Bringing the mysteries of the universe closer to home.
Come and explore the wonders of the Universe at the Astrocampus, the University of York’s observatory. With a wide range of telescopes and space-themed activities for all ages, the site is open to groups and individuals throughout the year.
The Astrocampus is open to the public once a fortnight from October through until March. Our visits are designed to be suitable for all ages, with the earlier session timed for those with younger children.
At each event, you will have a tour of our observatories and an introduction to the night sky. When possible, you’ll have the opportunity to observe the Moon, planets, and stars with our telescopes and binoculars. If the weather lets us down, our team will equip you with some handy hints and tips for finding your way around the night sky, so the events go ahead whatever the weather.
Also included in every event is the opportunity to find out more about space science. This can include meteorite handling, using an infra-red camera to discover how space telescopes work, and investigating spacecraft in 3D using our iPads.
Click here for maps and directions.
Booking is essential for these events using the Eventbrite ticketing system below. We would ask groups of more than six people to make a group booking, rather than attending our public openings.
The Astrocampus is a Children’s University learning destination.
Please note that the Astrocampus runs workshops during the day and evenings October through to March. We are currently fully booked for day and evening visits to the Astrocampus for this academic year. If you wish to make a provisional booking for next year please use the booking form on the right.
Why not bring your group of 10-30 people to visit the Astrocampus. We accept visits from many different types of group: from Church groups and WIs, to Brownies and Cubs.
We offer a range of activities and will tailor your visit to the interests of your group.
We are very experienced in helping Scouting and Guiding groups achieve the relevant badges, and have visits designed especially for this.
We can usually arrange your visit to coincide with the times of your regular meetings. We would therefore ask you to indicate this on the booking form on the below.
A visit for this type of group typically includes:
- A guide to the night sky, including how to identify the North Star
- Constellation information, including stories and how to spot them
- A tour of the observatories and radio telescopes
- Observing through our binoculars and telescopes (weather permitting)
- Interactive activities related to current space missions (such as using the infra-red camera to see how space telescopes work, or using iPads to investigate 3D Mars rovers)
- Hands-on activities such as making take-home paper rockets, handling meteorites and making paper meteors, or designing and testing ‘egg-landers’.
We are aware that it is hard to achieve all badge requirements in one session, so if there is a specific badge requirement that you need to complete on the evening, please let us know and we will tailor the evening to make this possible.
Book a group visit
We apologise for any inconvenience, but if you have completed a booking form between 3pm September 9th and 3pm September 12th and not yet received a reply, please could you complete the form again.
Here you will find a number of free resources which you can use to learn more about the wonders of the Universe.
This also contains some practical information for groups visiting the site (such as risk assessments).
Astrocampus (c/o Katherine Leech)
Department of Physics
University of York
Tel: 01904 322 209 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)
Tel: 01904 322 249 (During Astrocampus openings only)
How to find us
The Astrocampus is located on the University of York’s Heslington West campus. Details of how to reach the site are available at the University of York website and the Astrocampus is labelled on the University’s Campus map.
Parking is available in the campus west pay car park (pay and display until 6pm) – access is from the cycle path behind the sports centre.