Dark Sky Trail

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.


  • 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?

Check out the organisations and businesses in our directory below.

Know the Scottish Outdoor Access Code before you go. 


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 >

Above & Below Map

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