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We re-opened the science centre you love in line with government advice.

We will do whatever we can to ensure you receive a warm welcome, in a safe enriching environment...

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Your enquiry has been sent and we will respond as soon as possible using the details you have provided

Please note we all work part-time .. if your enquiry is urgent you are welcome to call us

Know Before You Go

Please complete the form below:

The Observatory Science Centre is part of Science Projects Ltd, a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 02186073 and a registered charity No: 298542. The registered office is 3 – 15 Stirling Road, Acton, London. W3 8DJ. UK.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • + Do I have to pre-book?

    YES

    Due to COVID-19 we are operating a system where all visitors are requested to pre-book online.

    This is to enhance visitor safety: limiting crowd density and enabling social distancing to be maintained.

    For NHS Test & Trace we are required to record all visitors on site.

    Privacy Notice: Test & Trace

     

     

     

  • + How do I pay when I'm on site?

    Please pay contactless (card / phone etc.) wherever possible once you are on site.

    Our tills at reception, shop, The Cafe and The Launch Box catering unit can accept cash if you have no alternative.

     

     

  • + Do I have to arrive / depart at specific times?

    Due to COVID-19 we have had to change the way we operate and the number of visitors is restricted for all of the sessions.

    We offer varying dates and session times which we will release at least 2 weeks in advance.

    Your booking will confirm your session arrival / departure times.

    PLEASE NOTE: If we have not received any bookings 2 days (48 hours) in advance of a particular date / session then we will NOT be able to open The Centre. This is due to staff availability /rotas.

  • + Are all areas of the site open?

    Our top priority is the safety of visitors and staff / volunteers which includes measures to maintain social distancing.

    Operating in an historic site means it is not possible to maintain social distancing and 2 exhibit galleries with narrow access (pinch points) are currently closed.

    However, we have created a large new exhibit space with a one-way system in the white geodesic dome. At certain times there will also be science demonstrations in this geodesic dome.

    We will continue to review our approach in-line with government guidance and the latest COVID-19 guidance.

     

  • + Can we purchase food and drink on site?

    YES The Launch Box catering unit and The Cafe are operating and every purchase helps to support us 

    There are new systems and menus, plus takeaway meal deals.

     

  • + Can I order a take-away?

    YES

    The Launch Box catering unit can prepare your order for your departure time and we have introduced take-away meal deals.

     

  • + Will your Shop be open?

    YES the shop will be open and every purchase helps to support us.

    When you arrive at reception, there will be protective covers over the shop shelves.

    Once you have been temperature checked and logged in you will move straight through the shop to enjoy the science exhibits.

    Reception will be staffed throughout the day so you are welcome to return to the shop during your visit or browse when you depart the site, following social distancing.

    We are limiting the amount of stock on display, but we can bag multiple items ready for you to collect at your convenience.

    We also have a great on-line shop to which we are constantly adding new lines.

    PLUS: you can arrange to visit the shop by prior appointment even when the science centre is closed.

     

  • + What safety measures have you put in place?

    When you visit you will see new safety measures in place.

    Please respect the rules and guidelines for your own protection and the safety of others. 

    If any visitors refuse to follow guidelines they will be approached by staff. OSC reserves the right to ask visitors to leave, without reimbursing entry fee. Abuse of any kind towards staff or other visitors will not be tolerated.

    The safety and wellbeing of our visitors, staff and volunteers is our absolute priority.

  • + Can I book on the day of my visit? Do you allow 'walk-ins'?

    Booking online must be no less than 24 hours prior to your visit, although we strongly recommend you book as far in advance as possible.

    As an educational charity we are balancing staffing with visitor numbers, and shifts for our employees must be arranged in advance.

    PLEASE NOTE: If we have not received any bookings 48 hours in advance then we will NOT be able to open on that date.

    If you have not made a booking online, you are welcome to call us to check if we are open... If we are not at capacity then we will be able to take your booking & payment over the phone.

     

    Similary: If we are open and you arrive at our reception but have not pre-booked, you will be able to pay in person if we are not at capacity.

     

     

     

  • + Do you have toilets on site?

    YES  Toilet facilities are open with additional cleaning procedures in place. 

    We are operating a queue system with a Stop/Go turnstile to ensure social distancing is maintained.

    The access / gender neutral toilet is available by request and is located on the ground floor: please just ask a member of staff. This wheelchair accessible facility includes height adjustable changing bed and hoist.

    Baby Change facilities are in the access toilet room.

     

    We will always help our visitors wherever possible, but we cannot permit entry to use toilet facilities unless you have pre-booked admission.

     

     

  • + Do I need to wear a Face Covering when I visit?

    YES. Visitors are required to wear face coverings in-line with Government guidance, both for your safety and the safety of other visitors and employees.

    We hope that everyone will be respectful of other visitors, employees and volunteers. Please speak to us if you have any concerns or questions.

    SPECIFIC EXEMPTION CRITERIA? We welcome everyone but recognise there are circumstances where, for health, age or accessibility reasons, some visitors will not be able to wear face masks or coverings. The government lists specific 'legitimate reasons' why people do not need to wear a face covering, including:

    • Children under the age of 11
    • Not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
    • If putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
    • If you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate


    CAN I REMOVE MY FACE COVERING IN THE CAFE?
    You are asked to wear face coverings when you are ordering / paying / collecting your items. Once you are seated in the marquee or outdoor benches you can remove your covering to enjoy your refreshments.

  • + What if I'm feeling unwell?

    Please do not visit The Observatory Science Centre if you’re feeling unwell.

    We temperature check all visitors on arrival and reserve the right to refuse entry.

    The main coronavirus symptoms to be aware of:

    • a high temperature
    • a new continuous cough
    • a loss or change to your sense of taste / smell

    If you become unwell whilst on site please speak to us immediately.

     

    Our employees and volunteers will not come to site if they are feeling unwell.

    All are temperature checked on arrival and anyone with a high temperature is immediately sent home.

     

     

  • + Will I have to provide contact details?

    YES

    In order to support the NHS Test and Trace programme it is necessary for us to take contact details of all visitors aged 16+.

    Our QR code is clearly visible at the entrances if you wish to scan in using the Test & Trace app rather than giving us your details. We are obliged to refuse entry to anyone who till not leave details nor scan the QR code.

     

    Privacy Notice

  • + What date will The Centre re-open in 2021?

    We will announce our opening date as soon as possible, subject to COVID-19 restrictions.

    This website and our social media will be the primary source for the very latest information on dates / session times etc.

     

     

  • + What will your Opening Hours be?

    PLEASE NOTE: If we have not received any bookings 48 hours in advance then we will NOT open on that date.

    We release dates / times / booking availability every 2 weeks.

    During September & October TERM TIME we are opening for general visitors on Wednesday/Saturday/Sunday 11 am - 3 pm. (last admission 1 pm). Other weekdays are reserved for private visits and school groups.

    The local October mid-term school holiday is Friday 23rd October - Monday 2nd November and we hope to be open daily.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • + I've changed my plans: can I have a refund?

    NO

    Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.

  • + Will I get a refund if the site closes on the day I've booked for?

    YES

    You will be refunded if you have paid admission but we have to close the science centre due to circumstances beyond our control.