solar eclipse

If you’re superstitious enough to believe in mythical demon dogs devouring the sun (as detailed in Korean folklores) food-poisoning stemming from astronomical events (as believed in rural India) and in general, impending doom originating from the alignment of the moon and the sun (as thought to be true by the ancient Greeks) then by all means, shield yourself from the looming solar eclipse this Friday.

If a solar eclipse doesn’t induce such anxieties, then change your morning routine for this one day to witness a rare natural phenomenon. There will be a solar eclipse in Britain this Friday March 20 around 9:30AM, and it is predicted to blanket most of the UK in darkness. Miss this opportunity, and you’ll have to wait until 2090 before this wonder occurs near Britain again.

TIPS (how to not blind yourself)

Never look directly at the sun and always wear solar eclipse glasses. Additionally, you can use a pinhole camera, easily made from a piece of paper (just have a pinhole punched in) or a card. For a clearer view, telescopic projection and solar telescopes can be used, but basic expertise is needed.

UNITED KINGDOM

isle of lewis
Isle of Lewis

All of Britain will experience the eclipse with at least 80 per cent sun coverage, but Scotland will have better viewing than the Southeast. As the moon charts its trajectory across the sun, the solar eclipse will reach its zenith at around 9:27AM — the moon’s journey will continue gradually, covering the sun’s surface until about 10:47AM.

London

Head to London’s best rooftop restaurants early Friday morning for the best solar eclipse viewing experience in London.

THE SHARD 31 Saint Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY

Make a breakfast reservation at Aqua Shard or Hutong for Friday morning. Plonk yourself down for delicious platters of food while waiting for the eclipse’s arrival mid-morning. Alternatively, you can make your way to The View from The Shard for an unparalleled, 360 degrees view of the city, and of course, the solar eclipse.

HERON TOWER 110 Bishopsgate,EC2N 4AY

Go for the highly acclaimed breakfasts at Duck & Waffle or Sushi Samba and dine with stunning views of the city under eclipse.

SKY GARDEN 20 Fenchurch Street, EC3M 3BY

The Sky Garden has three floors, with a rooftop garden, a restaurant and two bars. Have breakfast at the Darwin Brasserie or get a drink at the Sky Pod Bar while waiting for the solar eclipse. Not up for breakfast? Just sit yourself down at one of the many spots at the rooftop garden and enjoy the view.

SHOREDITCH HOUSE Ebor Street, E1 6AW

If you’re a member, go from 7AM and have breakfast on the rooftop. No matter where you’re seated, you’ll have clear views of the city and the eclipse.

Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Make your way across the country to the breathtaking Isle of Lewis to experience 98 per cent coverage of the solar eclipse. Wake early, pack a delicious breakfast picnic and set up camp anywhere along The Hebrides.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a great location from which to experience the splendour of the solar eclipse because of its geographical location and hilly terrain. For unobstructed views head to Arthur’s Seat, Calton Hill or Blackford Hill. You might like to watch the solar eclipse from the Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Park or Inverleith Park.

Dublin

Astronomy Ireland is hosting a solar eclipse viewing on Friday morning for space enthusiasts and general visitors alike. The event will cost €5 for members and €10 for non-members.

SCANDINAVIA

faroe islands
Faroe Islands

Make this stellar affair a prelude to a Scandinavian weekend getaway. If you’d like to kill two birds with one stone, try and catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights after observing the solar eclipse. Mind blown.

Faroe Islands

An archipelago located in the heart of the gulf stream between Norway, Iceland and the UK, the Faroe Islands will be for Friday the ultimate solar-eclipse-viewing destination in the world.

Svalbard, Norway

Situated rather close to the Arctic Circle, Svalbard is a well-known destination for viewing the Northern Lights, and incidentally, Friday’s solar eclipse. Daily flights are available from Oslo to Longyearbyen, Svalbard’s largest settlement. Pack well to accommodate for extremely cold weather (it’s -15C there today).

Words by Kristina Teow

Iceland's spring thaw

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