1. ITV Report

Countdown to our nearest solar eclipse

Eclipse chasers from across the ITV Meridian region are preparing to head to the Faroes Photo: PA Wire

The people of the Faroe Islands already have preparations well underway for this rare natural event. Special flight sare being arranged from airports in the ITV Meridian region – the Faroes are 1,600 miles north of Gatwick Airport.

This remote and beautiful archipelago of 18islands is only one of two places on dry land that you will be able to watch the moon obscure the sun completely – an event that only happens in our solar system on Earth.

Eclipse chasers from across the ITV Meridian region are preparing to head to the Faroes Credit: PA Wire

Forty thousand people live on the Faroe Islands with seventy thousands sheep for company. They expect a big influx of visitors to the islands next March, similar to eclipse-chasers who went to Cornwall and Alderney to see the eclipse of August 11th 1999.

Caution must always be taken when viewing eclipses - never look at the sun directly Credit: PA Wire

Special direct flights are being organised AtlanticAirways or travellers can get there via Copenhagen or Oslo. Most hotels on the islands are fully booked already, but there are plenty of B&B, guesthouse and camping options available – although wrap up warm as the nights can be chilly in March.

For more information visit the Faroes Islands special web site here. The first record of a total solar eclipse n the Faores was on 30th May 1612 at 11.25am. The story goes that four brothers from the village of Sumba were tending to their sheep and arguing when they were suddenly shrouded in darkness. They were petrified and promised the Lord that they would never argue if the sun reappeared – and it did.

The eclipse of August 11th 1999 as seen from Cornwall Credit: PA Wire

The next total solar eclipse that isvisible from the UK won’t happen until 23rd September 2090