For those that love star watching the big open skies of Sutherland are perfect for watching the sky at night. The scattered population and small rural hamlets mean there is little in the way of light pollution, and North West Sutherland is known as one of the darkest sky locations in the UK and possibly Europe. With cold crisp cloudless autumn and winter nights. its the best time to go stargazing . Why not go outside with your telescope and get some spectacular views of the astronomical sights around us ,including the beautiful Milky Way as seen by this photo taken by guest Chris Barkway. There are also two Dark Sky Discovery Sites just a short drive away in Lochinver and Tain
The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis are another spectacular sight on many travellers bucket list, and as Scotland is on the same latitude as Stravangar in Norway and the Nunivak Islands in Alaska its another natural wonder that Sutherland can offer. Again autumn and winter offer long hours of darkness and frequent cold clear nights, and combined with a night of increased solar activity you could be rewarded with the dancing colours across the night sky. Its a good idea to download one of the many Aurora apps which will warn you when the sightings are likely, but remember they are often at their visiable in the early hours, so best for night owls. Although we do not face North at Invercassley, a short drive up on the Lairg road or the hills around Altass will give you wide open views of the Northern Skies . Another great location is in Rogart , nr Lairg where one of the country’s top Aurora photographers is based and his photos can be viewed on social media pages.
So on your next visit why not wrap up warm and see what views of the celestial world you can find here in Sutherland.