Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make a booking for just me and one other?
Yes. We accept private bookings from 1 to 25 people. Currently, due to social distancing rules, the upper limit is just 6 people.
Are you running events during the current Covid-19 crisis?
Yes. However, we are only accepting reduced numbers of visitors from the same family group or bubble. Masks must be worn when using any of the telescopes and when social distancing is not possible. All other current guidelines must be followed. A QR code for the NHS Track and Trace app is on display in the observatory. Hand gel and washing facilities are available.
How much will it cost me?
A private booking has a minimum fee of £80, and this covers the first ten people. After that, the price is £8 per head. So, if there are only a few of you it's worthwhile trying to bring some friends along to share the cost.
What happens at your events?
Private bookings are very much tailored to the requirements of the group, but the general format is a presentation on a variety of astronomical subjects, refreshments, and telescope viewing time if the weather permits. If you have any specific requirements, please get in touch to discuss with us.
What if it's cloudy and we can't see anything?
Sadly the British weather is unpredictable and some evenings will result in no sky viewing being available. Because the observatory is run on a not for profit basis and by unpaid volunteers, we are unable to issue a refund on the grounds of bad weather.
Can I cancel beforehand ?
Yes. If it looks like the evening of your booking is going to be overcast or raining, all we require is 24 hours notice to issue you with a full refund. If you do not cancel with us and don't arrive for the event, then it will be chargeable.
What should I wear?
The observatory is situated in the middle of a field on a farm, so hiking boots or wellingtons are advised if the weather has been wet recently. Night time observing can get very cold so wear extra layers and bring a hat, gloves and scarf etc. It is better to bring too many clothes than too few.
What should I bring?
A torch (red filtered if possible), binoculars if you have them, facemask, enthusiasm!
Are there toilets in the observatory?
No, but there is one in a nearby farm building, less than 50 metres away.
Is the Observatory Wheelchair Friendly?
The teaching room of the observatory is on ground level and is accessible by wheelchairs. We ask that you inform us if any of your party are in a wheelchair as better access can be gained by parking in the owner's yard rather than the observatory car park.
Unfortunately, the main telescope in the observatory is not wheelchair accessible. There are 4 steep steps to get to it due to the small size of the dome where it is housed. However, we have a number of smaller, portable telescopes that can be adjusted to obtain a view from a seated position. Again, please contact us with your specific requirements.