Ticketed

Essential Information

Location
Royal Observatory
Price This attraction is currently closed
Please note

Unfortunately due to current COVID-19 visitor guidelines the Camera Obscura is closed. The rest of the historic Royal Observatory and Planetarium are open.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich camera obscura is housed in a small summerhouse in the Meridian Courtyard.

There have been a number of camera obscuras at Greenwich, dating from the late 17th century till the mid-19th century. The current one was installed in 1994 and shows a close-up, moving panorama of Greenwich and the Thames, the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Naval College.

What is a Camera Obscura? 

A precursor to the photographic camera, it is also known as a pinhole image. A natural optical phenomenon, it occurs when an obstructed image is displayed through a small hole. When the image is reversed and inverted onto an opposite wall, it offers the viewer a close up look at the image. This method was originally used to study eclipses, without needing to look at the sun. 

Choose your tickets

A father and son play on the Prime Meridian Line outside the historic Flamsteed House building of the Royal Observatory

Royal Observatory

  • Royal Observatory
  • Meridian Line
  • Planetarium Shows
Adult £16
Child £8
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A brother and sister with their back to the camera look out from the viewpoint at the top of Greenwich Park towards historic Greenwich

Royal Museums Greenwich Day Pass

  • Two sites, one ticket
  • Cutty Sark
  • Royal Observatory
  • Guaranteed entry time
Adult £25
Child £12.50
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Member tickets

  • Free entry
  • Priority booking
  • Membership card number required
Members go free
Advance booking essential
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National Maritime Museum

Become a Member

  • Unlimited entry all year
  • Royal Observatory
  • Cutty Sark
  • Planetarium Shows
  • Special exhibitions
Direct Debit One-off
Individual: £50 Individual: £60
Family: from £65 Family: from £75
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