When to visit
You can have an enjoyable time at the Observatory day or night, rain or shine, winter or summer. Our public events (see “Schedule“) are some of the best times to experience what the Observatory has to offer and we aim to have public events regularly throughout the year. There are also a limited number of paid, private events that can be arranged (see “Programs and Events”).
If stargazing is your key goal, then please consider the following:
- Stargazing requires clear skies. While we cannot predict the weather on any particular night long beforehand, there are some general trends that you can take into account. Weather systems are such that we typically have many more clear nights from about the last half of May until early October, with August having the highest probability of clear skies in London. From October until the end of April, clear evenings are quite rare unfortunately.
- A Full Moon is very bright and makes it harder to see faint objects. Moreover, the Full Moon is not nearly as spectacular through our telescopes as a First Quarter or crescent Moon.
- Some objects are only visible in specific seasons (e.g. the Orion nebula is only visible in winter) and visibility of the planets is different every year. If you are especially interested in seeing a particular object, consult with one of our astronomers to find out when to visit.
Please note that the Observatory is not open every day, we open up only during scheduled events.