The Look Out Discovery Centre

The Look Out Discovery Centre

The Look Out Discovery Centre
4.5
Monday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
We are a hands-on science and discovery centre aimed at primary school aged children with over 90 activities to entertain. We have an amazing outdoor play area which includes an all-access section. With a picnic area and coffee shop, you can stay all day.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • HarryG
    Hampshire, United Kingdom21 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good for little ones
    Visited today for the first time and had a really enjoyable day out. Lots do with an energetic team year old! Excellent safeguarding protocol too. The only down side and why a star is missing is because some of the equipment is tired and not working. It would have also been great if the roof windows were open as it was boiling hot.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 24, 2023
  • Emily M
    Newbury, United Kingdom87 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lots to get involved with
    We were incredibly impressed. A great hands-on place to explore science, and to just have fun! Also a fantastic playground with multiple play areas for different ages and abilities. Great den-building area as well. We went with our sons who are 2 and nearly 5.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 30, 2023
  • Liam S
    London, United Kingdom28 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic. Highly recommend
    Absolutely fantastic place. Staff are incredibly friendly. Enjoyed the special bubble show. They limit numbers via the booking system which makes it a much nicer experience than similar places we have visited. Take a spare T-shirt and trousers if you have somebody who will want to play with their water features!
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 1, 2023
  • Catherine
    Farnham, United Kingdom2 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fabulous exhibits, avoid the cafe!
    We had a fabulous day at the lookout! The kids (3 and 1) absolutely loved the discovery centre. The water exhibit and the building area were the clear favourites. Dress warm in winter because a lot of it is as cold as outside, even though it’s under cover. The outdoor play area was fabulous as well and would be worth a visit just on its own. Luckily I saw other reviews about the cafe before we went and we brought a packed lunch. If I hadn’t done this then the day would have been absolutely ruined (due to starving upset children) by the slow service from the cafe. We waited about 45 mins just for 3 coffees. Be warned! Next time we will bring a thermos and cut the cafe out completely.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written November 26, 2023
  • Perry M
    1 contribution
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Appalling cafe
    Friendly staff, good exhibits but several not working and some are getting tired. Cafe is appalling at this time of year. Poor and overpriced food. Outside! Who's bright idea was that? A few tables under a canopy, pigeons all over the place and the other tables were wet. The cafe needs to be inside where it used to be. Avoid the cafe and take your own food.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written December 9, 2023
  • Elizabeth R
    Halesowen, United Kingdom43 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great discovery!
    What an amazing find. So many things to do inside and out. Our son loved it here and would certainly be returning. Of course being December we didn't stay outside to long and shall be returning in the summer. Staff lovely and helpful.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written December 28, 2023
  • sierraromeobravo
    United Kingdom1,244 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Really Good
    Really Good. Came here with the family and there was a lot going on in the discovery centre, lots to look at and experiment with. We also watched a science show that was pretty good as well. The staff were really welcoming and friendly. We went during a busy time; so the car parking was a nightmare (get there early to find a space). They also had massive outside play area and café.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written February 24, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles568 reviews
Excellent
314
Very good
192
Average
42
Poor
14
Terrible
6

Jon W
Carnforth, UK6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
We visited here as a family if 5 (2adults, 3 children ,8,10,13).
We had a great day out here. There are lots of different hands on science experiments, activities and a construction based play area. The activities are all aimed at primary aged children but my 13 year old loved joining in too, helping out her younger brothers and offering explanations to them from her experiences. There is also a large observation tower which if you can face the 88 steps (we did it 3 times and are not super fit so should be fine for most) it offers fantastic views of the tree tops of the surrounding forest and the play park below. The play park outside is split into areas offering suitable equipment for various ages to play on with lots of picnic benches to sit and eat your lunch which could be either a packed lunch or food bought from the small food/drinks facility. I personally would reccomend taking food as the service was pretty slow just for drinks (we didn't eat food from there but what we saw from those that did, it looked perfectly good to eat - it just took a while to place an order) the hot drinks were reasonably priced and although not the best brew I've ever had, they were not bad.
There is also a small heated marquee to sit in to eat if you so prefer, however this was very full on our visit during half term.
Parking was £4 for all day but you can get £2 off adult entry with the stub making parking very reasonable. The parking also serves the forest works, mountain biking trails and a go ape but we did not take part in any of these activities.

