For a day out that’s out of this world, a visit to one of the top UK planetariums is most definitely top of our list. Your gateway to the moon, stars and galaxies far, far away, astronomy is something that will be sure to capture the imaginations of all ages.
Get ready to reach for the stars, as we share the eight best planetariums in the UK. Which one will you be heading to first?
Winchester Science Centre
Lie back and enjoy the 360° show taking place right above your head, as the huge domed screen at Winchester Science Centre places you right in the heart of the action. There are both pre-recorded films and live presenter-led shows each day, where you can be completely immersed in a wide range of topics, from blasting off into space, to tours of the night sky. With plenty more to explore too, and lots of hands-on activities, you’ll find out exactly why a visit to the science centre makes for a great family day out!
National Space Centre, Leicester
Your journey into space starts here, as the National Space Centre in Leicester is home to six interactive galleries, the iconic Rocket Tower and the UK’s largest planetarium! In the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium, named after the prominent astronomer, journey through time and space in ‘CAPCOM GO! The Apollo Story’, or take a Tour of the Night Sky, all from the comfort of your seat! The Leicester planetarium also regularly hosts some exciting events, so be sure to check those out for your visit.
Planetarium at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London
Pay a visit to the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the prime meridian of the world, the Royal Observatory, home to the famous London Planetarium in Greenwich! Stand on the iconic meridian line with one foot in the west and one in the east, marvel at the seventh biggest telescope in the world and see the clocks that changed the world, all before taking a tour of the universe from London’s only planetarium. With a range of shows for the whole family, fly into the heart of the sun, see the birth of a star or land on Mars in the impressive dome.
You’ll need your thinking caps on for a visit to Thinktank, Birmingham’s science museum. Guaranteed to have your brain buzzing with curiosity across 200 hands-on displays, it’s also home to the West Midlands’ only 4K planetarium. Using cutting-edge technology to deliver sharper images and crystal clear surround-sound, it’s undoubtedly amongst the best planetariums in the UK. You’ll find it on the 3rd Level; and just a tip from us – be sure to check what’s on, they often run special events too!
Armagh Planetarium, County Armagh, Northern Ireland
Pay a visit to Ireland’s leading centre for astronomical education and uncover a whole host of space secrets at Armagh Planetarium. Learn about the cosmos through interactive displays and catch up with the latest space news in real time, plus design, build and launch your own rocket in the exciting crafts zone. With lots of shows suitable for family audiences, as well as some with age restrictions, the digital theatre is the ultimate planetarium experience.
We The Curious, Bristol
Curiosity is key at this space-tacular family attraction, which is also home to the UK’s first 3D planetarium. Experience what it’s like to have planets, stars and galaxies all within reach at We The Curious, as you sit back and enjoy this stunning immersive experience. Their ever-changing list of planetarium shows, paired with a range of exciting, hands-on displays, makes this the perfect family escape. After all, how many attractions allow kids to interact with exhibits and take part in experiments?!
Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh
One of Edinburgh’s top visitor attractions, Dynamic Earth is like nowhere else on earth. Travel back in time to witness the famous Big Bang and rocket through the universe in a spaceship amongst exploding stars, experiencing films like never before in the 360° digital dome. With state-of-the-art technology, and thunderous surround sound to bring it all to life, this is the only one of its kind in Scotland, so well worth a visit.
Glasgow Science Centre
Glasgow Science Centre is filled with interactive exhibits to boggle, bemuse and entertain the whole family! Head to the spectacular Planetarium to see 360° films at the 15-metre hemispherical dome, where you’ll have the chance to enjoy a state-of-the-art, full dome digital projection system. If you’re looking for something different to do on a Saturday, check out the Planetarium Lates – live presenter-led shows, where real astronomers take you to space and bring you the latest from the fascinating world of astronomy. How’s that for an experience that’s out of this world?!
Hope we’ve earned a gold star for our list of the best planetariums in the UK!
If talk of starry shows has got you in the mood for science, why not check out the best museums in the UK or browse for even more exciting attractions in these top locations:
Fun things to do in London | Exciting things to do with kids in Glasgow | Cool things to do in Cambridge | Fun things to do with kids in Manchester | Great family days out in Edinburgh | Top family days out in Birmingham