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Many Britons may be dreading the onset of the dark nights of winter but from that comes something beautiful. The Northern Lights, though at their strongest in countries such as Iceland, Norway, Canada and Russia, can actually be spotted from certain parts of the UK if you are lucky.
In fact, in the past people have even reported seeing them as far south as Kent and Cornwall.
The Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, are a stunning array of hues which can be seen shimmering across the sky.
They are best viewed when it is particularly dark.
The impressive colours are caused by charged solar particles interacting with the Earth’s magnetic fields.
At the magnetic North and South Pole, these particles collide with gas particles, causing the hues of glowing pinks and greens.
While these are the most common colours, they also have been known to produce beautiful shades of blue, violet, yellow and even red.
So where can Britons keep an eye out for them this autumn?
Given their polar locations, the best spots are unsurprisingly in the North of the country.
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Lucky residents in Scotland, particularly the most northern regions, are the most likely to catch a glimpse.
Furthermore, with around 70 percent of Scotland made up of rural land, the lack of city lights will make it even easier to spot the display.
According to WWF, the most likely spots to see the lights are the Scottish Highlands and Scottish Isles.
WWF also list some other northern hotspots as:
- Shetland, Orkney and Caithness
- Aberdeenshire and the Moray Coast
- Lewis, Harris and the most northerly tip of Skye
- The Cairngorms
- Galloway Forest Park
- Rannoch Moor and Perthshire
- Angus and the coast of Fife
- Calton Hill or Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh
However, residents in England can also keep their eyes peeled, as they have been known to shimmer across skies in parts of Northern England.
One of the best hotspots in the Lake District, with Derwent water near Keswick listed as a prime place for viewing.
In southern regions, the lights have been spotted in areas such as Exmoor National Park in Devon and southernmost parts of the Cornish coastline.
For those in Wales, Brecon Beacons and Anglesey are two spots where the Northern Lights have been spotted in the past.
Northern Ireland is not left out by the Lights either.
Much like the rest of the UK, the northern parts of the country are the best viewing spots.
Along the uppermost coastline of the Malin sea is a hotspot for viewers.
Giants Causeway has also been listed as a scenic spot to take in the colourful phenomenon.
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