The Observatory Science Centre

In a nutshell

Exciting range of hands-on science exhibits and fascinating experiments in the interactive workshops.


Herstmonceux, Hailsham, Sussex BN27 1RN

Contact details

Tel: 01323 832731

Activity type

Birthdays, Gardens and Open Spaces, Indoor Activities, Outdoor Activities, Science and Technology, Theatre and Entertainment

Suitable for

Ages 5 - 12, All ages, Schools and Groups, Teenagers, Under 5s

Price guide


(based on family of 4)

The Observatory Science Centre details...

The Observatory Science Centre, in Herstmonceaux near Hailsham in East Sussex, is an interactive hands-on science centre operating in the former home of The Royal Observatory. It is now a Grade 11 listed monument and together with the historic telescopes on site, there are also over 100 interactive exhibits and exhibitions. There are even outdoor, large-scale interactive exhibits, as well as a host of temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

Children of all ages and abilities will find something to entertain and educate them at the Observatory Science Centre, and adults will enjoy the themed evenings that are often held. Families can spend a full day enjoying the exciting range of hands-on science. Children will be able to get so many questions answered at the Earth and beyond exhibits. This exhibition tells Earth’s story and takes you on a journey from the beginning of time from the microscopic to the macroscopic. Investigate many different aspects of light and colour in the Light and Colour exhibits and have fun exploring the basic principles that influence our everyday lives at the Forces exhibits.

The outdoor Discovery Park is designed to help visitors explore themes of force, movement, genetics and sound. Children will love the interactive exhibits around the gardens and grounds of the centre and it is not only hands-on but feet-on too in some cases! You will be amazed by the Sound Dishes, where a whispered message can be picked up by a friend almost 30 metres away! The Discovery Park may be closed if the weather is not good.

In addition to the daily activities and during the local school holidays, the Centre offers fantastic workshops for children, which are a great way to have fun and learn at the same time. The workshops are fully interactive and children are totally immersed in carrying out experiments or making and creating to take home. There is a café for refreshments located in a room that was originally used as an optical laboratory, with the original marble bench forming the central table! The Observatory Science Centre is also a wonderful place for children’s birthday parties with some great options available.

Just a short distance from the castle is the Herstmonceux Castle and Grounds where you can discover woodland walks and nature trails to explore, plus castle tours!

The Observatory Science Centre reviews...

1 reviews

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Coronavirus Notice

We welcome the further easing of lockdown for all attractions on our website but recommend you always check COVID-secure measures before you travel and note changes to booking requirements.

We hope you and your children enjoy wonderful and safe days out this summer.