The Sparkling Northern Lights in Scotland

Aurora spotting from Woodlands Glencoe

Spotting the Northern Lights in Scotland

Aurora hunters rejoice! Glencoe offers solitude, silence and sparkling skies in abundance so there’s no need to trudge up to the arctic circle to get an eyeful of aurora rippling across the sky.  This blog offers our top tips and tricks to maximise your chances of spotting the Northern Lights in Scotland if she decides to strut her funky stuff while you’re at Woodlands Glencoe.

What’s the science behind Aurora Borealis?

Aurora action begins at around 80 miles above the earth’s surface; however, the very top of a display can extend several thousand miles above the earth!  But what actually produces this glorious winter spectacle?  What we are seeing when Aurora is in full swing is a load of atoms and molecules in our atmosphere colliding with particles from the Sun. The aurora’s characteristic swirling patterns of light are caused by the lines of force in the earth’s magnetic field.  So now we know what’s going on up there, how can we get the best possible chance of seeing the Northern Lights in action?

The best time to see the Northern Lights? 

If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights in Scotland, you’re going to have to pack your winter woolies!  The skies above Glencoe rarely get dark enough during the summer months, which is a blessing in disguise because the west Highlands are breathtakingly beautiful and ridiculously romantic over the winter months (especially if the Northern Lights decide to make an appearance).

This year, we witnessed the final Aurora of last winter in the middle of March and first sighting of this winter came in mid-October (which is the earliest we’ve known). 

How to be certain of a sighting?

The truth is that there’s no certainty when it comes to witnessing Aurora Borealis in all her glory; however, if you’re going to be in with a chance, you’re going to have to be somewhat spontaneous!  Over the winter months, we frequently have very last minute availability in RiverBeds Luxury Wee Lodges and SeaBeds Luxury Lookouts, so we would highly recommend keeping an eye on Aurora Watch and when you spot a red alert over the West Highlands, hit the ‘book now’ button on our website!

The view of the starry night sky at SeaBeds Luxury Lookout Lodges with Hot Tubs at Woodlands Glencoe. A mountain silhouette with endless romantic star gazing opportunities.
The Northern Lights in Scotland can be seen from the luxury lodges at Woodlands Glencoe.

Can we see the Northern Lights from the lodges?

Yes!  If there’s a crystal-clear night sky and Aurora has come out to enchant us with her swirling magic, then you will almost certainly see her from your lodge.

For the best views, we would recommend booking SeaBeds Luxury Lookouts as these lodges enjoy floor-to-ceiling windows where you’ll be treated to an unadulterated view to the north and west.  Better still, if you hit the bubbling depths of your infinity hot tub, you will enjoy a full cosmic panorama of the night sky so if there’s any Aurora action to be seen up there, you’re 100% going to see it from SeaBeds Luxury Lookouts.

If you would prefer to stay in RiverBeds Luxury Wee Lodges, we would recommend that you request one of the upper lodges.  These lodges aren’t hidden beneath a canopy of trees like the majority of RiverBeds, meaning you’ll enjoy a better view of the startlingly clear skies.

Make the most of your alfresco Aurora adventure!

If you’re out on your private terrace enjoying the spectacle up above, why not enhance the experience by ordering one of our Cosagach Cosy Kits?  These kits include lots of logs and kindling for the fire pit, sparklers to add a little extra magic and a s’mores making kit with giant marshmallows, skewers, oat crumble biscuits and luxury chocolate.   

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