11 of Scotland's Best Dark Sky Stays

Aldona Reyes Mallet ·octobre 03, 2022Lecture: 8 minutes

Dark sky holidays have been, well, excuse the pun… astronomically popular in recent years. No wonder, as there are few things more tranquil and awe-inspiring than gazing up into a glittering night sky.

Are you planning your next Scottish adventure and need a bit of inspiration? We’ve compiled this list of our top dark sky places to sleep close to the stars. Have a look where best to see galaxies, constellations, and planets from the comfort of your holiday accommodation.

  1. The Glasshouse Edinburgh

    The Glasshouse, Autograph Collection Hotels

    If you’re staying in the capital city, you can still see the stars and learn more about the fascinating world of cosmology and astrology at the Royal Observatory at Blackford Hill. Sign up to attend regular public astronomy evenings and talks at the observatory during the year, while its exhibitions include some real meteors from outer space which you can actually touch.

    Featuring a weathered Gothic-style stone façade, The Glasshouse is located on the site of the former Lady Glenorchy Church, just a 20-minute drive from the Royal Observatory.

    Sleeps up to: 77 rooms
    Unique features: floor-to-ceiling windows, roof garden

    • Boucle magnétique
    • Salle d'eau ou douche avec accès au niveau du sol
    • Wi-Fi
    • Petit-déjeuner disponible
  2. Airship 002 Drimnin, Argyll

    Le château de Kilchurn sur les rives du Loch Awe, Argyll

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    Dubbed Scotland’s ‘most unusual’ stay by the Scotsman, AirShip 002 is a crisp contemporary spaceship-style holiday cabin. Situated in one of the remotest areas in Argyll, near Drimnin, overlooking the Sound of Mull and way out to sea, this comfy and quirky place is an ideal and romantic secluded retreat for two. A stay at this double-glazed pod and gazing at the twinkling constellations under a cosy tartan blanket just can’t be beaten.

    Sleeps: up to 2 people
    Unique features: curved glass wall, wood burner

  3. The Buchan Near Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway

    Clatteringshaws Loch

    Overlooking Loch Trool in the heart of the beautiful Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park, The Buchan provides modern, comfortable accommodation, perfect for getting away from it all and forgetting about the outside world. This historic house boasts a large conservatory, with hot tub, that allows you to relax and enjoy the spectacular views and wildlife whatever the weather.

    Sleeps: up to 8 people
    Unique features: large conservatory, hot tub, wood-burning stove

    • Parking
    • Animaux de compagnie bienvenus
  4. Dark Skye Cottage Isle of Skye, Highlands

    Coucher de soleil sur le Fairy Glen, île de Skye

    Dark Skye Cottage is a truly one-of-a-kind private holiday cottage located on the breathtakingly beautiful and mystical Isle of Skye. The accommodation offers a romantic getaway for two who want to escape the buzz of everyday life, perfectly balancing seclusion while still only a short walk from one of Skye’s most desirable villages.

    Sleeps up to: 2 people
    Unique features: giant infinity roll top bath in the bedroom, underfloor heating, mood lighting

  5. Ecopod Boutique Retreat Oban, Argyll

    Un yacht amarré au ponton nord d’Oban

    © VisitScotland / Wild about Argyll / Kieran J Duncan

    Certainly not a traditional hotel, the Ecopods Boutique Retreat offers guests a stay in one of two bubble-shaped pods tucked away in a birch woodland setting in Oban. Those futuristic-looking, luxurious tent-like domes are over 750 square feet and offer views of Castle Stalker and Loch Linnhe. Wouldn’t it just be perfect to spend your whole break lazing by the fire on sheepskin rugs and looking out of the large panoramic window?

