Part of the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Observatory sits at the top of Blackford Hill and is a little walk from the city centre. It is home to the Institute of Astronomy as well as the UK Astronomy Technology Centre. Regular visitors will be more interested in the visitor centre however and the opportunity to discover the amazing history of the building and the history of astronomy.
The centre is open for visitors and has a range of attractions from the dome demonstration to the chance to handle meteorites. There is a great emphasis on activities for children and the centre is especially open to school and group visits. Individuals and groups of up to 10 can also book for a public astronomy evening which take place over the winter months and enjoy the chance to learn about the history of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh and discover more about the night sky. These events are ticketed and are complimented by weekly winter talks every Monday throughout the darker months from October to March.
The Royal Observatory was founded in 1896 and the telescopic features of the building were refurbished in 2010. It is also home to the Crawford Collection of books relevant to the history of astronomy and it is one of the world’s most extensive astronomical libraries. The Royal Observatory is both steeped in history and a fascinating experience for all fans of astronomy.