Glenlivet Estate welcomes Cairngorms first Dark Sky Discovery Site

The Glenlivet Estate is celebrating its new status as a Dark Sky Discovery Site.

Located at Blairfindy car park, just south-west of Glenlivet Distillery, the site is the first of its kind in the Cairngorms National Park and joins more than 100 others dotted across the UK.

Dark Sky Discovery Sites are free from the light pollution usually found in towns and cities, making them perfect spots for stargazing and astronomy.  Easy access, firm ground underfoot and the proximity of local amenities also make them perfect for events, which Glenlivet’s ranger service is hoping to run in conjunction with local clubs.

Vicky Hilton, The Crown Estate’s Countryside Manager for the Glenlivet Estate, said: “We’re extremely proud to be awarded a Dark Sky Discovery Site.  We’re already surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty on the Glenlivet Estate, but our new dark sky site will also encourage visitors to explore the wondrous night sky in all its magnificence.”

The idea for the Dark Sky Discovery Site came from local resident and amateur astrologist David Newland, who has recently photographed some stunning displays of the Aurora Borealis over Glenlivet.  David’s business Glenlivet Wildlife operates wildlife watching tours on the Estate and he is considering extending this to include Star Gazing Tours.

It’s hoped that, as part of the Tomintoul & Glenlivet Landscape Partnership, the Estate may be able to go one step further and work towards achieving a Dark Sky Park status.

dark sky

Vicky explains: “Dark Sky Parks encompass much larger areas of land, but achieving this status involves a lot more work and collaboration with local residents, businesses and local councils, to ensure the light they are produce externally does not ‘pollute’ the night sky.  As part of the Tomintoul & Glenlivet Landscape Partnership Project we are hoping to take forward a feasibility study to see if it is possible to bring this idea to fruition.”

The award was made by the UK Dark Sky Discovery Partnership – a network of national and local astronomy and environmental organisations.

More information about the site and others can be found at

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