Our observatory is open to the public on Saturday evenings from September to May. The observatory is open from 8:30 pm to about midnight, weather permitting. Please telephone the observatory on 020 8668 9642 to check openings, and also here.
Information on how to find our observatory and parking areas can be found here.
Visitors are requested to park on the main road, Hayes Lane, as there are no parking facilities at the observatory site. A few hundred metres to the south there is a parking bay next to the Kenley Aerodrome WW2 memorial. Responsibility for parking has to be with the visitor.
Site Etiquette and Safety
The path to the observatory and the surrounding area are not paved; it is strongly recommended that visitors should wear stout waterproof shoes or boots with substantial tread.
As you would expect the area around the observatory is not lit so you may find a small torch useful; however please do not shine it towards the buildings or any people outside who may be observing.
Don't forget that the observatory is not heated so please wear plenty of warm clothing.
Safety in the Dark
When you arrive you may find the area quite dark as it takes your eyes some time to adapt to low levels of light. We therefore recommend that you stay in the dark by your car for 5 minutes when you arrive to allow time for your eyes to adapt. If anyone shines their car lights in your direction look away or close your eyes immediately. It takes 10 to 20 minutes for your eyes to get used to darkness but only a short time looking at a bright light to lose your dark adaptation. You will then find that you will be able to see far more and normally there is sufficient light from either the Moon or the general London light pollution to allow you to walk about safely.
Dark adaptation is a requirement to see through the telescopes so the time is well spent.