you wanted something as little more scientific; located only an hour and a half from Sands Of Luce Holiday Park is the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory in Galloway Forest Park. This is somewhere you can experience that intense deep level of darkness. Situated on one of the highest hilltops in the park, the Observatory is home to two colossal telescopes allowing for exceptional detail of the night sky.

For the avid astronomers out there a 20” Corrected Dall Kirkham telescope and a 14” Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope which the observatory say allows for a “more hands-on, open air observing experience.” Make sure to pre-book your tickets to get the best seat in the house!

 

Sands of Luce stargazing

If you have been inspired to head to Luce Bay caravan park and base yourself underneath the stars, planets and galaxies for as long as you wish, contact our team today who will be happy to arrange and book your visit.