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“A fantastic day out for the family”

The Observatory Science Centre
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A fantastic day out for the family”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2014 via mobile

This is a great day out for the family. The exhibits are well presented and well documented for the interested reader. There are lots of them too! The two presentations we went two were great (rocket science and a telescope tour). My boy gave this 99.8 out of 100! It also appealed to the inner nurd in me so, as the saying goes, I'll be back.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank westfields239
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JO H, Manager at The Observatory Science Centre, responded to this review, 23 August 2014
Thank you for taking time to place a review. 99.8% is quite an accolade!
As you discovered, the tours of the telescope domes and the science shows really do offer great entertainment and education.
We are delighted you had a great day and we look forward to your return visit. Don't forget annual membership offers fantastic value and includes open evenings!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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296 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
West Sussex
Level Contributor
105 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“Fantastic day out!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2014 via mobile

If you have young children this is the perfect day out.
Fun & educational experience for all the family.
Cafe limited, but picnics allowed.
Don't be put off by negative reviews.
This is a great place to visit!

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank WestSussexBramley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JO H, Manager at The Observatory Science Centre, responded to this review, 20 August 2014
Thank you for your review and positive feedback. We aim to 'educate' and 'entertain' so we are pleased you all had a great visit.
We would love to enlarge the cafe and have a purpose built kitchen to offer more variety but that's impossible in this Grade II* Listed building.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
113 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Great visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2014

We had a great time here - and we don't have children!Lots to see and do (and play with). The staff were all very pleasant and well informed. We liked many of the exhibits because they didn't rely on computer technology. The information boards explained complex ideas in a very straightforward way.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Sandra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JO H, Manager at The Observatory Science Centre, responded to this review, 14 August 2014
Thank you for your review and we are delighted that you had a great time.
All of our staff are passionate about their work and strive to offer visitors a positive experience.
Our exhibits are very much 'hands-on' so everyone can explore and discover as they 'play'.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sussex, England
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A great day out at the Science Centre”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2014

Visited the science Centre on 31st July with our 6 year old Granddaughter. A very warm welcome on arrival and we were just in time for a talk in one of the domes. This was informative an interesting. There was plenty to do both inside and outside. The water play area were great fun.
We had our Ian picnic so I can not comment on the quality of the food, but it was nice to see fair prices in the cafe and would certainly try this if we visit again.
The afternoon had a science show which added to the attraction, and the young lady giving the talk made it very interesting, especially for the children.
It was also nice that there were pocket money priced things to buy in the shop.
Overall a great day out at a reasonable entrance fee.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank babymagic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JO H, Manager at The Observatory Science Centre, responded to this review, 14 August 2014
Thank you for your review and we are pleased that you enjoyed all aspects of the centre including a Telescope Tour and Science Show which are included in all admission prices during the local school holidays.
As an educational charity we strive to offer an educational, fun experience that also represents great value for money: hence our gift shop stocks a wide range of science and astronomy based items from just 15 pence. Visitors are also welcome to bring a picnic on site and we have ample seating around the pond, plus a covered area for picnics when the weather is less kind!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London/Edinburgh
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Could be great but let down by an appalling cafe & a lack of investment in new interactive exhibits...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 July 2014

A wonderful setting and warm welcome in a well stocked toy shop is marred by one of the worst time warps I have ever to encounter.....the municipal cafe....a miserable woman seemingly poised for a fight on counter, tacky unwashed tables, hermetically sealed windows, nasty grotty food, the kind that pervaded the UK in the 70s - solid baked potatoes, spongey cheap white sliced, grey tuna & catering quality mayo...Surely a missed opportunity, it's very easy to find culinary excellence in this area.....local meat, cheese, veg all within gipping distance and the setting is perfect for outdoor tables, fresh coffee and cakes. That said I love this attraction, children see past the lack of updated exhibits and adore the water play, the human eye model and many other absorbing science based games. I think that it suits the over fives best but if your children love intricate models and puzzles and are able to concentrate for more than twenty seconds you'll be ok. Outside there is space to have a picnic and the castle is next door but access is patchy due to it being a working university campus.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank LoobyG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JO H, Manager at The Observatory Science Centre, responded to this review, 28 July 2014
The Centre is an educational charity operating in a site that was built in the 1950s. This now requires considerable maintenance but each year we aim to upgrade, refurbish etc. as much as we can afford to do. The intense winter storms left considerable damage to tents and grounds and this is still a work in progress, awaiting insurance.
In the past two years, Science Projects have invested heavily in new exhibits including the new Earth & Beyond gallery, and refurbishment of the Discovery Park exhibits.

We are disappointed that you have chosen to raise your concerns on Trip Advisor rather than speaking to us during your visit.

As a café within a tourist attraction, we meet visitor requests to offer a range of well-priced snacks, light meals, refreshments etc. These are freshly prepared to order in a small kitchen that was originally a dark room. We have purposefully chosen a retro 50’s colour scheme as homage to the historical significance of the room which was originally an optical laboratory.

Regarding your negative comments directed at the café:
• All female members of the team are concerned that they have been perceived as ‘poised for a fight’
• We have a ‘bean to cup’ coffee machine
• We have homemade cakes
• We have outdoor tables / benches
• All tables are cleared, cleaned after customer use
• We do not have ‘hermetically sealed windows’

If you wish to discuss further please do not hesitate to contact me personally.
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