Community Access Programme
Our Community Access Program includes open-to-the-public viewing evenings and solar watching days during the summer. We also have private bookings available for schools, youth groups, and community organisations.
Our evening events, sometimes called Public Viewing Evenings, typically run from September to March to make the most of the darker nights although we may occasionally run events at other times of the year for special astronomical events. These evenings include a narrated slideshow presentation and, weather permitting, time to use the telescope.
Details of forthcoming events can be found in our Our Programme.
If you run a school club or community organisation such as Scouts and you wish to arrange a visit please Contact Us, we are always happy to support these groups and will try to customise the content and level of the evening to your group's needs.
Summer Solar Viewing
Astronomy does not come to a halt just because the dark winter evenings have passed. During the summer, we open the observatory during the day (usually on a Sunday afternoon) and allow the public to come to see the Sun, our nearest star, through a dedicated and completely safe Solar telescope with a hydrogen-alpha filter. Dates can be seen in our calendar, although these events are obviously subject to weather. There is no need to make a reservation for these activities.
We are always keen to support national and international events such as National Astronomy Week, National Science and Engineering Week, or the International Year of Astronomy. During these events it is highly likely we'll run supporting themed events at the observatory.
Of course, sometimes the skies are kind and there is an unusual event or discovery, such as the Transit of Venus or the appearance of comet Hale-Bopp; again you'll probably find we have events to make these heaven-sent opportunities available to the public.
Keep an eye on Our Programme for details of special events.