Mountain Skies Braemar is a local company which offers guided night walks in the Braemar and Upper Deeside area. We are passionate about the area we live in and delighted to share our knowledge of its history and the special place we call home.


We invite you to embark on a journey through time and space. As you gaze into the depths of the universe, we will also recall the legends that have been woven into the very fabric of this land. With dark skies above and stories to guide you, your stargazing adventure in the Braes of Mar promises to be an experience like no other.


Location is everything:

Nestled in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, Braemar is not only renowned for its stunning natural beauty but also for its remarkable dark skies. This region also offers the chance, if conditions allow, to witness one of the most captivating celestial displays on Earth – the Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights. We invite you to discover the magic of Braemar's dark skies and the awe-inspiring auroras that can grace its night canvas.


Where the Stars Shine Brightly:

Braemar's location in the Cairngorms National Park, far from the urban glow, provides exceptional conditions for stargazing. Throughout the year, the night skies come alive with a mesmerizing array of stars, planets, and celestial wonders.


A chance to chill and reconnect:

Sitting under dark skies gives you a chance to recharge and reconnect with your own place in the vastness of time and the universe. It's not often we get a chance to stop and enjoy the sights and sounds of a dark night and it's a great way to relax and unwind.


Preparing for your walk:

Dress warmly! Braemar is famous as the place with the lowest recorded temperature in the UK (-28 Degrees Celsius) and temperatures regularly drop below zero during the autumn, winter and spring months. Even during the summer months it can be chilly at night. The secret of staying warm and remaining comfortable is to dress in layers for your evening walk. Multiple layers of clothing trap the air, and a hat and gloves are always useful.


Stout boots or sensible shoes are a must as we'll be walking in the dark on uneven hill paths.  If you haven't got a walking stick please ask and we'll arrange one, they're great for that wee bit of extra balance in the dark.


Binoculars, if you have them, to enhance your stargazing or moon watching experience. If not, don't worry we have a number of sets available for the evening. 


Charge your mobile and download an app. A stargazing app can help you identify constellations and celestial objects. Star Walk 2 and Stellerarium for example, are free to download and user friendly, and we'll help you to interpret and understand how to use them.


A torch especially one with a red light preserves your night vision and won't disrupt others' stargazing. We have a supply, so just ask and don't worry if you haven't brought one on your trip.


A sit mat or blanket to sit on, will make your observation more comfortable.


A flask with a warm drink and a snack will help to keep you fuelled and your spirits up even on the coolest of evenings.


Patience is key. The constellations, moon, planets and Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, as are clouds, so sightings are not guaranteed. 


While we're waiting: 

Braemar is an area of outstanding natural beauty and also boasts a rich social history which stretches back in time. A place with a deep connection to the past, the hills and glens have stories of kings, monsters, robbers, rebellion, battles and feats of strength. Your guide has walked the mountains and glens here for nearly 40 years and knows a story or two, he's happy to share a drink and tell a tale to help keep you warm while we wait for the stars to come out.


So venture with us into this hidden gem in the Scottish Highlands, and let the magic of the dark skies leave its indelible mark on your soul. It's a journey you won't forget.


What should I wear?

Essentials - remember we are outside in the dark, so you might get wet and cold!

Walking boots or stout shoes - these should be comfortable, waterproof, support your ankles and have a good grip. 

Socks - a thicker walking sock or thick sports socks.

Walking trousers - trousers, which are quick drying (not jeans!). 

Base layer - T-shirt or shirt next to your skin, avoid cotton as this holds moisture.

Mid Layer - Comfortable fleece or jumper.

Outer layer - waterproof jacket

Thermal layer - It can get cold stargazing, if the forecast is for frost or low temperatures consider wearing thermal tousers and thermal top.




What should I carry?

Rucksack - A comfortable small day sack, big enough to carry some extra clothes, a drink and bite to snack on.

Waterproof trousers - These can also act as an additional warm layer if you need it.

Extra warm layer - a thicker fleece or insulating jacket.

Gloves - consider a spare pair in case one gets wet.

Warm hat - A buff for your face/neck can be really good too.

Head Torch - With new batteries and spares. 

Food - Enough for your event.

Drink - Take a hot flask if possible. 

Other items - a phone, camera and something to sit on.

Walking poles - These really help with balance and help coming downhill in the dark.


Where do we meet, how long will we be out?

Meet in the Castleton Hall carpark, Braemar at 6pm 

Most trips last between 2 - 3 hours depending on the weather. 

If there is a chance of seeing the Aurora or cloud cover is expected to clear at a specific time, we may change timings to be flexible with this. Advance notice will be given by text or email should this be the case.

Please be aware this event will go ahead even if the weather is inclement.