Grassholme Observatory
Grassholme Observatory
5
9:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Friday
9:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 PM - 11:00 PM
About
Grassholme Observatory is a new observatory in the north of England with events held by lead astronomer Gary Fildes. Our purpose built observatory, based within the beautiful County Durham countryside at Grassholme Reservoir near Barnard Castle, offers you the opportunity to gaze into the vastness and beauty of the universe. Astronomy is a humbling experience, so let us guide you to understand the wonders of the planets, stars and galaxies.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • indigogrl
    County Durham, United Kingdom94 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A fab experience for all the family
    Highly recommend this experience to all. It’s fascinating stuff in a beautiful setting. The guys leading the evening are really passionate about the night sky and that’s just infectious! Loved it. A great family activity.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 18 June 2023
  • Ron B
    Manchester, United Kingdom9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    AMAZING NIGHT OF STAR GAZING
    Went to se the Perseid Meteor shower. The staff were very welcoming, informative and knowledgeable. Whilst there was cloud cover for part of the evening , it was a night to remember. We not only saw meteors shooting across the sky, we also saw the Milky Way, Venus and Saturn and its rings. Cannot wait to return to Grassholme Observatory in the very near future.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 August 2023
  • Nettle
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    an unforgettable night of beauty and science
    Staff were charming and enthusiastic. The staff were open to questions and explained what we were seeing in the sky an engaging and accessible way. But more than that wealth of information in intriguing scientific facts and historic anecdotes, they wanted very much to share the sheer awe that comes from seeing the sky far from light pollution. The observatory is wonderfully, appropriately located for such given the microclimate. We were shown many beautiful, special things through telescopes, like a diamonds scattered on black velvet, and had an absolutely spectacular, mythic night. I've seen numerous photos of stars but none of it captures the sheer cold truth of it all being just overhead. And the enthusiasm of the staff is utterly infectious, showing us this or that plant as they appear above the horizon, or as that patch of sky clears up and these other group of stars are made visible. The weather was not entirely cooperative when we first arrived and we were assured that if the clouds remained we could return free of charge in the future on a better night. Though the clouds did break for us and it was breathtaking.
    So kind, look forward to seeing you again
    Written 18 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 13 August 2023
  • Richard H
    Pershore, United Kingdom3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Superb evening despite no observing.
    We travelled 172 miles from home and based part of our holiday around one nights observation at Grassholme Observatory. However, on the evening in question...the cloud stopped us! DESPITE this, we had an AMAZING evening thanks to Phil, Andy, Ben and Cameron. Their incredible knowledge, unlimited enthusiasm and wonderful personable manners engaged us from 8pm to 11.30pm. First, Phil's talk on the night sky about planets, stars, galaxies, asteroids, etc was fascinating. The balance between scientific knowledge and use of language in layman's terms was just right. Then outside, Ben clearly explained the workings of the computer controlled telescope followed by Andy & Cameron explaining how to use the telescopes. They ALL welcomed any question no matter how daft you may have felt asking the obvious. You were constantly made to feel at ease as they shared their amazing knowledge. Back inside, with the cloud not budging, hot drinks were had. During this, Andy shared his wonderful photos that he had taken at the observatory. Phil talked about meteorites and handed around some very old pieces of space rock. Finally, Ben gave a fascinating talk and presentation about Artemis rockets! Before we knew it, 3 enjoyable hours had passed. Alas, the decision was made that observations would not be possible! HOWEVER, we were very kindly provided with some Grassholme Observatory merchandise AND an open invitation to come back again (no cost) to another observation night. Without doubt, we were disappointed with the clouds and inability to observe BUT would thoroughly recommend people to simply book a session at Grassholme Observatory. We can't wait to make the trip up again to Grassholme to hopefully undertake observations.
    They are a great team! the best in fact
    Written 18 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 August 2023
  • Wollyhead
    Southampton, United Kingdom4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great volunteers with amazing knowledge
    We didn’t see the stars as it was too cloudy (can’t change the weather) but the guys there were amazing and utterly made up for it. Really friendly, knowledgeable with real enthusiasm to get everyone excited about seeing the night sky. Great experience and we’ll be coming back
    Thank you
    Written 18 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 16 August 2023
  • Richard K
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good stuff
    I'm not going to knock them down due to the weather as that would be seriously unfair. Location, knowledge, interaction, engagement all top notch. Did I get massive gains from the input no, im a reasonably well educated adult who has a secret geek inside lapping this stuff up since he was a teenager. Where my kids engaged, absolutely. Will we be back to see through the clouds, I hope so. So Phil and team thank you.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 17 August 2023
  • Juavanuf Y
    Preston, United Kingdom7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stargazing!
    We went to the astronomy and stargazing night. It was phenomenal. The staff are so passionate, knowledgeable and friendly. We were lucky to have clear sky and got to see loads of nebulae and stars and Jupiter, Saturn and the moon. I couldn't recommend this experience highly enough, we will definitely do it again. Just fantastic!
    Visited August 2023
    Written 4 September 2023
  • Climber67574447479
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Breathtaking
    We booked this as a treat for my wife's birthday not having the best knowledge.( just the basics really). The team here are amazing, and the depth of knowledge is astounding. All questions answered politely and on our level. Then came the visual side of the visit.....What can I say, other than BREATHTAKING ! The telescopes open your eyes to a new adventure and everything is explained perfectly. It was truly awesome and we would like to thank the team for also making our Little girl feel so special as she was the only child visiting on the evening. We will definitely be back. Thank you for opening our eyes.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 9 September 2023
  • Cefnybryn
    32 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Absolutely mind blowing
    An amazing evening! The 2 astronomers were incredibly enthusiastic about their subject and energised us all. The introductory videos were informative and fascinating. The bonus was the clear night sky! We got loads of help adjusting our telescopes. We saw planets, stars, nebulae and the Milky Way. An evening to remember.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 20 September 2023
  • emmajfitzgerald
    Sheffield, United Kingdom19 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fascinating experience in a beautiful setting
    This is such a beautiful place. We were lucky and had incredibly clear skies. We could see the milky way with our naked eyes. We used various telescopes to see Saturn, Jupiter and different stars. I learnt a lot in a very short space of time. The staff here were all friendly, patient and clearly passionate about sharing the wonders of space with the world. A wonderful experience.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 16 October 2023
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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles104 reviews
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103
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brackendale2528
Wakefield, UK121 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Ben and the crew did us proud last night, even though the clouds didn't help us. The knowledge, passion and humour they all had was contagious and a great 3 hours or so was more than I expected it would be. Go support these professional guys you won't be disappointed. Ben's better than Brian Cox.
Written 26 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

