Total solar eclipse to boost tourism in Scotland

Extremely rare total eclipse to take place next month


A once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse is expected to boost tourism to Scotland's islands next month.

The eclipse will be visible from Shetland, Orkney, and the Outer Hebrides from about 9.30am on Friday 20 March, when the moon will completely block out the sun.

According to The Times, astronomers predict the northern and western islands, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides, will see up to 98 per cent of the sun covered. And Faroe Islanders will witness a total solar eclipse that will last around two minutes and 12 seconds.

The paper adds that the coverage of the sun will vary from 84 per cent in London to 94 per cent in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

A number of special cruises have been organised to take holidaymakers into the path of the total eclipse above the Faroe Islands.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, told the Aberdeen Press and Journal: "The north-east, Highlands, Orkney and Shetland all boast outstanding natural beauty, but the chance to witness this rare celestial phenomenon will give people yet another reason to visit these regions.

"The scheduled arrival of solar eclipse cruise ships at Invergordon and Orkney will provide a terrific boost to the local economy.

"We would encourage people coming to the north of Scotland to get a good view of the solar eclipse to make the most of their time by going to local visitor attractions and enjoying our excellent food and drink."

The Stornaway Gazette reports that the next solar eclipse will be in America in 2017, and the next total solar eclipse anywhere near the UK will be in 2081 in central Europe, and in Britain in 2090.

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