Northern Lights over Loch Ness

On Friday night, Scotland and much of the UK were treated to a spectacular Northern Lights display. This was the biggest geomagnetic storm for 20 years, creating a dazzling light show in the skies. As the sun reaches an 11-year solar maximum this year, experts are predicting more to come! So if you’re hoping to see the Northern Lights on your next stay with us at Abbey Holidays Loch Ness, read on…

Where and when to see the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights appear in Scotland every few months or so. Although there are no guarantees, the best time to see them is between October and March. This is when the skies are at their darkest. However, last weekend’s display goes to show that they can happen at any time of year. The further north you go, the more likely you are to see them, so here in the Scottish Highlands there’s often a good chance.

Tips for aurora-watchers in Scotland

Sign up to AuroraWatch UK Alerts to be informed when there is geomagnetic activity in the UK. The alerts are issued via an app, which you can download to your phone, and on Facebook and Twitter. They will tell you whether there is a high or low chance that the Northern Lights may appear.

On a clear night, find a place away from bright lights and wait until the sky is at its darkest for a chance of spotting them. The best time is generally between 10 pm and 2 am. But in the winter, the skies are darker for longer, so you may see them a little earlier. They are most likely to appear towards the northern horizon, but check the whole of the skies as they could show up in any direction.

The lights are often visible to the naked eye, especially in areas with less light pollution. Cameras tend to bring the colours out and you can capture some really stunning photographs with the right settings. You may need to experiment with the manual settings for the best shot, but generally you need a long focus, wide aperture, low shutter speed and high ISO.

Spotting the Northern Lights over Loch Ness

If you see the Northern Lights during your stay with us at Abbey Holidays Loch Ness, we’d love to hear about your experience. Please tell us all about it and share your pictures with us on Facebook, Twitter / X or Instagram!