On 8 April, more than 31 million in the US, Mexico and Canada will be treated to what's been described as "our planet's greatest spectacle".

The once-in-a-lifetime occurrence will begin when the moon travels in front of the sun, creating a brief period of total (or partial) darkness and making for a beautifully spooky spectacle. 

What does that mean for us Brits? Well, parts of our country will get to witness a partial solar eclipse.

It’ll be cool, for sure, but nowhere near as cool as a total solar eclipse. Unfortunately, that’s a lot more rare.

But when was the last one and will we ever get to see a total eclipse in our lifetime?

When was the last total solar eclipse in the UK?

The UK last had a total solar eclipse occur in 1999 which is said to have been “one of the most viewed total solar eclipses due to its path falling on areas of high population density.”

Royal Museums Greenwich adds: “However, many areas of Western Europe were affected by poor visibility due to clouds. In some places, the clouds frustratingly parted after the eclipse had passed, but others were luckier with the clouds parting just in time.

“Many people went to view the eclipse in Cornwall, the only place in the UK to witness totality, with the BBC broadcasting from Cornwall's western end where the eclipse would come first.”

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When is the next total solar eclipse in the UK?

A partial eclipse will be viewed across 90 per cent of the country in 2026, but it won't be a total one until 2081 in the Channel Islands or 2090 in the South West.

For anyone under the age of 10 reading this, hope you enjoy it!

Can you stare directly at a solar eclipse?

According to verywellhealth.com, you should not look directly at a solar eclipse.

If you look directly at an eclipse, your pupil will expand to accommodate for low light even though the UV radiation from the sub remains high.

This can cause damage to the cornea and retina. That damage can be permanent.

The good thing about all types of lunar eclipses is that, unlike a solar eclipse, they are safe to view with the naked eye.