Stargazing Tours with the Kingsmills Hotel

Stargazing Experiences

The Scottish Highlands is home to some of the darkest skies in Europe. During the darker nights between October and March, local astronomer Stephen Mackintosh hosts evening stargazing experiences from the Kingsmills Hotel for small groups of up to 13 guests. You will experience the wonders of the night sky under dark sky conditions, well away from significant urban light pollution.

Northern lights over the Scottish Highlands
Image credit: Stephen Mackintosh

Stargazing experiences in Inverness

The evening experience will begin with an indoor astronomy and stargazing presentation hosted by Stephen, with an opportunity for extensive Q&As. Stephen will introduce naked-eye and binocular stargazing and what to look out for in the night sky. He’ll cover the basics of navigating the heavens, using pointer stars and constellations, before moving on to view an array of night sky objects. From glittering star clusters, bright nebulae, galaxies and (depending on their positions) planets. Assuming reasonable weather conditions the experience will then continue outdoors for an excursion away from Inverness to a suitable dark sky location to take in the night sky proper, putting presentation into practice and allowing you to experience the stunning wonders of the dark Highland skies.

Bright stars in the sky over Scottish Highlands
Image credit: Stephen Mackintosh

Booking your stargazing experience

If you’re interested in booking this magical experience for your group, please contact us today.

The best time to see the Milky Way is when there is a new moon or thin crescent moon. That’s because there is lower light coming from the moon during these phases, making the sky darker. Please check the Moon Calendar to see what phase the moon will be at during your visit. If the Moon is dominant in the sky, Stephen will focus the experience on brighter stars, constellations and the Moon itself.

Touring the Scottish Highlands

After a busy day of touring the Scottish Highlands, head back to the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness and relax. Book online or get in touch with our friendly team for more information.

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