The South Downs was brought to a standstill last night as thousands headed out to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Country roads were at breaking point with thousands of people leaving cities and towns, heading towards the national park's famed dark skies.

But for many, the night ended in disappointment as the only lights they could see were the red lights of the cars in front of them.

Car parks at beauty spots across the county filled up very quickly before drivers started parking on verges at the side of the road, blocking lanes and bringing traffic to a crawling pace.

Damian Martin, from Uckfield, travelled to Ashdown Forest near Crowborough to try to spot the phenomenon. He said: "I thought I had a unique idea of heading up to the forest and trying to take some pictures of these amazing lights in the sky, no one else will be up here at midnight.

The Argus: Damian Martin's view in Ashdown ForestDamian Martin's view in Ashdown Forest (Image: Damian Martin / Damo Drives)

Read more: Your best photos of the stunning Northern Lights in Sussex on Friday

"How wrong was I, saw nothing other than car headlights and hundreds of people’s phone torches.

"Up at Friends Clump, a lot of people were sitting at the top of the hill sitting on the floor chatting, eating and laughing, it felt like a small party."

The Aurora Borealis put on a show above the county on Friday night with hundreds heading out after hearing the phenomenon was visible.

The Argus: Mollie, Ruby, Colin and Jo Macconnel pose for a picture in front of the Aurora Borealis at Ditchling Beacon on FridayMollie, Ruby, Colin and Jo Macconnel pose for a picture in front of the Aurora Borealis at Ditchling Beacon on Friday (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

And with experts predicting a second round on Saturday night, thousands more people filled their flasks and packed their cars for a night under the stars.

Headlights trailed across the Downs under the night sky hoping to catch a view of the dazzling spectacle.

Car parks at Seaford Head, Cissbury Ring, Devil's Dyke and Ditchling Beacon were packed by around 9pm with queues continuing into the night.

The Argus: Queues near Mill HillQueues near Mill Hill (Image: Carl Bennett)

Carl Bennett was stuck at Mill Hill near Shoreham for more than one hour as queues stretched over the A27 and onto the downs.

Despite predictions, solar measurements on Saturday night decreased meaning many left without seeing the aurora.