Tag: stargazing


Tomintoul and Glenlivet – Cairngorms Dark Sky Park

Last year the Tomintoul and Glenlivet – Cairngorms Dark Sky Park was newly designated by the International Dark Sky Association.  Not only is it the darkest Dark Sky Park in the UK but it’s the most northerly Dark Sky Park in the world.  I can’t wait to visit!   Once you’ve experienced a truly dark sky – one free of most light pollution – … Read More Tomintoul and Glenlivet – Cairngorms Dark Sky Park


Most memorable photos of 2018

My trips this year took in not just Scotland but I also ventured a little further afield to Ireland, France and Indonesia.  From mountain to sea and from coast to coast I hiked, biked and camped my way through many adventures. Take a look as I describe some of this year’s standout memories. 1.  Cycling around Lismore On cold, frosty morning in January I … Read More Most memorable photos of 2018


Chasing the ‘super blue blood moon’

For the first time since 1982 this week we were treated to the spectacle of a ‘super blue blood moon’.  It was a chance to see the convergence of three rare events: a supermoon, a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse, which turns the moon a blood coloured orangey-red. A supermoon is when there’s a full moon that happens when the moon is … Read More Chasing the ‘super blue blood moon’


The “merry dancers”

    Like a piece of music that slowly builds to an exciting crescendo, the first three movements of last night’s auroral symphony started boldly and with a real purpose before exploding into a riotous final movement.  This was quite possibly the strongest, most active aurora I’ve seen in Scotland. As I reached one of my regular spots for aurora hunting just after 8pm … Read More The “merry dancers”

Nature’s fireworks

Streaking at break-neck speed across the sky, it’s easy to miss a meteor.  Blink and they’re gone. For a brief instant a speck of dust emitted from the Swift-Tuttle comet enters the Earth’s atmosphere.  It’s travelling at 37 miles (59 km) per second.  At this incredible speed the comet debris heats up the air around it, generating a burst of light as it hurtles … Read More Nature’s fireworks


The northern lights … also available in purple

Last weekend was a good weekend for viewing the aurora.  In fact, the lights showed up both on Friday and Saturday nights when Scotland was enjoying a rare period of high pressure with limited cloud cover. But the most remarkable thing about last weekend’s showing of the northern lights was that for the first time in my aurora-chasing experience, the lights on Saturday night … Read More The northern lights … also available in purple

Where are Scotland’s dark skies?

Can you remember the time you first looked up at the sky and were just amazed at the number of stars ?  I’m not talking about seeing a few dazzling stars on a cloudless night but about a star-studded panorama of the Milky Way that seems to reach right down to ground level.  In a really dark sky we could see as many as … Read More Where are Scotland’s dark skies?


Beinn Trilleachan wild camp

      Sometimes the planning pays off and it all comes together.  I’d been looking forward to a winter’s wild camp – camped on snow with a star-filled sky – for perhaps a year or two.  Beinn Trilleachan, at the head of Loch Etive, was to tick all of these boxes. This was a quick 24-hour trip, leaving home Saturday lunchtime and back in time for lunch … Read More Beinn Trilleachan wild camp


A night out with the stars

  Inspired by those wonderful night time photos of the milky way or meteors streaking across the sky I headed out for a night with the stars. I’m pretty much a novice when it comes to knowing how to properly use a camera.  Sure, I’m a dab hand with the various auto settings and am comfortable messing about ‘off piste’ with manual controls, but … Read More A night out with the stars


Shooting stars at the Devil’s Beeftub

“The Devil’s Bathtub, surely ?”, I said. “A tub to keep beef in ?“, my son offered, optimistically. It was while pondering the curious origins** of the dramatic 500-foot hollow in the hills above the small town of Moffat that we pulled up on the roadside.  We found a spot just where the boundaries of South Lanarkshire, Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders meet: quiet … Read More Shooting stars at the Devil’s Beeftub