The Dark Sky Trail

Immerse your senses 'Above & Below' in Argyll

Argyll & the Isles a great place to see the stars without light pollution. If you are used to looking up at the night skies from a busy urban area you are in for a very pleasant surprise in just how
star-studded and twinkly the sky can be. If you are lucky, you might even see the Northern Lights.

We have highlighted key locations where locals love to star gaze and where you may well find some of our local photographers when the conditions are looking good. It’s always worth knowing when a full moon is expected and what direction to look to spot the milky way or one of the constellations. If it looks like there’s going to be clear sky at night do a little research online.

Download Guide
A&B NIGHT SKY

Make the most of our dark skies

  • Get yourself as far away as possible from any light source, even if it means simply getting behind a wall.
  • Allow your eyes up to 20 minutes to adjust to the dark – be patient as the longer you wait the more you will see.
  • It’s always best to star gaze lying down so if it’s not wet bring a picnic rug or a reclining camping chair.
  • You will need a torch, but rather than use your phone or a normal torch use a red beam like a rear bike light as it won’t affect your night vision as much.
  • You can see a lot with your naked eyes but a telescope or binoculars are handy for getting a better look at the moon and star clusters.
  • The northern lights – Aurora Borealis – often are picked up better on video/imagery than the naked eye – so do take some snaps but also enjoy the moment.

DID YOU KNOW
The Inner Hebridean Isle of Coll was designated a "Dark Sky Community" by the International Dark-sky Asscociation (IDA) in 2013 and our Above & Below site at Gigha's north pier has recently been granted the status of Dark Sky Discovery Site by the UK Dark Sky Discovery Partnership.
Are you keen to learn more about observing our night’s sky?

Are you keen to learn more about observing our night's sky?

Check out the organisations and businesses in our directory below.

Know the Scottish Outdoor Access Code before you go.

Snorkelling

Dazzled by the stars above? Why not take a look at the wonders below at our Snorkelling sites.

Check out our downloadable Above & Below Map and Guide or use our interactive map below >

Background image - Dark Skies Trail Credit Ewan Miles Nightscape Photography For Coll Dark Sky Group
Port Mòr

Port Mòr, at the north end of the island has been awarded the status of a Dark Sky Discovery site. Dark Sky Gigha host regular events for the community and v...

Gigha

Background image - Dark Skies Trail Credit Ewan Miles Nightscape Photography For Coll Dark Sky Group
Bellanoch Viewpoint

A short walk up a gentle incline will bring you to this viewpoint, offering views of the Mòine Mhór, Dunadd and Kilmartin Gle and transport you to the neolit...

Bellanoch/Barnluasgan/Crinan/Cairnbaan
PA31 8SN

Background image - Dark Skies Trail Credit Ewan Miles Nightscape Photography For Coll Dark Sky Group
Port Ban

West facing Cretshengan Bay offers perfect sunsets behind the silhouette of the Paps of Jura.

Port Ban Holiday Park
Kilberry
PA29 6YD

Background image - Dark Skies Trail Credit Ewan Miles Nightscape Photography For Coll Dark Sky Group
Mòine Mhór

A secluded spot amongst a small woodland to enjoy the stars as the neolithic residents of Kilmartin Glen would have.

Kilmartin
PA31 8QJ

Background image - Dark Skies Trail Credit Ewan Miles Nightscape Photography For Coll Dark Sky Group
Glasdrum Wood

This secluded woodland offers undisturbed dark sky viewing from the car park.

Loch Creran
PA38 4BQ

Background image - Dark Skies Trail Credit Ewan Miles Nightscape Photography For Coll Dark Sky Group
Dunardry Locks

An easily accessible site which offers opportunities to enjoy stars and perhaps catch the Northern Lights.

Cairnbaan
PA31 8UE

Background image - Dark Skies Trail Credit Ewan Miles Nightscape Photography For Coll Dark Sky Group
Asknish Bay (Loch Melfort Hotel)

Stroll down to the shore, or enjoy the sunset over the islands from the hotel deck.

Arduaine Gardens, A816, Arduaine, Oban
Arduaine
PA34 4XG

Background image - Dark Skies Trail Credit Ewan Miles Nightscape Photography For Coll Dark Sky Group
Crinan Basin

Watch the sunset reflected in the strong currents of the Dorus Mhor in historic Crinan.

Crinan
PA31 8SR

Background image - Dark Skies Trail Credit Ewan Miles Nightscape Photography For Coll Dark Sky Group
Taynish Mill

Taynish Mill offers a clearing in the ancient native woodlands of Taynish NNR for you to enjoy uninterrupted views of the night's sky.

Taynish Nature Reserve
Tayvallich
PA31 8PW

Above & Below Nature Based Activities

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SNORKEL TRAIL
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Snorkelling Argyll
WILD SWIMMING TRAIL
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BEACH HUNT TRAIL
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Explore all the places to visit in Argyll & the Isles

3700km of coastline, 23 inhabited islands, major towns and villages are all waiting for you.

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