Overall a reasonably prices day out if you have primary aged children, particularly if they love science. Would recommend.
Written February 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Katy J
London72 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020 • Family
I highly recommend a visit to the Discovery Centre Playground at Bracknell. I am still avoiding public playgrounds, so this is perfect.

The centre itself isn’t open, but they are taking bookings for their outdoor playground, which is huge and set in the beautiful woodland. Suitable for toddlers through to 10yrs (in my opinion).

You pre-book online, choose your preferred date/time and pay just £5, which when you attend is then added as credit for the coffee shop (this equates to 2 coffees and a pack of biscuits).

The £5 booking fee secures a table for up to 6 people (inc. children). Each session is 90mins.

When we arrived the car park staff showed us where to park. £2.60 to park for 4hrs, so after your playground session you can also take a walk in the woods.

Hand sanitizer at the main entrance and on each of the play area gates.

In between each play session, they close the playgrounds, clear the tables and sanitize everything (tables and all ply equipment). I saw the staff kit up with sprays and hoses ready to clean after our session.

Toilets - please note these are currently closed.

They can book a maximum of 30 tables, which when fully booked I am sure would be very busy. I went on a weekday, during school time and there were about 5/6 tables booked so it was really quiet.

Very friendly staff on hand to help and a really lovely and safe play time for my little one. 💓
Written September 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jlou
London, UK17 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020 • Family
We had a really nice morning in the adventure playground. There is lots of equipment and the numbers had been controlled so it wasn’t overly busy.

We didn’t mind paying the £5 to reserve a slot as you can redeem this on a coffee which we would likely have spent anyway. Although the takeaway cafe is open, it really only sells coffees, soft drinks, snacks such as flapjacks and muffins, and ice creams. Fine for us, but I could see another parent had hoped to buy lunch for her children and seemed disappointed there wasn’t more on offer. Definitely make sure to bring a packed lunch if you intend to eat.

Although there was a small queue to enter (as you have to give booking reference numbers and receive a wristband), we liked having a reserved table and our own space. Feel like this should be the new normal rather than the rush to try and find somewhere to sit!

Overall a nice morning. Could have easily stayed longer than the time allocated. My only major gripe was that there were no toilet facilities open. I asked a member of staff who confirmed these were closed. So you either need a bladder of steel or willingness to go al fresco!
Written September 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lesley Welsted
Nottingham, UK10 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
We were so excited to see the Look Out reopening. What a disappointment. They couldn't have made it more complicated and an unenjoyable experience if they'd tried. Main issue is lack of toilets. (Bird World, Alice Holt etc have all managed a really good system so it's not tricky). The entry system takes at least 2 minutes per person so the queue meant that we missed about 10 minutes of our session.

We then queued to get some refreshments but didn't realise we needed a code from a wrist band so lost our place in the queue. You then order and then some poor young lad has to run from one area to get the order to another area to serve it to you.

