The Observatory

The Scottish Dark Sky Observatory occupies a fantastic hilltop site on the edge of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park. This publically accessible educational observatory has some of the darkest skies in the UK and two large telescopes through which to observe the night sky.

The Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park was the first Dark Sky Park in the UK and Europe, and was award a Gold-tier status by the International Dark-Sky Association.

This new observatory includes a 20” Corrected Dall Kirkham telescope in a 5 metre dome and a 14″ Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope for a more hands-on, open air observing experience.


The observatory also features an indoor presentation room and a wheelchair-accessible  elevated observing deck from which to enjoy naked-eye observing of the night sky.

The observatory is  open to the public, amateur astronomers, groups, clubs, schools and universities, with the aim of inspiring people of all ages and all backgrounds with the beauty and wonder of the universe.

Because of the nature of the site, most night/evening visits must be pre-booked.  Please look at the bookings page for more information and the events calendar for upcoming events. 

Please also note that the road to the observatory is rough and unfinished and steep in places, whilst it is passable with ordinary vehicles, care must be taken. With this in mind it is best to contact us before making your way to the observatory.



All events go ahead when its cloudy/rainy. If the roads are impassable due to snow or icy conditions then we will cancel and offer you a place on a different event. We will contact you by the number youve given us when you booked so make sure youre available on the day to take our call! We will also update the front page of our website, facebook page and we will tweet to let you know the event is cancelled.

Some Rules For Visiting the Observatory:

  • Dress for cold weather
  • No laser pointers
  • Torches used at the observatory must have red filters and dim (During observing sessions)
  • Contact us / book before visiting