'A Night with the Stars'
|The Seven Sisters||Andromeda Galaxy||The Orion Nebula|
Why enjoy stargazing holidays in South West Scotland?
The Forestry Commission of Scotland has established the nearby Galloway Forest Park as the first ever ‘Dark Sky Park’ in the UK, and one of only five in the world. Announced on Monday the 16th November 2009 in the International Year of Astronomy, this is an exciting development for the UK and for the south West of Scotland.
What is a Dark Sky Park?
The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) awards deserving parks around the world the status of ‘Dark Sky Park’. They define a dark sky park as: “a park possessing exceptional starry night skies and natural nocturnal habitat where light pollution is mitigated and natural darkness is valuable as an important educational, cultural, scenic and natural resource”.
What does The Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park have that is so special?
Very dark skies indeed! From a city street, you might be able to see a few dozen of the brightest stars in the sky. In this area, on a clear night, you will be dazzled by thousands upon thousands of stars.
Just how dark are the skies in Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park?
Astronomers measure the darkness of the sky on the Bortle Scale, a nine point scale that describes the level of light pollution overhead. Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park has a Bortle class of 2, defined as a “truly dark site”. The only class of sky darker than this is class 1, “utterly unpolluted sky”. Nowhere in the UK, or indeed mainland Europe for that matter, has a sky with Bortle class 1, so the skies above The Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park are certainly amongst the darkest skies in the world, and probably the darkest skies you will ever see.
Things you might see include: detail within the grey band of the Milky Way, other galaxies and nebulae visible with the naked eye, dozens of shooting stars, the northern lights and, of course, true darkness!
* Rates for all special offers and packages on this web site are subject to change at any time. Special offers and packages are strictly subject to availability, and subject to our normal booking terms and conditions (click to view booking terms and conditions). They can only be booked directly by telephone or email with Glenapp Castle. Special rates cannot be applied to existing reservations.