A natural wonder that has fascinated mankind for millennia, the Northern Lights (also called the Aurora Borealis) are nature’s very own theatrical performance.

It may be a surprise to you, but northern Scotland actually lies at the same latitude as Stavenger in Norway and Nunivak Island in Alaska which means that you’re in with a good chance of spotting the ‘Mirrie Dancers’ on a trip to Scotland without breaking the bank!

Planning a trip for the next aurora season

When to see the Northern Lights?

Autumn and winter seasons, with their long periods of darkness and the frequency of clear nights, are probably the best time of the year to experience the auroral displays. Nights need to be cold and the sky clear of clouds, with limited light pollution and increased solar activity. Staying up until the wee hours of the morning may also help.

Where to spot them?

While the northern reaches of Scotland offer better chances of spotting the ‘Mirrie Dancers’, the aurora can be seen anywhere in Scotland when the right conditions are met and where the light pollution is at a minimum. Here’s a list of some of the best places to see this marvel:

THEY’RE WONDROUS.
THEY’RE DRAMATIC.
THEY’RE SIMPLY SURREAL.

The science behind this visual wonder

What causes the Northern Lights?

Named after Aurora (the Roman goddess of dawn) and Boreas (the Greek name for north wind), the birth of this amazing spectacle takes place on the sun and is caused when solar wind from the sun collides with magnetic particles in the Earth’s atmosphere.

What do they look like?

Ranging from green rippling ribbons to blue swirling, smoke-like dances, to whirling purple arches and dispersed silky emissions of light – they come in all colours, shapes and patterns, setting the night sky alive with curtain-like rainbows of light. The playful streaks that snake across the night sky evolve and change constantly, and can last minutes or merely seconds, but the end result is always truly spectacular.

FEELING THE URGE TO TRAVEL YET? GREAT!
ADD SEEING THE NORTHERN LIGHTS IN SCOTLAND
TO YOUR BUCKET LIST.

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