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Stargazing/Northern Lights in Feb?

Hampshire, United...
Destination Expert
for Amesbury, London
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6,783 posts
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Stargazing/Northern Lights in Feb?

Hi,

Am married to a seriously keen amateur astronomer - and seeing the Northern Lights (again) is high on his agenda, as well as having dark skies for astronomy.

Yes, I know all the caveats about seeing the Northern Lights (or not!), but this is peak solar maximus whatever. Going to Iceland for a few days is prohibitively expensive, although I'm not sure getting to the Shetland Isles is really any cheaper!

Anyway, does anyone know if any of the hotels / b&bs are geared up for astronomy - ie owning telescopes that they let guests use? Is there an astronomy society on the island?

Has anyone managed to see the Northern Lights recently? (out of interest)

Thanks!

Hampshire, United...
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for Amesbury, London
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6,783 posts
55 reviews
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11. Re: Stargazing/Northern Lights in Feb?

Thanks all.

Unfortunately, school holidays dictate everything ...

Yes, visiting Galloway had crossed my mind. But having just looked at the Kielder website, I think we may well need to visit there too as they have lots of events. Both so far away though .... we can't just 'nip up', and public transport isn't the easiest, so it would probably be by car. I don't mind driving - I'm sure we could do it as a day trip from Hampshire, but would I have time to visit Wales too en route? ...

... (joking!)

Lerwick, United...
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12. Re: Stargazing/Northern Lights in Feb?

Hi

Since you were initially asking about coming to Shetland to see the 'mirrie dancers' thought I'd post this link to some local information

http://visit.shetland.org/northern-lights The advice about NOT coming to Shetland solely to see the aurora is wise, especially if you are just coming for a few days. You could be disappointed if the conditions aren't right - far better to come for a short break (and yes, theres plenty to see and do here in the winter) and keep your fingers crossed. Trying to think when I last saw the aurora - 3 or 4 weeks ago I think.

Getting to Shetland isn't cheap unfortunately - forget budget airlines, FlyBe is the only commercial carrier to the Isles, though you could try Easyjet to one of the main Scottish airports, then get the Flybe flight to Sumburgh. Alternatively, fly to Aberdeen then get the overnight boat up to Lerwick. All part of the authentic Shetland experience.....

Good luck. Give Shetland a try sometime, but combine aurora-chasing with something else.

Trondheim, Norway
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for Trondheim
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13. Re: Stargazing/Northern Lights in Feb?

Agree with the previous poster. Go to Shetland, it's wonderful, lights or no lights. The ferry is a nice and relaxing way to travel.

London, United...
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14. Re: Stargazing/Northern Lights in Feb?

Shetland is a wonderful place to see the Northern Lights from. I recommend a stay at Brekka Lodge which offer special prices between October and March. Check out their website: http://www.selfcateringshetland.co.uk/ They also kindly offer to add you to their Friends & Family to get a discount on the Northlink Ferries.

Edinburgh...
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15. Re: Stargazing/Northern Lights in Feb?

It's the luck of the draw but it does happen, if you're lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time

bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands…

The general advice is the further north the better.

16. Re: Stargazing/Northern Lights in Feb?

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