caroline
Upton upon Severn, UK7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
Sadly, it was a rainy night, but the enthusiasm and passion were catching. Fascinating and a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Highly recommend.
Written 22 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Explorer564142
Leeds, UK2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Very comprehensive experience- with a hugely knowledgeable and enthusiastic gentleman who did not give up even when it was a bit cloudy. We really enjoyed the visit and came away feeling that we got our moneys worth and then some-very well worth a visit.
Written 17 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sophie
Preston, UK22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Really great night! We had a really fun talk with the two guides and then headed outside to use the telescopes. We got some great photos. Well worth the money! Definately wrap up though it started to get really cold
Written 14 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jess W
Durham, UK3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
We booked the dark sky astronomy and stargazing event and are already looking forward to our return visit.

We received a warm welcome and were guided into the classroom ready for Ben’s talk as we waited for the skies to get dark.
The talk was genuinely fascinating, with lots of astrophotography and facts included. Ben was more than happy to answer any questions and you could tell he had a real passion for astronomy.

After the talk, we were divided into two groups and our group were led outside to use the telescopes. We were given a demonstration on how to use these and Ben pointed out the objects using lasers where necessary. We got some fantastic views of Jupiter, the moon, Beetlejuice (which we learned about during the talk) as well as other stars including clusters in The Plough.
We got to talk a closer look at some objects using a slightly larger telescope too.

We then moved back inside for some hot drinks (I would recommend bringing cash in case the card machine is not working). The drinks were reasonably priced with a large selection of coffees, hot chocolate and teas available. Once we had warmed back through (it was a cold night so I would recommend wrapping up beforehand), we moved on to the second part of the night which was looking at the night sky through their large telescope.

Andy demonstrated how to use this and what the telescope was capable of. An impressive piece of kit, you could type in anything in the night sky and it would rotate and lock onto that object. We got fantastic views of the moon which we were able to take photographs of using our phones through the lens. We looked at galaxies and at one point, a cluster of 350,000-500,000 stars. Andy, as was Ben when demonstrating with the smaller telescopes, were very informative when describing exactly what we were looking at.
They both took extra time to locate Lyra, which we were both interested in looking at, showing us on both telescopes which was really appreciated.

We rounded off the night by looking at some astrophotography that had been taken at the observatory.

An absolutely brilliant night and well worth the money. You can’t grumble at a night out, including refreshments, for under £30. We were lucky with the weather but the observatory offers a cloudy sky guarantee, meaning you can come back another night if it’s too cloudy, which other places don’t.
Written 14 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cosmopolitan77879
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Really exciting, informative and fun visit thank you so much. The expertise demonstrated in the talks, answering questions, responding to curious children and in technically finding amazing things for us to see in the sky were top notch. Andy and the team made this an incredible experience for us and our children (11 and 9 years old). Thank you so much! We will be back.
Written 8 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

holgate79
Barnsley, UK117 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Think Hairy Bikers does Astronomy!

Andy and Alex did our event. They made things interesting enough for a 7 year old, scientific enough for a 9 year old and mind blowing enough for the adults in the room.

It was a cloudy night but they made sure everyone saw a star, and everyone had a good time.

We drove from Barnsley as it was well worth it. We will try to pick up a session about the moon when the kids are a bit older.
Written 7 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bob G
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
We really enjoyed the talks as well as the session in the observatory itself. Even though the cloudy sky made it impossible to use the telescopes we saw some spectacular astronomy photography and the three guides were full of interesting facts and anecdotes. We appreciated the nice gesture free hot drinks due to the cloud cover, and hope to come back one day to try out the telescopes (we were given a voucher to come back again for free when the weather is better).
Written 1 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HGPN
London, UK7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
We had a great time. Weather was perfect and the people who run the observatory are very helpful and knowledgeable. Great mix of education and fun.
Written 31 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PT P
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
A little gem tucked away near Barnard Castle. The staff were very friendly and engaging. The kids loved it! We were lucky to have clear skies and we saw Jupiter, the moon, and a nearby star. Highly recommend!!
Written 26 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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GRASSHOLME OBSERVATORY: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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