Those looking to experience unforgettably dark skies and traditional Scottish culture.
Things to see and do
Winter is a fantastic time to soak up the splendour of the night sky. One of the best places to go stargazing in Scotland is the Galloway Forest Park in south west Scotland, which was the second park in Europe and first in the UK to be awarded Dark Sky Park status.
Find dark sky park events in the Galloway Forest Park and visit the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory at Dalmellington in Ayrshire to take part in a range of great events and navigate the skies using the observatory’s high-powered telescopes.
The Galloway Forest Park is also part of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere and you can book a dark sky event with one of the biosphere’s Dark Sky Rangers.
Another superb location for stargazing is the town of Moffat in Dumfries & Galloway as it’s a designated Dark Sky Town – the first town in Europe to be awarded this status. The streetlights in the town are specially designed to minimise light pollution so that you can enjoy the starry skies above uninterrupted.
Robert Burns and Burns Night
If you’re looking to experience authentic Scottish culture then January is a fantastic time to visit. Traditional Burns Suppers take place on and around 25 January to celebrate Robert Burns’ birthday, which is known as Burns Night.
Robert Burns was born in Ayrshire and every year you’ll find events celebrating his life at the Burns An’ A’ That! festival. Look out for the Burns Hame Toun events happening in January. Burns attractions to visit in Ayrshire include the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway and Burns House Museum in Mauchline.
Dumfries & Galloway also has strong connections with Robert Burns and is the place where he lived and spent time in the later years of his life, including at Ellisland Farm at Auldgirth and The Globe Inn and Robert Burns House in Dumfries. From 24 January – 2 February 2020 you’ll find a packed programme of events at the Big Burns Supper, taking place in venues throughout Dumfries.
Find more things to see and do in Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway.
Choose from hotels, B&Bs, self-catering cottages and much more across both regions.
Find accommodation in Ayrshire & Arran and Dumfries & Galloway.
Tuck into tasty local produce at eateries including The Green Frog Café in Moffat, Loch Arthur Farm Shop Café near Dumfries, the Kirkmichael Arms near Maybole and The Coo Shed near Alloway.
Travelling by car to either Ayrshire or Dumfries & Galloway is straightforward, with good road connections throughout both regions.
You can also travel by train from Glasgow to Dumfries or Edinburgh to Lockerbie in Dumfries & Galloway. The train line through Ayrshire from Glasgow to Stranraer stops at many destinations along the Ayrshire coast, including the major town of Ayr.