March has seen a busy time for tour planning for most guides in Scotland. Tourism in general is quite a long season here where bookings can run from March to October with many winter festivals in December and early January. The shoulder months of March / April / May & October / November are wonderful times to visit Scotland. Spring sees new lambs on the green pastures and the summer colourings appearing in the landscape. Late September, October & November is when Scotland enjoys its glorious Autumn colourings of Gold, Yellow, Red and Orange in its trees and foliage. But back to March and the busy Scottish route planning for all the lucky tourists who are coming to our beautiful country this year… it was going well as I sat on the evening of March 6th with my many maps and guides to Scotland tailoring tours for clients when a quick look at Facebook showed an event, literally going on over our heads! The Aurora (Northern Lights) over Edinburgh! The time was 11.00pm and a dark sky had to be found. A scramble to get wrapped up (it was -4), run out the house, jump in the car to Silverknowes on the Firth of Forth where the sky is dark enough and hopefully get a glimpse. When I arrived I was lucky enough to meet Iain Page, a South African living in Edinburgh, who had already set up his camera to catch the Aurora Borealis and with fine results! He very kindly emailed me the image, thanks Iain!
I have recently become obsessed with seeing this natural wonder and although there are clearer and more dramatic images out there this was my first glimpse and so begins a quest, to see more of the Northern Lights! And, of course, only in Scotland could we write folk song about them – The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen.