Stars and spires: What are the best spots for stargazing in London? 

City lights are pretty, but they’ve got nothing on the cosmic kind. If you’re tired of squinting at the London sky and only seeing the moon (and the occasional rogue aeroplane), it’s time for a stargazing adventure.  

Now before you say it: yes, even within the boundaries of this oft-foggy and bustling metropolis, there are places where you can escape some of the light pollution and reconnect with the wonders of the night sky.  

So, ditch the Netflix binge for a night, grab a blanket, and let’s explore the surprisingly good stargazing spots London has to offer.

The Royal Observatory

Media from holly_spg

Location: Blackheath Ave, London SE10 8XJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8312 6608

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Website

The Royal Observatory in Greenwich takes stargazing from a simple pastime to an extraordinary experience. It’s the birthplace of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and the Prime Meridian, the line that divides our globe into east and west. 

This place also boasts the awe-inspiring Great Equatorial Telescope, the UK’s largest of its kind, that’s ready to penetrate the depths of the universe. For an extra special experience, consider their “Evening with the Stars” program. 

Here, you’ll be captivated by a planetarium show followed by a guided stargazing session utilising both modern and historic telescopes. And if you’re looking to deepen your understanding of the stars, the observatory offers exhibits and historical insights into astronomy.

Hampstead Scientific Society Observatory

Media credit to mymymymichelle

Location: Summit Lodge, 9 Lower Terrace, W Heath Rd, London NW3 6RF, United Kingdom

Contact: 020 8346 1056

Opening dates: October to April 

Opening hours:

  • Friday to Saturday – 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday – 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Website

The Hampstead Scientific Society Observatory provides a delightful blend of history, community, and accessible stargazing. Its hilltop location in charming Hampstead offers a welcome respite from London’s vibrant lights, but that’s not its only draw. 

The observatory is a testament to both heritage and passion. Its centrepiece is a magnificent 6-inch Cooke refracting telescope, a piece of astronomical history dating back to 1899, still offering stunning views of celestial wonders.

But what truly sets this observatory apart is its heart. Run entirely by dedicated volunteers, it opens to the public on select evenings with free access – but only when the skies are clear! 

Peter Harrison Planetarium

Media from visitgreenwich

Location: Blackheath Ave, London SE10 8XJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8312 6608

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Website

Nestled within the historic Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park, the Peter Harrison Planetarium is more than just London’s sole public planetarium – it’s a gateway to a breathtakingly immersive cosmic experience. 

Gone are the days of fuzzy star projections too! This planetarium harnesses cutting-edge Digistar 3 technology that blends lasers to paint the dome with astonishing detail.

Regent’s Park Hub​​

Media credit to bakerstreetirregulars

Location: Regent’s Park Rd, London NW1 4NU, United Kingdom

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Website

Considered one of the best parks in London, Regent’s Park offers a welcome break from the relentless glow of central London. Its open spaces allow you to catch sight of surprisingly many celestial wonders, from the brighter planets and constellations to even a few galaxies on a good night.

Regent’s Park Hub is even home to the Baker Street Irregular Astronomers, a dedicated group that hosts regular public stargazing events. These folks know their stuff and are more than happy to share their telescopes and knowledge.

Let’s be honest, no one’s going to mistake Regent’s Park for a dark sky reserve. But that’s part of its charm! It’s a testament to the fact that even within bright cities, you can still find a connection to the stars overhead.

Morden Hall Park

Media credit to gabriela_bartos_

Location: Morden Hall Rd, London, Morden SM4 5JD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8545 6850

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

Morden Hall Park sits on the southern outskirts of London, giving it a subtle edge. See, most of the big, bright celestial highlights (planets, major constellations) hang out in the southern sky. A bit less city light in this direction helps!

With over 50 acres of open space, Morden Hall Park gives you room to escape the worst of the light pollution. You can think of it as your own little patch of countryside within London.

London Wetland Centre

Media from wwtlondon

Location: Queen Elizabeth Walk, London SW13 9WT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8409 4400

Opening hours: 

  • Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM 5:00 PM

Website

While it’s known for otters and waterbirds, the Wetland Centre also boasts something vital for celestial viewing: open spaces! Fewer buildings and obstructions mean more of the night sky unfurling above you.

Despite being an urban location, the London Wetland Centre’s specific conditions and its hosting of organised stargazing events make it a viable option if you’re looking to explore the cosmos without leaving the city. 

Moreover, this is a site of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust which has been recognized for its efforts in conservation and environmental education, adding an educational layer to your visit. 

Cheapest Transit Options in London

Previous Post

Pound-saving passages: What are the cheapest transit options in London?

Next Post

What are the best things to do in Richmond Park, London’s wildlife oasis?

Best Things to Do in Richmond Park