Love Science, Love Stars, Love Herstmonceux

It takes great skill and concentration to work out how to control the flow of water in the Water Play Tanks at The Observatory Science Centre.   Papa Joe and I experimented with dam building.  I don’t know about the Mahems but we had a great time and the grandfather we chatted to thought it was nearly as good as working on his allotment!!!

the observatory water 1

The Observatory Science Centre is brilliant in the way it combines history and science and is ideal for Mayhems aged 6 or older to explore.  The grandparents we met said that it worked best when they brought two children who could then work together exploring all the exhibits.


The six large iconic green domes that dominate the site house historic telescopes.  One was used by the Tv astronomer Patrick Moore to map the surface of the moon before the Apollo Moon landings.

Where: The Observatory Science Centre – Herstmonceux Castle Estate
Admission: Admission Charge – under 4 free
Joint Ticket available for entry with Herstmonceux Castle Estate ,gardens & grounds
Facilities: 1/2 and full day workshops for 6-9 year olds, Café, Shop, Free Parking
Website: The Observatory Science Centre

The main building and grounds have large-scale hands on interactive exhibits, designed to help visitors explore the science themes of force, movement, genetics and sound. It might have been drizzling, but everyone carried on exploring all the outside activities.

Inside the main building, we found it was buzzing with people trying out the activities. Papa Joe was fascinated by the temporary exhibition, ‘ Shocking Electricity’ ,which was designed to look like a Frankenstein laboratory

the observatory indoors 2

Experiment – turn this way and that way        Eureka finally it works!


The centre at Herstmonceux was a working observatory from 1958 until it closed in 1990.  Each day the observatory opens three of their six domes so visitors can see the large historic telescopes and the allied displays.

the observatory telescope 3

The other domes are used during open evenings and you may be able use their large telescopes to view the stars if the skies are clear.

thompson telescope

When Patrick Moore was six he became fascinated with astronomy.  After visiting The Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux, your Mayhems will also become fascinated by the stars.


Getting There

The Observatory Science Centre is within the Herstmonceux Castle Estate in East Sussex to the south east of Herstmonceux village.  There is no public transport.
See Map   (Google)               Get Directions  (Google)

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