WINTER skies are returning to the UK, meaning the northern lights will be visible again to lucky stargazers.
On certain evenings, the phenomenon can be seen across the country, with even people as far south as Cornwall spotting it earlier this year.
However, those instances are rare and it's always best to head further north if you want to improve your chances of spotting the aurora.
One of the best places you can go to see it is a national park in Scotland called the Cairngorms.
It was established in 2003 and is the second of two national parks established by the Scottish Parliament, along with Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
Parts of the Cairngorms have been awarded gold tier ‘International Dark Sky Park’ status by the International Dark-Sky Association.
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That means they are officially recognised as being among the best places in the world to stargaze.
Tomintoul and Glenlivet, described as "the gateway to the Cairngorms," is the northernmost place in the world to have received the status, making it an excellent place to see the northern lights.
In fact, Open Road Scotland has said that the park offers great views of the aurora, with plenty of places to avoid man-made light pollution.
They said: "On a good night you can see the aurora from almost anywhere that isn’t lit by man-made light.
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"The night sky seems so big in this part of the country and it’s an amazing place to go with a campervan."
There are certain spots in the park that are better for looking out for the aurora, with Andy Bateman of Scot Mountain Holidays revealing some of the best places to visit.
He told Visit Cairngorms: "The Cairngorm Mountain car park is a perfect, north facing location. As is Feith Musach, north of Tomintoul.
"Another ideal spot is the Glenlivet Estate.
“Dava Moor, between Grantown-on-Spey and Inverness, is also a good lookout; the hills aren’t particularly high, but they look north."
People are also advised to head closer to the coast because there is less chance of cloud there, with places like the nearby Moray Firth put forward as a good option.
There are places that will let visitors to the Cairngorms know when they're more likely to see the auroras, with website Cairngorms Dark Sky Park featuring a forecast that predicts when they're visible.
They claim that the aptly-named Tomitoul Field of Hope is the best place to spot the lights, saying it can be seen from September to March.
One of the advantages of the park is its increased number of vantage points, with night-time hill walks available to book, or some higher viewing spots able to be reached by car.
Visit Cairngorms arranges special Hillgoers Dark Sky Events which can involce a walk up a small hill, or a drive to a similar location to provide "uninterrupted panoramic views of the night sky".
These hills are the best places to spot not only the northern lights, but to view the stars as well.
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Meanwhile, for those who want to see the northern lights from the sky, there's unique day trips available from all over the UK.
And this award-winning national park in the UK is another place to spot the aurora.
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