FAQs about visits
-When can I book a private visit?
You may request a visit between October and March on evenings when our undergraduate practicals are not taking place. We can only consider visit requests once the dates of our practicals are finalised, which is usually in October.
-How long does the visit take?
Each visit usually takes 2 hours.
-Where can I park?
There are two car parks at the entrance of the university campus, next to the Bayfordbury Science Building. Please do not drive up to the observatory itself as there is very limited parking.
-Where should I go when I arrive?
Park in either of the car parks near the entrance of the campus and follow the signs to the reception of the Bayfordbury Science Building where you will be met by our guides. Please do not drive or walk up to the Observatory itself as there may be nobody to greet you.
-What happens if the weather is bad?
The visit will run as planned, unfortunately with the exception of opening the domes and using the telescopes. You will still be able to visit the domes and see how the telescopes operate.
If it rains, please come prepared to do some walking outside (bring umbrella, rain coats, etc).
-How far is the Observatory from the reception?
There is a 300 metre walk from the Bayfordbury Science Building to the Observatory.
-Is there a bar or cafeteria available to get food?
No, but we have a water dispenser and a vending machine in the Bayfordbury Science Building.
-Can we bring outside food into the Observatory?
Food and drink may be consumed in the dining area in the Bayfordbury Science Building, however the Observatory is a science laboratory and we ask our visitors not to bring or consume food or drink at the Observatory itself.
-If I need to cancel by reservation, can I get a refund?
We do not offer refunds once booked.
-Can I add more people to my booking after I paid?
You may request that by contacting us.
Please be aware that we only accept cheques in these cases (on the day of the visit) and that we can only accommodate a maximum of 40 people in total.
-If I'm booking for a group of kids, can the parents come along?
Parents are welcome to attend too. Please include them in the group total when booking.
-Can I request the visit to be longer or shorter?
We have a maximum of 2 hours per visit but you may request it to finish earlier if required. Just let our guides know about your request when arriving.
-Is the Observatory wheelchair accessible?
Yes, the Bayfordbury Science Building where the first part of the tour will take place has a ramp to the door and lift. Two of our telescope domes are wheelchair accessible and these are most often used for the visits. Please contact us beforehand to discuss any other specific accommodations which may need to be made.
You may use your own transport (car/minibus) to drive passengers up to the Observatory from the Bayfordbury Science Building and back if needed provided it is not kept at the Observatory once disembarked.
-Do you provide special needs tours?
Yes, please refer any special needs questions to our group visits coordinator.