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Scottish Dark Sky Observatory

Loch Doon | Dalmellington, Dalmellington KA6 7PZ, Scotland
+44 1292 551118
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Review Highlights
Interesting visit

Enjoyed our visit to the observatory. Found the staff to be friendly, informative and happy to... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
AnroGlasgow
,
Glasgow
via mobile
Terrible experience

Went to some observatories before, but SDSO was terrible. 'Roads' up to the observatory was... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Maisarah M
Read all 170 reviews
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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.
  • Excellent69%
  • Very good20%
  • Average2%
  • Poor5%
  • Terrible4%
Travellers talk about
“access road” (15 reviews)
“last night” (9 reviews)
“sat nav” (5 reviews)
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
Loch Doon | Dalmellington, Dalmellington KA6 7PZ, Scotland
CONTACT
Website
+44 1292 551118
Write a ReviewReviews (170)
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All reviews
"access road"
in 15 reviews
"last night"
in 9 reviews
"sat nav"
in 5 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 13 reviews
"an adventure"
in 5 reviews
"forest park"
in 3 reviews
"memorable evening"
in 3 reviews
"out of this world"
in 4 reviews
"bad weather"
in 3 reviews
"scottish weather"
in 2 reviews
"half hour"
in 3 reviews
"excellent information"
in 2 reviews
"would definitely go back"
in 2 reviews
"would recommend a visit"
in 2 reviews
"different locations"
in 2 reviews
"mid summer"
in 2 reviews
"clear instructions"
in 3 reviews
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1 - 10 of 169 reviews

Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Enjoyed our visit to the observatory. Found the staff to be friendly, informative and happy to answer questions and allow time to take photographs. Yes the road to the observatory car park is challenging on a first visit, however the detailed driving instructions were invaluable...More

Thank AnroGlasgow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Went to some observatories before, but SDSO was terrible. 'Roads' up to the observatory was impossible to follow or see in the darkness, so even though they say gates only open 10 minutes before the event, aim to be there in plenty more time that...More

2  Thank Maisarah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
darkskyobs, Manager at Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded 2 weeks ago

We were extremely surprised and disappointed to read this very negative review and feel that, for clarity, there are points which need to be addressed. They are as follows: 1. The reviewer visited on 23 March 2017 - 15 months ago. A lot changes in...More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Really enjoyed our visit though hard to get dark sky in Scotland in June! Presentation and telescope equipment was fantastic but planetarium and exhibition/museum were great little surprises too. Even on a warm night it was cold on the observation deck so take a layer...More

1  Thank Grady67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Four of us visited for the first time and it was a very interesting and awe inspiring visit. The road is certainly challenging but our driver did extremely well. Our guide David was very friendly and helpful and gave us excellent information and great views...More

2  Thank ayrshirelass13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2018

The road up to the observatory is not for the faint of heart. I would advise bringing an SUV or 4x4 just for the ground clearance as the pot holes are horrendous and the road is an extremely rough dirt track with large (golf ball/tennis...More

Thank msg84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2018

I'll keep this short, but if its cloudy its a complete waste of time. I know I know it is an observatory so clear skies are essential for the true experience, but this is Scotland after all so not exactly known for its outstanding weather....More

2  Thank Rice1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2018 via mobile

Finally got to go to the observatory last night after previous visit was canceled after arrival at meeting point, due to bad weather and a very steep uphill walk. Although we were disappointed at this we we pleased to be offered a rescheduled visit hence...More

3  Thank Donna W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2018

We arrived 15 minutes into the Saturday evening session.The trip up from Manchester was interesting through the blizzards on the 17th! It was well worth the trouble though.The weather was bitterly cold but dry whilst there.The staff were very friendly and informative,a very enjoyable couple...More

1  Thank Lofty_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

A good evening with plenty of information to hand. Sadly the sky was cloudy but the staff made every effort to show the stars that were visible. A little chilly but that was to be expected where it was so I had no issues. The...More

1  Thank Martin H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2018 via mobile

My husband & I visited The Scottish Dark Sky Observatory last night. We were staying at The Travel Lodge in Ayr & from there took us about 45 minutes. The directions we were given in the email were spot on and even though it was...More

2  Thank Brenda N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Emma K
27 August 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Mop55 | Reviewed this property |
I definitely would not recommend walking. Even if you are young and fit, it is pitch black. My husband was driving and we got lost trying to find it in our own car! It is very rough terrain. I advise a taxi there and back.
1
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Rhona139
29 March 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Coco C | Reviewed this property |
Hi Rhona, We stayed in a lovely pub/hotel called kenbridge hotel. It's a 20min drive away but is based next to a lovely river which you can view whilst eating breakfast each morning. The price was reasonable and the owners... More
1
Vote
Deepthi P
19 August 2016|
Answer
Response from darkskyobs | Property representative |
T&C Town Taxis in Dalmellington offers a service from the village at a cost of around £6.00 each direction. You need to pre-book giving at least 24 hours notice. Contact Jim Ireland on: Tel: 01292 550100 Hope this helps... More
1
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