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The Dark Skies Checklist

The Dark Skies Checklist

The Isle of Man is home to the best dark skies in the British Isles. Its low light pollution makes its skies some of the purest in Britain, with stars and planets from far and wide being seen by the naked eye. You could even be lucky enough to see the Northern Lights grace the Island's heavens on occasion, usually glimpsed from the Northern Coast.

This is the perfect night time activity for the whole family to enjoy this Autumn and Winter, so wrap up warm and head out! You might even see a shooting star or spot one of the great planets of the Milky Way Galaxy.

This time of year, the Manx skies are at their clearest and sharpest, so get ready to lose yourself in the magical world above.

With 26 Registered Dark Sky Discovery Sites dotted around the Island, take the opportunity to explore the night sky and be inspired.

Port Soderick 

This hideaway offers crisp views of the Milky Way, especially in the winter season. Overlooking the beautiful waters of the Irish Sea, Port Soderick provides spectacular sights of the stars. It's also an ideal place to watch the Hunter's Moon come to life in November when its face will be fully illuminated. With no light pollution or noise, Port Soderick is a gemstone for stargazing, delivering some well needed peace and quiet after a busy day of exploring.


Niarbyl; a gorgeous wide coastline and beach delivers first class views of the Manx night sky. Scour the horizon as you search for hidden planets, shooting stars and the Great Andromada Galaxy. The striking waters of the Irish Sea reflect the stars, making your stargazing experience shine that much brighter.

The Sound

The Sound is a key find for any stargazer. Uranus is most visible from here and you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the blue-green planet in autumn. Surrounded by rolling hills and twisting coastline, the site produces some of the best conditions to watch the starry sky. Soak up the atmosphere at one of the Island's most iconic locations.

Fort Island 

Fort Island may be off the beaten trail but a trip here is definitely worth seeking. Nestled in Castletown and opposite Derbyhaven, the site promises clear heavens and startling surprises, like the Taurids Meteor Shower in November. These dust grains will radiate the sky with flecks of silver light and put on a spectacular show for you and your family. The ancient fortress adds a rich flare to your very own screen when capturing these distant beauties. The contrast of the stars against the fort deliver the perfect photographic shot and a memorable stargazing experience.

Sulby Reservoir 

Enjoy a late night adventure at Sulby Reservoir. Nestled in the shadows of Snaefell, this spot is perfect for a romantic evening. Seat yourself under a gallery of starlit masterpieces as you immerse yourself in incredible astronomical views. Why not pack a late night picnic and create a date not soon forgotten for your significant other.

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  1. Port Soderick Glen

    Port Soderick Glen comprises some 15 acres with the Crogga River running through it. It is also a registered Dark Skies Discovery Site and an interpretation board in the Upper Car Park ensures that visitors can enjoy the stunning stargazing on offer.

  2. Niarbyl Bay


    Niarbyl is a secluded beauty spot just south of Dalby Village on the Island’s west coast and of great geological interest. Discover the peaceful bay with its rolling hills, thatched cottages and dramatic coastal paths leading to White Beach.

  3. The Sound

    At the Island's very southern tip is one of the most scenic places in the British Isles. Abundant with wildlife and natural wonders, this area is a hotspot for seals sunbathing on the rocky Kitterland, a small rocky islet.

  4. Fort Island

    Fort Island, east of Derbyhaven Bay, is one of the best scenic viewpoints in the Isle of Man. With views casting over Castletown and Port Erin, stargazers are guaranteed sensational views over the horizon from North East to South West. The area is a great spot to admire the stars above, with the…

  5. Sulby Reservoir

    The Island's largest and deepest reservoir lies in the shadow of Snaefell, the Island’s highest peak and offers a great trout fishing adventure. A large upland reservoir set in rugged moorland scenery in the centre of the Island. Fly and spin fishing for stocked rainbow trout from 2lb upwards and…

Itinerary Distances

FromToDistance * (metric)
Port Soderick Glen (54.12368,-4.52997)Niarbyl Bay (54.16417,-4.73905)12.92
Niarbyl Bay (54.16417,-4.73905)The Sound (54.06383,-4.79321)10.55
The Sound (54.06383,-4.79321)Fort Island (54.05548,-4.62747)9.78
Fort Island (54.05548,-4.62747)Sulby Reservoir (54.27005,-4.50203)22.72
Total Distance *55.97 miles
Estimated Journey Time1.8 hours

* Approximate distance by road

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