Britons compiling a ‘bucket list’ of must-see destinations consider seeing the Northern Lights as the most sought after travel experience in the world, The Telegraph has reported citing recent research.
The research – conducted by online comparison website TravelSupermarket – reflects a growing tendency of Britons to compile lists of places to see during their lifetimes, with more than half – 54 per cent – now having one.
Nearly 37 per cent of those questioned by TravelSupermarket had the Northern Lights topping their bucket lists. The other top must-see destinations include the Egyptian pyramids (35 per cent), Route 66 (33 per cent), the Great Wall of China (32 per cent) and going on safari in Africa (31 per cent). Also featuring on Brits’ bucket list are: taking a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon and the Las Vegas strip (30 per cent), going on a cruise in the Caribbean (29 per cent), seeing the Taj Mahal, India (28 per cent), riding a gondola in Venice (27 per cent) and diving in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia (24 per cent).
Northern Lights – also known as the aurora borealis – has had huge coverage this year. Nature’s most spectacular lightshow with displays of greens, yellows and reds is often vibrantly visible in countries including Iceland, Sweden and Finland.
‘We have been hearing of some truly once-in-a-lifetime sightings of the lights and solar flares,’ said Jonny Cooper, the managing director of Off the Map Travel, a company that specialises in trips to view the lights. ‘Both in terms of their scale (they have filled the skies) and duration (they have lasted for several hours), they have been very powerful. And there should be even stronger ones to come.’
Displays of the lights are governed by an 11-year cycle, and this month it is expected to hit the top of the cycle – a ‘solar maximum,’ the Telegraph said, citing NASA scientists.
While the best sightings are usually recorded above the Arctic Circle, the lights have already been observed closer to home – from including places as far south as the Isle of Mull in Scotland.