The £5 charge just seems wrong and forces you to spend it in house when most people bring picnics. All in all, we won't hurry back.
Written September 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kellychaseblake
Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom7 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
It’s a lovely place, perfect for young school age children with an interest in science. My 3 and 6 year old were intrigued especially the older one. However we went in half term and although we got there early we left after an hour because it was just crazy. It was so busy and cramped and with the amount of kids in there the noise was deafening. There were babies and toddlers crawling all over the exhibits and when we left the queue was a good 150 people deep if not more. Car park was full and people queueing on the road to get in. It was such a shame as we had travelled over an hour to get there and paid to get in but it was in my opinion, over capacity for the space. We reluctantly headed home. Because my children are school age we wouldn’t be able to go any other time than holidays or weekends so sadly I don’t think we will visit again, which is a real shame because educational places like this are hard to come by. The venue itself was lovely but I’ve had to mark down as there was just too many people in there for it to be safe or enjoyable and I heard another woman asking a member of staff what the capacity was as we left so I wasn’t the only person that felt that way. Perhaps a suggestion would be to advise customers not to bring pushchairs in as they were just discarded all over the place. Photos are from the first few minutes as we were the first people through the door. Wish I’d taken some as we left!
Written February 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CoventryRose
Coventry69 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Friends
Visited today on bikes, the weather was showery, and place was not at full capacity.
Ordered drinks at the takeaway cafe, given them on a tray, so we ASSUMED you would be able to use the large empty picnic table area. But when we came to enter the table area, we were told ALL picnic tables were reserved and none were available even for 10 minutes. Of the numerous tables available only 4 were occupied.
Seems a crazy scenario when you are actively encouraging takeaways from the cafe, but provide no seating for people to enjoy these.
The weaving barrier of barriers towards the MTB trails is an overkill and an accident waiting to happen.
Written August 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

clarese
Oxford, UK143 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Family
Firstly I think it’s fair to say some of the reviews of this place have to be taken with a pinch of salt. Not expecting to pay for parking when the forest & parks are free where the discovery centre is located is a bit unrealistic and the website also makes it clear during term time they are open to schools so I guess you risk bumping into school trips so no shock there!
Location is brilliant and you can easily spend hours outside here if the weather is fine, bring a picnic. There is a cafe but the food is average for the price you pay for convenience and there are lots of picnic benches located next to the cafe & park.
The discovery centre had everything but 1 exhibition working and we found the place clean & the staff helpful & friendly.
My children are 2 & 11 so a bit of a mix and I would say my 11 year old is at the top end of this day out now, however the 2 year old brings out the fun in him and there was still enough for him to enjoy. Even adults were getting stuck into the puzzles and tasks available. We spent 1.5 hours inside mainly due to the play building site with the ride on diggers so the 3 hour time slot is generous.
During school holidays you do need to book we watched multiple families getting turned away.
Outside there is a great range of parks (free to use and not part of the discovery centre) and a den building area next to Go Ape.
Lots of parking available and lots of walkers and cyclists in the woodland. We will return for sure.
Written October 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbara H
Wokingham, UK6 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
I have visited The Lookout many times with my children, grandchildren and school groups and have always been pleased. The last time I visited was 2018 but now have another grandchild old enough to enjoy the experience. Even though tickets are pre-booked with time slots, it was very crowded. Many of the experiences were either not in use, not working properly or had pieces missing. Only one hand dryer in the woodland and water experience was working and hand sanitizers were a bit hit and miss. All in all, it felt as if it needed a good clean, a bit of a revamp and a lot of TLC. However, the outside play area, the den building and walks were the saving grace. I will definitely return to the Lookout but not necessarily to the Indoor Discovery Centre.
Written April 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard W
Costa Blanca20 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
Unfortunately, our visit was not a great experience. The inside was quite dusty and many of the activities looked as if the had not been cleaned for quite some time. Far too many were not working. The organisation for the cafe was atrocious. Queue at one window to place an order and pay without being able to see what it was you were ordering. We ordered 2 slices of cake which were handed to us straight away and two coffees for which we had to wait 15 minutes at another window. The pieces of four day old cake, judging by the day marked on the box, were tiny, solid and barely edible. The outside tables and benches were filthy with pine needles, bird droppings and other assorted rubbish.
The only reason this gets an average review instead of a terrible one was that the 9 year old we took with us, oblivious to all the failings, had a great time on the activities that were working and from what I could see, the outside activities and walks would be great in good weather.
Written November 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cristina S
28 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Family
This is a great place to come with the kids. There are plenty of activities and some for adults as well. Unfortunately some of the activities were not in use on the day we visited but there were still plenty to use. They are very creative and interesting. We went on a weekday and it was not busy at all so we had a nice experience.

The only negatives are around the cafe. Doesn’t have much selection and the food is not great. And there were some really cold areas as you enter the centre as those are not heated.
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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