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 an elevated observing deck from which to enjoy naked-eye viewing 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, visits must be pre-booked.  Please look at the Bookings page for more information and the Events Calendar for upcoming events. 

Visitors with impaired mobility or who use a wheelchair are requested to please contact the Observatory in advance of a booking or visit so that we can explain the limitations of the facility. 

Please also note that the road to the observatory is rough, 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 if you have any queries.



All events go ahead when its cloudy/rainy. If the roads are impassable due to snow or icy conditions then we may be forced to cancel the planned session; if this is the case we will offer you the opportunity to reschedule your booking to a different event.

We will contact you by the e-mail address and phone number you provided when you booked, so please make sure you check both voicemail and e-mail before you start your journey to the SDSO in case we’ve been in touch! We will also update the front page of our website, Facebook page and we will tweet to let you know if the event has had to be cancelled.

Some Rules For Visiting the Observatory:

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