York Observatory

Museum Gardens, York, YO1 7FR

Location description

The York Observatory is located in the ground of the York Museum Gardens and is operated by the York Museums Trust. It is home to a historic 4″ refracting telescope built in 1850 by Thomas Cooke who soon after went on to build the largest telescope in the world at that time. The facility is open to the public most days depending on the availability of their dedicated and enthusiastic team of volunteers (do contact them prior to any visit) as well as a series of special open evenings. The museum also hosts an amazing collection of astronomical items and is well worthy of a visit!

Location event organiser

York Museums Trust organises stargazing events at this location.


Location has an observatory that is accessible to the public by prior arrangement or during public events.

Location light pollution

This location is estimated to have light pollution levels similar to a urban setting based on satellite data from CPRE.

Dark site
The above demonstrates the estimated effect of light pollution - graphics created using Stellarium.


When to visit

The best time to visit York Observatory can be found on this dark skies calendar.

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