Sit back and enjoy the view of the Northern lights and star gazing at Forest Way in Scotland.


Of the many things we expected when we bought the house, the beautiful views. Lovely beach walks, the loch and the amazing wildlife. The biggest surprise has been the revelation that we were on the edge of Britain’s first Dark Sky Park, The Galloway Forest Park.

What does that mean?

Well if you are like me, I had no idea. Until the first night I looked outside and enjoyed the view of the Northern Lights.

You see, the Galloway Forest Park is one of the least “light polluted” areas in the world. With a Sky Quality Meter (SQM) scale reading of around 23 on a scale that runs from 0 to 25. So  in the middle of a major city such as London you would get a reading of around 8. While a photographer’s dark room would be about 24.

That means that in the middle of the Forest Park, you are as near to total darkness as possible to get with almost no light pollution. Perfect location to sit back and enjoy the view of the Northern Lights and star gazing.

And even on the fringes where we are, the first time you see it, the effect is absolutely breath-taking. it is unbelievably dark and the stars are just incredible. .

Now anyone that knows me will confirm that my ability to grasp and understand modern technology is akin to Joey Essex trying to read a book by Steven Hawking!  My little I-pad and I have a love hate relationship.

But I have actually discovered a couple of apps which are really good. You can now find me on the jetty in the middle of the night holding up my I-pad to the stars. Like some middle aged druid as my “Skyview” app names the constellations. The planets and even the path of the international space station.

But what makes this area so special is what happened a few weeks ago. While watching television when there was a “ping” from my I-pad.

Because the other app I have is “Aurorawatch”. We are in one of the few areas outside the far north where you can see the Northern Lights.

The app sends you an alarm and lets you know if you are likely to see them in your area. So before you could say “Big Bang Theory”. I am grabbing the camera and running down to the loch side and there they are.

Northern Lights

northern lights

I was even able to catch a few shooting stars!


Now you can’t always guarantee beautiful starry nights because the other thing God decided to give Scotland was … Rain!

But the thought that when the clouds clear. I can go down. Sit on the jetty and watch shooting stars… totally hooked!!


Next blog

Next task, get a photo of the Milky Way… Watch this space.

So if you would like to book a cottage where you can sit back, relax and watch the stars you can also book Forest Way – CLICK HERE