Essential Information

Type Experiences
Royal Observatory
Date and Times Saturdays and Sundays throughout July and August
Prices Included with Royal Observatory admission

Free entry for Members. Not a member? Join now

Get hands-on with a telescope and discover fascinating facts about the Universe this summer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich!

Every weekend our space-tastic team of Observatory Explainers will be around the site, delivering live science demonstrations and astronomy sessions for all ages.

All activities are included with entry to the Royal Observatory, and you can drop in any time that sessions are running. Check out the highlights below for a taste of what's on offer.

Whether you're searching for answers about life in the Universe or are just curious about what it's like to look through a telescope, head to the Royal Observatory this summer.

Need to know
  • Sessions typically run on Saturdays and Sundays throughout July and August between 11am and 2.30pm. 
  • Volunteer-led sessions in the Meridian Courtyard will run every day during the summer, subject to staff availability.
  • Activities will vary depending on weather and availability - see below for examples of what's on offer.
  • Suitable for all ages unless specified.
  • All activities are free with entry to the Royal Observatory. The Young Astronomers workshop is also open to anyone with Planetarium show tickets

Plan your visit

Find more things to do at the Royal Observatory

A family enjoy looking through a telescope during a science demonstration at the Royal Observatory

Look through a telescope

Think you can't do astronomy in the daytime? Think again! This is your chance to safely look at the Sun through a telescope and ask everything you've ever wondered about space and astronomy.

Solar observing sessions are hosted by both our in-house Observatory Explainers and our partners at the Flamsteed Astronomy Society. They'll be able to get you started with our dedicated solar telescopes, as well as answer questions about what you're seeing and how telescopes actually work.

Please note this activity is subject to the weather, and will not run if it's too cloudy to observe the Sun. Sessions will be held either by the Dolphin Sundial near the entrance to the historic Observatory or by the large metal cone of the Planetarium. Just ask staff for directions if you're not sure where to go.

A woman looks through an eyepiece at a black box on a table emitting a red light. On the table in front of her are sheets of paper with the spectrum of light laid out in a bright rainbow of colour

Discover the secrets of light

If the clouds stop you looking through a telescope, don't worry: head to the Octagon Room inside the historic Royal Observatory buildings for some amazing science demonstrations all about spectroscopy.

Spectroscopy is the process of splitting light into its component parts to study them. For astronomers, this rainbow of light is like the barcode of the universe: the colours help them work out what the objects they are looking at are made of. Want to know if a distant planet could support life? Spectroscopy could be the key...

A family workshop at the Royal Observatory, with a boy drawing with a pen and a girl playing with a VR headset

Join a Young Astronomers workshop

How big is the Universe? Why is Pluto not a planet anymore? These drop-in family workshops are your chance to ask everything you've ever wanted to know about astronomy, and get stuck into a range of activities themed around space science and exploration.

Held inside the learning spaces at the top of the Astronomy Centre, these sessions are free for both Royal Observatory visitors and Planetarium ticketholders. Just ask staff for directions when you arrive.

Suitable for families with children aged 4-11.

Inside the dome of the Great Equatorial Telescope at the Royal Observatory. The roof of the Dome is partially open to allow the telescope to observe the sky

See the Observatory's largest telescope

A feat of Victorian engineering, the Great Equatorial Telescope is one of the must-see attractions at the Royal Observatory. But what was it built to do, and how does it work?

During select Saturdays, Observatory Explainers can be found beneath the Great Equatorial Telescope, delivering free talks about the telescope's history and function. Even if they're not there, interactive displays and footage taken during an observing session will give you an idea of what it's like to look up at the night sky using this historic instrument.

A woman, a man and a young boy look at a box and tripod containing a camera obscura at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. The viewing window of the camera shows an inverted image of the skyline behind them

Experiment with historic tools and technology

Enjoy daily drop-in activities led by volunteers at the Royal Observatory. Learn more about the iconic Time Ball and the history of the Royal Observatory, or take part in exciting demos showing how a compass or a camera obscura works. 

Activities vary per day. For exact timings, listen out for announcements on the day.

Timeball demo

Visit the Royal Observatory

Home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), the Prime Meridian of the world and London’s only Planetarium

Choose your tickets

All activities are free with tickets to the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Visitors to the Planetarium can also drop in to the Young Astronomers workshop before or after their show.

A couple walks along the Prime Meridian Line in front of the historic Royal Observatory Greenwich building

Royal Observatory

  • Walk the Prime Meridian line
  • See the best view in London
  • Guaranteed entry time
  • Audio guide included
  • Planetarium shows not included
Adult £18
Child £9
A father and son look through a porthole on the main deck of historic ship Cutty Sark

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 £60 Family: from £70