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The Observatory Science Centre
Herstmonceux
Hailsham
East Sussex
BN27 1RN
Tel: 01323 832731
Fax: 01323 832741

Email Us

Astronomy Festival 2016

Astronomy Festival 2016

We had another fantastic weekend in 2015 and are now gearing up for the 2016 event! Watch this page as more details emerge about this year's festival.

Our lovely new marquee became the lecture theatre last year and was very well received so will be used again this year giving ample space for everyone. Details of speakers will be posted here when confirmed.

Bookings for the camping and weekend registration will begin on the 1st March.
Camping

Camp under the backdrop of the observatory domes:

• There are a limited number of pitches so BOOK EARLY!
• Friday, Saturday and Sunday (2nd/3rd/4th September)
• £30 per pitch regardless of the number of nights. Allows up to 5 people per pitch.
• Size of pitch: 7.5m x 7.5m. Please note that we cannot accomodate tents, caravans or motorhomes that are larger than your pitch. There are plenty of camping sites in the local area that would be more suitable for your needs.
• If you are bringing a caravan or motorhome with toilet facilities, please note that there will be no provision for emptying toilet waste.
• Pitches will be allocated beforehand on a first come first served basis. Please select your pitch from the camping site map at the top of this page before you phone the Centre to book. Please note that there are different areas for families, adults only and general camping. Please select a pitch in the appropriate area for your group. While we endeavour to update the map on a regular basis we cannot guarantee that the pitch you choose will be available when you book. Please select an alternative as a back up.
• Please read the camping rules (top of this page) very carefully before you phone the Centre to book your pitch. This document contains important information.

Alternative Accomodation at Herstmonceux Castle

If you do not fancy camping but wish to stay within walking distance of the festival then this year Herstmonceux Castle have 50-60 standard rooms available.

Herstmonceux Castle is located within a 600 acre estate and as an operating International Study Centre, offers 3-star rated campus accommodation. The rooms are located in Bader Hall about 500 metres walk from the castle where breakfast is served in the dining room.

Twin standards with shared washrooms along the corridor - £38.00

Single standard with shared washrooms along the corridor - £22.00

Prices include breakfast

For bookings please contact Bader Hall on 01323 834400 or accom@bisc.queensu.ac.uk
Admission

Weekend Registration

If you are able to join us for the whole weekend then we are again offering a fantastic deal.

Adult: £40 
Child: £30 
Family of four: £110 
Family of five:  £140

With your weekend registration you will receive a souvenir, a ticket to visit the gardens and grounds of Herstmonceux Castle and a wrist band which permits entry into The Centre from Friday afternoon until 6pm on Sunday. This can be booked in advance (does NOT include camping). Wrist bands are not transferable and you are required to wear your wrist band at all times. The Centre reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone who is not wearing a wrist band.

MEMBERS: Enjoy a 10% discount on FULL WEEKEND registration from 1st March to 30th June (this applies to pre-booked full weekend registration only).

Admission per session (there are four sessions including the 'Open Evenings')


Adult: £10
Child: £7.50
Under 4: FREE

This price applies to EACH of the four sessions (please note that membership is not valid for the astronomy festival weekend but you can get a 10% discount on full weekend registration if you book BEFORE 1st July). 

Friday:     6.30pm - 11pm (also listed as an Open Evening)
Saturday: 10am - 6pm
Saturday: 6.30pm - 11pm (also listed as an Open Evening)
Sunday:   10am - 6pm

Herstmonceux Castle is well worth a visit during your stay. There is a separate admission price if you do not purchase weekend registration. Entry to the gardens and grounds of the castle: £6 adult, £4.95 senior, £3 child. Tours of the castle are sometimes available at an additional cost.
Provisional Programme of Activities (subject to change) 

Friday evening (6.30pm - 11pm)

FREE opening lecture 7.30pm with Ian Ridpath
• Viewing through the historic telescopes (weather permitting)
• Viewing through smaller telescopes with amateur astronomy societies (weather permitting)

Saturday Day (10am - 6pm) 

• Four lectures throughout the day (£3 per person per lecture)
• Talks about the telescopes in Dome E
• Rocket Launching (to be confirmed)
• 'Destination Space' activities
• Trade stands
• Astronomy Society stands
• Newton's Bar
• Solar Observing
• Raffle

Saturday Evening (6.30pm - 11pm)

8pm Pub Quiz with Steve Collingwood (SCTelescopes)
• Viewing through the historic telescopes (weather permitting)
• Viewing through smaller telescopes with amateur astronomy societies (weather permitting)

Sunday (10am - 6pm) 

• Four lectures throughout the day (£3 per person per lecture)
• Talks about the telescopes in Dome E
• Planetarium shows
• 'Destination Space' activities
• Trade stands
• Astronomy Society stands
• Newton's Bar
• Solar Observing
• Rocket Launching
2pm Family Quiz
• Raffle

All this PLUS Spectacular Science exhibits both indoors and outdoors.


Local Accommodation

There are plenty of campsites in the local area which will provide electrical hook-up, showers and space for larger tents or vehicles. If you do not wish to camp but require local accomodation here are a few suggestions:

Cleavers Lyng B&B
Halfway House B&B
Big Sky Tipi luxury camping
Wartling Place B&B
Butlers Farm House B&B
Stone Acre Lodge B&B
Sandhurst B&B
Ivydene Guest Accomodation
Lamb Inn, Wartling

Alternatively you could hire a VW Camper Van
Camping Site Map
Campsite Regulations
Code of Conduct