The splendid isolation of the huge Galloway Forest Park is right on your doorstep, and should be high on your list of things to do in Scotland during your Scottish activity holiday with us. Glen Trool (pictured on the right) is well worth a visit, where the hill walker is rewarded by breathtaking views over Loch Trool.
One of the most popular things to do in Dumfries & Galloway is to follow a trail through the forest on the lookout for red squirrels and other wildlife.
Designated Dark Sky Park in 2009, Galloway Forest Park is the first in the UK and one of only five in the world. This means the park enjoys very dark skies and on a clear night you can see thousands of stars, whereas in a city you might see only a few dozen of the brightest cars.
Astronomers measure the darkness of the sky on the Bortle Scale, a nine point scale that describes the level of light pollution overhead. Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park has a Bortle class of 2, defined as a “truly dark site”. The only class of sky darker than this is class 1 “utterly unpolluted sky”. Nowhere in the UK or mainland Europe has a sky of this class. Making Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park certainly one of the darkest skies in the world, and probably the darkest skies you will ever see.
Things you can see from Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park that you will never see from a city sky include – detail within the grey band of the Milky Way, other galaxies and nebulae visible with the naked eye, dozens of shooting stars, the northern lights and true darkness.