Northern Lights on The Isles of Lewis & Harris

The Isle of Lewis and Harris are a great location to view the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) due to its relatively high latitude and minimal light pollution.

The Northern Lights are caused by the interaction between charged particles from the sun (solar wind) and the Earth’s magnetic field. When these charged particles collide with the gases in the Earth’s atmosphere, they create a stunning display of colorful lights in the sky. The colors are determined by the type of gas the solar particles collide with—oxygen produces green and red lights, while nitrogen generates blue and purple hues.

Here are some tips for the best experience:

  1. Time of year: The best time to see the Northern Lights on the Isle of Lewis and Harris is during the darker months, typically from late September to early April. During these months, nights are longest, increasing the chances of witnessing the spectacle.
  2. Weather: Clear, dark skies are crucial for viewing the Northern Lights. Check the weather forecast and look for nights with minimal cloud cover.
  3. Solar activity: The intensity of the Northern Lights is influenced by solar activity, which varies on an 11-year cycle. You can monitor solar activity through websites and apps that provide real-time aurora forecasts, such as the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) or the AuroraWatch UK.
  4. Location: Find a spot with minimal light pollution and an unobstructed view of the northern horizon.

For more information on seeing the Northern Lights from the Western Isles visit