I went here today with my wife and our two sons, aged 8 and 6. The free car park is close to the entrance and the admission charges are reasonable. There is one main building and approximately 7 domes in the same area. You can look inside three of the domes and see the incredible telescopes which are more than 100 years old and in full working order, but you can only look through them when it is dark. They offer free telescope tours at 12 noon and 2pm but unfortunately we missed both of them.
We were amazed by the number of hand-on scientific experiments and displays that they have, about 100 in total. Some are high tech electronic devices and others are old fashioned traditional gadgets. Most of them are inside but there are quite a few large interactive displays outside too, which double up as a playground too. There are picnic tables outside, and a covered picnic area as well, and a small cafe inside.
We were fascinated by a vacuum forming machine where you pay £1 to have your own choice of lettering formed into a sign as a souvenir. There is a very good gift shop, stocked with an excellent selection of astronomical items.
We spent 4 and a half hours here, we all had loads of fun. The telescopes will appeal mainly to adults but our two boys preferred all the other attractions. I would certainly recommend a trip here, especially if you have children aged 5 - 12 yrs, they will love it!
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