We hold open public stargazing events every month at Great Notley Country Park and Abberton Reservoir (for details of the events at Abberton Reservoir, go to the Essex Wildlife Trust website here and search the What’s On listing).

Everyone is welcome to come along and look through the telescopes and learn about the night sky. During the summer we offer solar observing sessions which take place on four afternoons in May, June, July and August.


The sessions at Great Notley are open to everyone and are suitable for all ages. The events are free of charge (a site parking fee appies). We set up in the field behind the main building, a short walk from the public car park.

The dates of our stargazing events are as follows. The sessions will run from 6pm to 9pm for evening events, and solar observing runs from 12.00 midday until approx 3pm.

Dates for 2015:

  • Saturday 24th January
  • Saturday 21st February
  • Friday 20th March – BBC Stargazing LIVE solar eclipse event 8.30-11.00am
  • Saturday 28th March
  • Saturday 25th April
  • Monday 25th May (Midday solar observing)
  • Saturday 20th June (Midday solar observing)
  • Saturday 18th July  (Midday solar observing)
  • Saturday 22nd August (Midday solar observing)
  • Saturday 19th September
  • Saturday 3rd October
  • Saturday 21st November

Also if you already own a telescope and need help with it, you are welcome to bring it along and we will try to assist you BUT only where possible if any of our volunteers are available. Please note that if you do bring your own telescope, it is entirely your own responsibility. We are unable to assist with transporting your equipment to the observing site. Only NEAS members are covered by public liability insurance at our events, so please be aware of this before letting other members of the public use your telescope.


greatnotleypcWe would like to thank Great Notley Parish Council for their generous support in sponsoring some of our equipment purchases.


These events are strictly about observing the night sky. In the event of poor weather and not being able to see the stars, please be aware that observing will be limited and you may not get to see anything. Please check this website, our Facebook page and Twitter feed near the event time for any updates regarding cancellation. Unless it’s raining, we will always try to have some members on location to give advice/answer questions if needed in case people still turn up.

  • For more information about Great Notley Country Park and how to get there, click here.
  • A Google Maps link is here. The park is well signposted.
  • For in-car satnav purposes, the park’s postcode is CM77 7FS
  • Please park in the public car park. The main site is off-limits to cars while the event is active, and only NEAS volunteers have the park’s permission to park on site for Health & Safety reasons.
  • If you do bring your own telescope, it is your own responsibility and you will need to be able to transport it from the public car park. Whilst we endeavour to help people learn how to use their telescopes, please be aware that on busy nights, our members may not be free to give you assistance.

Many people have asked us about where to purchase a good quality but affordable telescope. Here are three retailers that we recommend for buying a telescope, or alternatively click on the NEAS Store page link in the top menu).


  1. Bhukan Parbhoo

    Thank you very much for your response. I live near Maldon (Essex) CM9 8PX. As I’ll have to travel quite a bit, can anyone let me know when they will meet weekly, please? I’ll make the best to come and join your organised meetings. Finally, I would like to see SATURN as this is the best moment and what a great way to start this hobby.
    Bye for now,

    Dr Bhukan Parbhoo

  2. Hi Bhukan. The weekly observatory gatherings are on Thursday evenings, around 7.30-8.00 start (they go on as late as people want) and the site itself is near Wakes Colne. Others go over at weekends on an ad hoc basis depending on the weather. Hope that helps.

  3. Thinking of bring my 6 year old daughter up to GT notley this eve, quite a long journey for us from Wickford… Are many others attending given the partial cloud forecast? thanks Steve.

  4. Hi Steve. Members will always be on site, but we don’t know in advance how many others might come. The current forecast looks more cloudy than clear but it’s impossible to predict which way it will fall, as sometimes we get lucky and sometimes it’s blanket cloud. Personally I would hesitate before travelling a long distance because right now outside even the clear patches are quite hazy, and tonight we have no Moon and not many planets on view so we are already limited in what we can see. We will be at Notley every month (except Dec) so there will be other opportunities throughout the year if you decide not to come tonight.

  1. Pingback: Stargazing Night in March « North Essex Astronomical Society

  2. Pingback: December 2012 Stargazing Night « North Essex Astronomical Society

  3. Pingback: February 2013 Stargazing Night « North Essex Astronomical Society

  4. Pingback: March 2014 Stargazing Night | North Essex Astronomical Society

  5. Pingback: April 2014 Stargazing Night | North Essex Astronomical Society

  6. Pingback: Public Stargazing at Great Notley | North Essex Astronomical Society

  7. Pingback: Public Stargazing at Great Notley in December | North Essex Astronomical Society

If you have any questions or comments about astronomy or the Society, please leave a comment below and we'll try to get back to you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 66 other followers

%d bloggers like this: