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“Mixed Feelings”

CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory
Ranked #19 of 159 things to do in Cork
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed February 27, 2014

Hard to tell from their website if this place is just for children (i.e families). I went with my parents and husband. It started well and the group we were with were all adults. It was informative. But it was short. Little information on the actual observatory. Then we were subjected to some person dressed in Victorian clothes and she did our tour. Only thing was she seemed to be for children yet she was talking to all adults. It was cringe and embarrassing. People were trying to leave. It was poor to say the least. There should be proper guides who can work a group and know if there are kids. People found it uncomfortable and even when people tried to ask questions she stayed in this mad character and it was just awful. The café was lovely and the upkeep of the castle was very good and clean.

1  Thank Lavender2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlackrockCastle, Front Office Manager at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2014

Dear Lavendar2014,

I'm sorry to hear that your entire visit wasn't what you expected. The information on our Observatory is housed on our small screens in the centre of the exhibit - it may not be signposted well enough.

As for the tour, the intention with Lady Kate (who is a guide only for special events) is to have some comic relief in amongst the serious nature of the science. Her script includes historically accurate information - but she is an actress and remains in character throughout.

Since your visit, however, the experience at Blackrock Castle has changed quite significantly. The tours are now given by our Scientific Explainers who are guides in the exhibition that deliver star shows in our planetarium, the tour (including scientific information on the observatory) and the Science Space demonstrations.

I hope you are able to return another time.

Kind regards,
The BCO Team

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157 - 161 of 255 reviews

Reviewed October 10, 2013 via mobile

Very informative, and my son LOVED the comet chaser game. I liked how the information wad laid out, and the planetarium show was really well done... though a little uncomfortable laying on the floor. But the observatory is in a castle, and that alone was just cool.


1  Thank Pam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlackrockCastle, Front Office Manager at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2014

Dear Pam,
Thanks for your lovely review!
I understand about sitting on the floor - but better than standing out in a field in the middle of the night! :) We are looking into getting some soft mats for the room so hopefully the next time you visit it'll be better for you!
Kind regards,
BCO Team

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Reviewed September 26, 2013

This is just another surprise cork city has to offer on its doorstep. It has an interesting display on the science do the cosmos and it's has a fantastic restaurant with a great menu.

1  Thank Kevin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlackrockCastle, Front Office Manager at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2014

Dear Kevin,
Thanks for your great review. We do open nights and free stargazing every so often, so keep an eye on our website (www.bco.ie) if you'd like to come again for that experience!
Kind regards,
BCO Team

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Reviewed August 27, 2013

What a gem! This is just right for the layman - I have very little knowledge about space, the universe and everything, but they give you enough information to whet your interest, but not enough to overwhelm you. There are also optional free guided tours explaining a little of the history of the castle, but these involve narrow spiral staircases.

1  Thank Niel-Wolverhampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlackrockCastle, Front Office Manager at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded September 2, 2013

Dear Neil,

Thanks very much for your lovely review.

We’re delighted that you enjoyed your visit to Cosmos at the Castle and even more pleased that you left with an enhanced interest in astronomy.
We hope you can visit again soon.

All the best,
Dee

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Reviewed August 20, 2013

Despite the child friendly appearance of the website, this is not a good afternoon for a three year old and a six year old (or their Mum). We had to wait 50 minutes for a planetarium show in a dark stuffy waiting area. The planetarium show was essentially climbing into a hot stuffy tent to see a regurgitation of the information already seen in the waiting area. The pitch was not aimed at young children. The tour (starting 80 minutes after we arrived) meant we got out on the roof and saw the view, which was good, but as it appears safe I don't know why we couldn't have been free to wander up there at our leisure. I left after that so I can't say if there was something amazing which I missed, but 100 minutes of dull, dull, dull. I won't be back.

We were in the science museum in Lisbon a few weeks ago and it is so cleverly designed to fascinate all ages from the very young. The Blackrock castle people should go to Lisbon to learn from what they have achieved there.

The best part is the cafe, which is really good, but not cheap.

Thank roadie599
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BlackrockCastle, Front Office Manager at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, responded to this reviewResponded September 2, 2013

Dear roadie599,

We’re very sorry to hear that your visit did not meet up to your expectations. We’re especially disappointed to hear that you didn't like the Planetarium show as we have received such positive feedback for it throughout the summer.

While our science centre is ideally suited to 6+ years we do hope to capture the imagination of all who visit us. Maybe one of our free monthly open evenings called First Fridays at the Castle would suit your family better. Included in these nights are four half-hour hands-on family friendly workshops in MakeSpace and weather dependent stargazing in our courtyard. You can find all info on our various activities under the events section of our website.

All the best,
Dee

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