Low level Northern Lights – Cumbria, Sep 14


It was widely reported there was a chance of Northern lights hitting lower in Britain during the night of 12/13 Sep 14. So of course it was time to throw the camera in the bag and to get outside and away as much as possible from artificial light. It was late so couldn’t drive far for time, so went down the road to the open high expanse of Orton Scar. Wrapped up warm, flask on the go.. and wait 🙂

P9120240-aurora Low level Northern Lights – Cumbria, Sep 14

Alas, it wasn’t a night to see them clearly with the naked eye, but the camera was definitely picking them up just above the horizon, especially in the hour before midnight. I hadn’t quite got away from town lights as you can see, Shap, Penrith and Appleby gave their glows as if sitting underneath. The layer of orange leading to the green and then some red above that albeit faint. These were all rough shots, playing around with settings awaiting the (possible) big show that didn’t arrive. Good practice never hurts and shows that it is always worth patience and persistence when taking night shots.

P9120230-aurora Low level Northern Lights – Cumbria, Sep 14

P9120261-aurora Low level Northern Lights – Cumbria, Sep 14

I have been lucky to have seen the Northern Lights in Norway, and can say it is true that to see them dancing fully in the sky it is a magical and incredible sight. Invoking feelings and very strong memories.

At the spot I was at this night I was soon joined by a couple of amateur astronomers and even a couple from down in Greater Manchester who had decided on a whim to head a couple of  hours north for the night. Such is the pull of the chance to see them.

P9120254-aurora Low level Northern Lights – Cumbria, Sep 14


  1. Hi David, yes that is the one I … normally use. However lately whenever there is a chance of activity the whole site now crashes so many people are having to look elsewhere now.. Some good ones springing up online.

  2. What beautiful pictures Paul – I was up in Lapland a few years ago and managed to miss them and was gutted. Have been on the trail ever since, but not having my own transport is a bit of a pain lol so to see other people’s pictures is always a treat, thank you for sharing 🙂

  3. Wow, Truly amazing Paul, that is a better view than we had in Iceland last December. Im going to cumbria in a couple of weeks so hopefully may get to experience it there. What settings did you have the camera on? I am hopeless at night. 😀 XxX

    • Hi dawn.. I had seen there was a big solar storm to hit so next time you hear of one get ready 🙂 Settings? Each camera/lens will need different. I had ISO 100, MF with fast 12mm lens set to infinity.


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