International Dark Sky Week is upon us with stargazers around the globe looking forward to inspirational celestial experiences.

Initially designed to raise awareness of light pollution and celebrate the night sky’s beauty, the annual event runs from April 22-30.

With that in mind, wanted to discover the UK’s must-visit spots for stargazing, naming three Scotland locations among them including Loch Lomond coming in at number three.

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Celestial events happening in 2022

UK's top spots for stargazing

The research used scientific data such as the Bortle scale - a classification system which uses astronomical observations to measure light pollution. The scale runs from 1 (best) to 9 (worst).

They also checked out an instrument used to give a reading on the luminance of the night sky called a Sky Quality Meter. A rating of 16.00 indicates the brightest sky and 22.00 the darkest.

Finally, to come up with an overall score, they referred to ‘Artificial Brightness’ which measures sky brightness against natural brightness. It is set at 174 µcd/m2. A rating higher than 3,000 µcd/m2 is known as ‘Very high light intensity’ and at this level the human eye does not need to adapt to the dark to see.


UK locations with highest Stargazing Quality Scores

  • Tresco, Scilly Isles – 99.38
  • Glen Brittle, Isle of Skye – 99.33
  • Loch Lomond – 95.26
  • Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland – 95.26
  • Llanddwyn Island – 93.17
  • Tintagel Castle, Tintagel – 93.13
  • Portmeirion – 91.09
  • Stratford-upon-Avon – 89.05
  • Giant's Causeway – 89.05
  • Fort William – 89.05
  • East Sussex – 89.05
  • Durdle Door, Dorset – 89.05
  • Bowness-on-Windermere, Lake District  England 89.05
  • Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswolds – 89.05

Coming in top is Tresco on the Scilly Isles. The remote island location is ideal for stargazing as it has a Bortle Scale classification of 1. This rating allows stargazers to see the Triangulum Galaxy, 2.73 million light-years from Earth, with the naked eye.

Second on the list is Glen Brittle on the Isle of Skye, well known for its natural beauty. Glen Brittle has a SQM reading of 22.00, the highest possible score for this metric, meaning the area has no light pollution at all.

However, visit any of the locations in this list during International Dark Sky Week and you will be sure of some remarkable night time sights.