Stargazing Weekends

Dates for 2022

  • Friday 25th February to 27th February
  • Friday 23rd September to 25th September
  • Friday 21st October to 23rd October
  • Friday 18th November to 20th November

These dates are close to the New Moon so there is the best opportunity to get dark skies for observing.

Whether you are an absolute beginner or a serious amateur astronomer, we promise an enjoyable and worthwhile weekend amongst the stars.

Here is an outline of what we do:

  • Friday Evening from 7.30 pm till 10.30 pm, Intro and Stargazing.
  • Saturday Morning from 10.30 till 12.30, Talk on 'Our star, the Sun' and observing the Sun with special telescopes.
  • Saturday afternoons are free, when attendees could visit the Island Observatory if pre-arranged or Needles Battery Space Display or just do their own thing.
  • Saturday Evening from 7.30 till 10.30, Talk 'Life and Death of Stars' and more stargazing.
  • Sunday Morning from 10.30 till 12.30, Talk 'How to continue your interest in the Stars' and more solar observing. Course ends.

Most talks and teaching sessions use our virtual reality planetarium dome.

Each course is limited to 15 attendees, ensuring opportunities with telescopes and personal attention from the planetarium astronomers. We have number of telescopes up to 10 inches in diameter and purpose-made solar telescopes.

£75 per person for the whole weekend.

When you book there is a £10 confirmation booking fee, this will be refunded if you need to cancel up to two months prior to the course or it is cancelled by us. An invoice will be sent two months before the event and balance of payment must be made no less than 5 weeks before the weekend.

For details or to book please call us on 01983 761555 or email

Weekends will ONLY run if we have 6+ people booked, so if you want to ensure it runs invite your friends!

Need help with finding somewhere to stay, we can point you towards some places close by.


Vamoose45 says

A weekend stargazing course with talks and stargazing on Friday and Saturday evenings, and talks and sungazing on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Paul and Andrew who run the planetarium are clearly very passionate and committed to what they do. Very knowledgeable about their subject and hugely enthusiastic about communicating it and answering questions.

The weather was not good. However, when the cloud and rain cleared, the skies were very dark and there was very good visibility. Unfortunately, poor weather is always a risk you take on a stargazing course in the UK. This was different from the other courses which I found, in bad weather, we could at least watch a show in the planetarium. Additionally, this course offered solar viewing with the solar telescope, which other stargazing courses don't. The price of this course was also very reasonable compared to other courses which I found.

The museum is very small, but the information is well-presented and interesting. The small bookshop has well-chosen books, telescopes and other bits and pieces for beginners.

Overall this is a great resource, if you are looking for a stargazing course and can't make it to Mauna Kea or the Atacama desert, on the Isle of Wight it's  a good one,  just have to keep your fingers crossed for good weather and clear skies.

Karen M says

The weather was not kind BUT Paul and Andrew have filled the time with fantastic information around the cosmology of stars, the universe, and everything. I've managed to get the hang of some of the physics I've struggled with previously and feel like I've taken a huge step forward. Thank you Paul and Andrew and thank you to my wonderful partner for a brilliant present.

Great place to visit. Really enjoyed our stargazing weekend organised by the planetarium. Paul and Andrew are great and the skies there are fab on a clear night.