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2022 Stargazing Experience Gift Ticket


The Observatory Science Centre will open exclusively for your private, VIP evening astronomy experience.

One Stargazing Package covers up to 20 people (when permitted to do so)… or as few as you wish, guaranteeing a bespoke experience.

Led by a knowledgeable guide you will enjoy a private tour of the telescope domes, including those not normally open. This is a relaxed, informal evening with plenty of opportunity for you to ask astronomy questions.

Viewing through an historic telescope will take place (weather / light permitting) and in the absence of fair weather you will have a planetarium style presentation.


Supporting our charity
The Observatory Science Centre is part of the educational charity Science Projects Ltd: dedicated to the promotion of Science for All. Your purchase helps to support us as we strive to maintain and develop this unique attraction in a Grade II* Listed site.


Your Stargazing Experience Package will be posted to you and includes:

  • Exclusive Book: ‘Astronomers at Herstmonceux: in their own words
  • Gift Ticket
  • Exclusive Science Centre card with envelope: blank for your own message



When can my Stargazing Experience take place? You can request the date for any time of year that OSC is open.  We recommend September through to April for stargazing evenings, however you can book your VIP evening May to August but skies will not be dark.

Who can I bring? Your group can be up to 20 people, including children under 4 and carers.  All members of the group should be known to you. We insist that all of the group are free of Covid- 19 symptoms and we will temperature check all guests on arrival. You will move around the site as a group, being guided to areas by OSC staff and keeping the requisite social distancing between family bubbles. If children are part of your group they must be supervised by an adult / senior at all times.

What time do we arrive / depart? We anticipate a maximum of 3 hours for your evening, with additional time if you have pre-booked catering. This is your bespoke evening so we will discuss your preferred arrival time (from 6.30 pm) with departure no later than 11 pm.

Where do we park? There is ample free parking for cars immediately in front of the entrance reception. Step free entrance available

What will happen on the evening? The Duty Manager will meet you and discuss the programme for your evening having assessed the weather situation. If you have pre-booked a meal this will be served at the start of the evening.

What should we wear? You are advised to wear warm clothes and sturdy footwear. You will be going outside and there is no heating in the domes. It is likely to be cold regardless of the weather.

Do we need to bring torches? Torches are not essential but you are welcome to bring your own (red light if possible). White light torches should not be used in the domes when viewing.

Who will look after us? You will be assisted by friendly, dedicated and knowledgeable staff and volunteers. All have a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Certificate and many are registered STEM Ambassadors.  Before leading your group they will have completed a health questionnaire, had their temperature taken and will socially distance and wear face coverings.

Can I add catering? Our catering manager will be delighted to discuss catering with you to suit your budget: from hot chocolate & birthday cake, burgers & fries, or curry! 

Please speak to us to discuss your requirements, including dietary needs. If you choose to add a meal this will be served at the start of your evening.

Does the Gift Ticket guarantee a date? We are unable to guarantee a particular date. You are required to call us to secure an evening as far in advance as possible: subject to OSC own events and guide availability.

What happens if weather is bad on the evening? Weather is beyond our control and we will deliver a planetarium style presentation in the absence of actual night sky observing.

Are there any access restrictions? This is an historic site and some of the telescope domes have narrow, steep, stairs. Please discuss with us in advance if anyone in your group has access requirements or mobility issues


Terms & Conditions

  • This Gift Experience is valid for the 2022 season only and cannot be extended.
  • Purchasing this Gift Experience does not guarantee a particular date. You cannot book via our on-line system. It is essential that you call The Centre as far in advance as possible and definitely no less than 14 days before your preferred date.
  • Viewing through an historic telescope can only take place weather / light permitting.
  • Once your booking is confirmed the date can only be changed in exceptional circumstances. Poor weather is NOT an exceptional circumstance unless The Centre has had to close due to a weather warning.
  • All children must be accompanied & supervised at all times by an adult / senior.
  • This Gift Experience is limited to a maximum of 20 people: including under 4’s and carers.
  • This Gift Experience cannot be refunded, transferred or exchanged for cash.
  • This Gift Experience cannot be redeemed against purchases in The Launch Box, Café or Gift Shop.
  • This Gift Experience cannot be redeemed for Special Events / Astronomy Festival etc.
  • Your private visit will be subject to current government guidelines and restrictions.
  • We reserve the right to refuse entry.


COVID-19 update

Private evenings can take place as long as OSC is permitted to open. If OSC has to close in line with Government restrictions, your private evening will be rolled forward.

All of our team wear a face covering and will not be on site if they have experienced symptoms of coronavirus. They will also have a temperature check on arrival. Please note we will temperature check all of your group before you enter the site.

Rest assured that the safety and well-being of our staff, volunteers and visitors is our absolute priority. Rules and guidelines are in place for your own protection and the safety of others.

We have the Visit Britain ‘We’re Good to Go’  industry standard consumer mark demonstrating we have taken account of all the Government and public health guidance and put appropriate measures in place.

Social distancing will be fully complied with and hand sanitiser is available.

Our facilities are cleaned regularly and staff have been trained in COVID-19 secure cleaning and disinfecting protocols throughout the site.