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“Little gem.”

The Observatory Science Centre
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed June 12, 2013 via mobile

Wasn't sure what this place would be like as haven't heard many reviews or seen much advertising of it, but what a hidden gem it was. Even on wet day the outdoor parts were a joy, the telescopes were fascinating and the science toys/equipment were fun. My only niggle was, there was a school of over 200 kids there that day and my god they were annoying, so check prior to visiting that its not busy.

Thank Liam O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
joharris5, Manager at The Observatory Science Centre, responded to this reviewResponded August 20, 2013

As an educational charity we have a very limited budget for advertising - so we remain 'possibly the best kept secret in Sussex'.
Positive word of mouth is our best review, so thank you for your comments.

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308 - 312 of 355 reviews

Reviewed May 9, 2013

I will begin with the only negative for my group. To purchase an entry ticket/s you have to queue in your car to slowly arrive at a pay kiosk. The kiosk is on the passenger side of the car and unless you have a responsible adult in the passenger seat, the driver then has to get out of his car and walk round to pay. This also takes longer than necessary as there are options, of the castle and grounds, the science centre, both or either. Plus a mixed group of ages etc. etc. it goes on and on. Eventually you are able to enter.

The rest were positives. In our family group we had two cars, four adults and four boys. The science centre was an enormous hit with all of them. They would have stayed there all day, not noticing if there were any adults with them or not (until they were hungry)! A small area of picnic tables but also a large area to enjoy ground level picnics.

Following that we enjoyed the extensive and well laid out gardens. There was a tour of the castle but only one on the day we were there (bank holiday Monday) but missed that as the boys were still enjoying the science experience. Castle not open other than tours, as it is a full time college.

We did go into the Observatory demo, which they enjoyed. A small negative here was that the presenter was not very clear and rushed the lecture making it difficult to understand him.

We all enjoyed an ice cream from the small cafe, fortunately for us the queue was small otherwise could have taken quite some time.

An enjoyable experience was had by all.

1  Thank Streps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
joharris5, Manager at The Observatory Science Centre, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2013

Thank you for your feedback. To answer your 'one negative' .....You purchased Joint Entry tickets to Herstmonceux Castle and The Observatory Science Centre which are only available from the kiosk as you drive down to the castle. Admission tickets just to the science centre are purchased within our entrance reception.

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Reviewed April 9, 2013

Visited with 2 six year olds, and loved it. There are lots of hands on, interactive exhibits, both inside and outside the centre. My daughter loved the section on planets, and the history of Earth. She liked learning about fault lines, plates, earthquakes, volcanoes, meteorites and crystals. All of these were explained clearly with something to do to demonstrate. The senses section was good, and we enjoyed the science talk. There are picnic benches outside, including some undercover. We all enjoyed the large scale exhibits in the Discovery Park, and the arts and crafts session where we made our own paper helicopters, and lots of other make-your-own experiments. Even the gift shop was good as it had many small items suitabke for spending pocket money! All in all, a fantastic day out, and we look forward to coming back!

Thank JenC_UK
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joharris5, Manager at The Observatory Science Centre, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2013

Thank you for your comments and we are so pleased your family enjoyed all aspects of your visit. We pride ourselves on keeping the shop well stocked with a fantastic range of pocket money souvenirs and gifts - 80% of the stock is £5 or under!

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Reviewed April 8, 2013

This is tremendous fun for all ages. It is aimed at kids under 12, with excellent talks every few hours that introduce the centre, its telescopes, and give a great basic intro to astronomy. But we were a pair of adults, so the kids stuff was less on our radar. (Ok, not radar.) Instead, we enjoyed the excellent detailed history of the Royal Observatory and the telescopes themselves, in particular the giant Isaac Newton glass mirror by the entrance. It'll take a very cynical soul (or one expert in physics experiments) not to enjoy some of the activities in the Discovery Park. Highly recommended.

1  Thank Biglondontraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
joharris5, Manager at The Observatory Science Centre, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2013

Thank you for your feedback - we aim to offer something for everyone and hope that all visitors can have Spectacular Science fun in this unique historic setting. Did you know that if you visit for an Open Evening you can view through the telescopes (weather permitting!) and there are lots of amateur astronomers on site to give guidance at all levels.

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Reviewed March 27, 2013

We visited here with our 7 yo daughter not really knowing what to expect but were very pleasantly surprised. She enjoyed all of the exhibits which were all hands on, as did we. The small cafe was good for a coffee or two as we visited on a very cold day and some of the exhibits were outside. They serve toasties, home made soup and light lunches, as well as cakes and ice creams. There were lots of sensory exhibits which our daughter with special needs loved and one where you could email the picture you had made home which is a nice reminder of the day. There is disabled access to the Observatory and lifts available once inside. We would recommend to anyone for a day out and will be going again. They also do bookable full day/half day workshops for those aged 9+ and 6+ respectively such as Rocket to the Moon, Cool Chemistry and Earth and Beyond. Also evening astronomy courses such as Further Astronomy, Star Search and Astrophotography. On some of these courses you get the chance to view through the telescopes, weather permitting. There is also an astronomy festival over 3 days in September where you can camp. More details: www.the-observatory.org.

Thank Carol And Marti... H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
joharris5, Manager at The Observatory Science Centre, responded to this reviewResponded August 24, 2013

Thank you for your comments and we are thrilled you all enjoyed your visit. The exhibits can be enjoyed by all, regardless of age or ability, and the majority are accessible to wheelchair users.

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