    Sleeps up to: 4 (two in each)
    Unique features: panoramic window, wood stove, hot tub, underfloor heating

  6. Loch Venachar Lodges Near Callander, Stirling

    Les sommets enneigés du Ben Lui, Argyll

    Set right on the shore of the shimmering freshwater loch, in the heart of the Trossachs, you certainly won’t feel anywhere close to the bright lights of the city when you stay at Loch Venachar Lodges. Those striking black timber-clad lodges offer a wealth of upscale creature comforts, their front gardens lead to a beach with views of Ben Venue and Ben Ledi, and you can also fire up the barbecue or take a good book down to the outdoor snug, before watching the dark sky from the comfort of a lush hot tub.

    Sleeps up to: 10 people (four and six in each)
    Unique features: floor-to-ceiling panoramic window, wood burning stove, hot tub, barbecue

  7. The Buccleuch Arms Moffat, Dumfries & Galloway

    Buccleuch Arms Hotel Exterior

    © Buccleuch Arms Hotel

    The Buccleuch Arms Hotel is an elegant 18th-century coaching inn that’s a perfect choice for a stargazing getaway. Surrounded by rivers, lochs and the rolling Moffat Hills, this cosy dark-sky hotel retains most of its original Georgian features; including their toasty open fireplaces – ideal for warming yourself up after a refreshing starlit stroll through the village.

    Did you know? Europe’s first dark-sky town, Moffat has adapted special street lighting to keep light pollution in the area to a minimum – all the better to see the stars with!

    Sleeps up to: 13 rooms
    Unique features: beer garden, free WiFi

    • Itinéraire desservi par les transports en commun
    • Parking
    • Animaux de compagnie bienvenus
    • Wi-Fi
    • Petit-déjeuner disponible
  8. Kinnaird Woodland Lodges Pitlochry, Perthshire

    Lodge 5 outside on the decking, looking at the lodge with the hot tub on, pink lights in the hot tub, BBQ, cushions on the outdoor furniture.

    You won’t regret you chose Kinnaird Woodland Lodges for your stargazing experience. Not only does it boast a superb location with out of this world views, but you can look up from your hot tub to the most amazing skies full of stars. The clear skies with no light pollution make star gazing here a joy – this truly is the place to relax and forget your worries.

    Sleeps up to: 8 (two in each)
    Unique features: panoramic views, woodburner, free WiFi

    • Parking
    • Animaux de compagnie bienvenus
    • Wi-Fi
  9. The Craigdarroch Inn Foyers, near Loch Ness

    The jetty at Urquhart Castle

    Head to Assynt in the north-west Highlands or the Isle of Skye for a spot of Scottish stargazing. The Highlands are dotted with places miles from any light source so you can see the Milky Way arching across the inky-blue sky without the aid of a telescope. The Craigdarroch Inn near Loch Ness, set on a heather-covered hillside, is a great spot to watch as the sun sets over the loch and mountains and the stars begin to shine.

    Sleeps up to: 10 rooms
    Unique features: log fire, free WiFi, pet friendly

  10. Ackergill Tower Wick, Highlands

    Le château de Sinclair et Girnigoe, Caithness

    © VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

    The northernmost coastline is one of the best places for stargazing in Scotland. On clear nights, the darkest of dark skies await, making for a spectacular stargazing experience. Stay at Ackergill Tower, a 15th-century one-of-a-kind castle. Situated near Wick in the North Highlands, it can be found on a gorgeous 3,000-acre private estate, sitting proudly above its own beach. What more can you want for a perfect retreat?

    Sleeps up to: 17 rooms
    Unique features: open-air restaurant, free WiFi

  11. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage Wick, Highlands

    Le port de Pettico Wick, réserve naturelle de St Abbs Head

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    The Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage is just wonderful.  If you’re looking for a truly incredible nighttime view looking back billions of years into the past, the northernmost coastline is one of the best places to see it in mainland Scotland, and the quiet position of Noss Head near Wick makes it an excellent stargazing spot too. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage

    Sleeps up to: 6
    Unique features: beachfront, pet friendly, picnic area, free WiFi

Whether it’s on your own, with a friend or with the whole family, take a trip or holiday to stop, look up and enjoy the wonder of the night sky. Because, really, what could be more romantic than a cosy night in beneath the Milky Way?

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