Group visits

Booking is open. Group visits are available year round. We offer private group visits to the Observatory for schools and community groups of between 15 and 30 people. Depending on the weather, between October and March, we will attempt to view targets in the night sky. Between April to September, we will attempt use our solar telescopes to reveal features on the Sun's surface.

Visitor groupSchool groups

If there is a particular project or aspect of astronomy the class has been working on, we can theme your visit to accommodate this. Book onto an evening slot, or if you are interested in day time school visits to the Observatory, please specify when you contact us and we can discuss your specific requirements.

Furthermore, we can bring our Planetarium into schools! If you would like to find out more, visit our Cosmos in the Classroom page.

Girlguiding and Scouts

The University of Hertfordshire Observatory at Bayfordbury is happy to invite intrepid young astronomers to come along with their Brown Owl or Scout Leader to demonstrate their skills and knowledge to earn their respective badges in the field.

Community groups

If you are interested in a particular aspect of astronomy, we can theme your visit to accommodate this.

What is included?

These evenings are tailored to the abilities and experience of the visiting group where possible, and can be themed to the reason for their visit with sufficient notice (at least 1 month).

A group visit will include:

  • a talk from one of our astronomy students
  • a tour of the sky in our Planetarium
  • a peek through the telescopes at Bayfordbury (weather permitting)

Visits are typically around 2 hours in length, with available start times of 5pm and 7:15 pm. A member of staff at the Observatory will contact you in advance of your visit to confirm all the details.

If the weather is unfavourable, the group will still visit the telescopes and if at all possible, a visible object will be viewed.

Prices

  • Entry to the Observatory is £11 per person (minimum number of tickets to be purchased is 15 to cover costs, but groups can be smaller)
  • You can use our calendar to find an available evening, and make a request for a private visit.
  • Once availability is confirmed you will be sent a link to our secure payment page to complete your booking.
  • You will then receive a confirmation email and a reference number.
  • Please note: a non-refundable deposit of £88 (8 tickets) is to be paid at least 2 weeks before the date of your visit.

How to request a visit

Fill in our Group Visit request form. Please view our calendar for available dates and times (white box marked "Available"). For general enquiries or to discuss specific details of a potential group visit prior to requesting, please contact Mily Riley on e.riley@herts.ac.uk.

During the summer, group bookings cannot be made for the following winter. This is a result of undergraduate practicals not being scheduled until September.