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Scottish Dark Sky Observatory

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Address: Loch Doon | Dalmellington, Dalmellington KA6 7PZ, Scotland
Phone Number:
+44 1292 551118
Website
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Description:

The Scottish Dark Sky Observatory occupies a fantastic hilltop site on the...

The Scottish Dark Sky Observatory occupies a fantastic hilltop site on the edge of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park. This publically accessible educational observatory has some of the darkest skies in the UK and two large telescopes through which to observe the night sky.

The Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park was the first Dark Sky Park in the UK and Europe, and was award a Gold-tier status by the International Dark-Sky Association.

This new observatory includes a 20” Corrected Dall Kirkham telescope in a 5 metre dome and a 14″ Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope for a more hands-on, open air observing experience.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 133 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 94
    Excellent
  • 26
    Very good
  • 2
    Average
  • 7
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
cloudy night, but really educational

we visited on a full moon Saturday, travelled up from Norfolk, but unfortunately the clouds were too thick to see even a single star. However it was far from a wasted journey. We... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 6 days ago
Debbie-Anne C
,
Sheringham, England, United Kingdom
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133 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 132: English reviews
Sheringham, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

we visited on a full moon Saturday, travelled up from Norfolk, but unfortunately the clouds were too thick to see even a single star. However it was far from a wasted journey. We still learnt loads of amazing stuff and the volunteers put on some great presentations. Ignore the reviews about the terrible road up. Yes we did get a... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Debbie-Anne C
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This is absolutely worth a visit. Driving up, we were disappointed by the thick cloud and reckoned we’d not see much. Luckily enough the cloud shifted just as we arrived and the Observatory guys made sure that we went outside straight away to take advantage of the break in the weather. The 90 minutes whizzed by as the two telescopes... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank 20denier
burntisland fife scotland
Level Contributor
50 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

as most of the others have said wrap up warm its easier to open a coat than go back to car to put one on. we visited on the 20 Jan and it was very cold but a beautiful clear sky that night we saw Venus, Mars and Uranus planets , lots of stars Sirius was like a disco ball... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank stephen s
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Wrap up warm.I bought this visit as a Christmas present and the recipient rated it in her top 5 presents ever, The weather forecast predicted heavy cloud cover but on the way up the track the sky just sparkled into life .With a short introduction from the staff ,and the three Labradors, we went up to the viewing platform... spectacular.... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank mirocat
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Attended with my boyfriend in April 2016. Was cloudy but the intro and instruction on star gazing was inspiring enough. Loved the crazy path access. Felt like an adventure. 100% recommend visiting. Thanks SDLO! :)

Helpful?
1 Thank Coco C
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2017 via mobile

This is a very beautiful and interesting place to visit, if and only if you genuinely love star gazing. Traveling to this place is really like entering a forest. It's dark and deep. So once you book for Scottish dark night sky observatory, they will give confirm and give you the right address to their place. You just can't follow... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2016

Our family of four ( 2 adults and 2 teens) visited the observatory on a chilly December evening. We actually debated whether to go or not as the weather at home (Kilmarnock) was very cloudy. We are so glad we made the journey! As previous reviewers have stated , the road to the observatory is challenging , however we encountered... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank fhm1971
Glasgow
Level Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 December 2016 via mobile

I booked tickets with good intentions. I had family coming up from England and thought it would be nice to do something different over the Christmas period . Unfortunately it did not go to plan and turned into a nightmare . As I later read on trip advisor and can confirm,once you leave the main road you are driving off... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank rawplugs
Inverkip, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2016

Had a great time at the observatory stargazing on a freezing, clear night. Recommend it. Drive up through forest track, over cattle grids and through gates is a mini adventure, but more than worth it for the views from the top and later the views of the universe. Wrap up with lots of warm clothes - despite the cosy log... More 

Helpful?
Thank Eileen V
Ayr, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2016

A recent family visit to the observatory on a Saturday evening was in complete contrast to the normal TV entertainment of X Factor or Strictly Come Dancing. Access to the observatory is by way of a forestry road, which has to be viewed as all part of the evening's experience. After a short introduction the resident Astronomer led us up... More 

Helpful?
Thank Richard N

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?