We hold regular public stargazing sessions at Great Notley Country Park from 6–9pm where we have telescopes set up for you to observe the Moon, any visible planets, and other objects of interest in the night sky. We can teach you about the constellations and how to recognise them, and answer any questions you may have about astronomy or telescopes.

The dates of our 2017 stargazing events are as follows. Unless otherwise stated, the sessions will run from 6pm to 9pm for evening events, and solar observing runs from 12.00 midday until approx 3pm.

  • Saturday 7th January
  • Saturday 11th February
  • Saturday 4th March
  • Saturday 8th April
  • Saturday 6th May (midday solar observing)
  • Saturday 17th June (midday solar observing)
  • Saturday 22nd July (midday solar observing)
  • Saturday 26th August (midday solar observing)
  • Saturday 23rd September
  • Saturday 28th October
  • Saturday 18th November
  • Saturday 9th December – New!

Dates for 2018

Star Gazing
20 Jan
24 Feb
17 Mar
21 Apr

Solar Gazing
26 May
23 June
14 Jul
18 Aug

Star Gazing
15 Sept
20 Oct
24 Nov
15 Dec

The events are free (site parking fee applies), and suitable for all ages (children must be accompanied by an adult). We can be found somewhere in the vicinity of the main building, near the Sky Ropes.

Viewing will be subject to clear weather and may be curtailed or cancelled if the weather is poor. In the event of rain, sessions will be cancelled. If cloudy or part clear, please follow our Facebook and Twitter feeds for information as to whether the event will go ahead, or call the park on 01376 347134. Usually if it is cloudy we will still be on site to answer questions, ever hopeful of a break in the clouds, but viewing may be limited.

For details of how to get to the park, please see the information at the bottom of this page.

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 – on busy nights this is not always possible. Please note that if you do bring your own telescope, it is entirely your own responsibility and you will need to be able to carry your telescope from the public car park. 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.

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 due to Health & Safety reasons.

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


  • 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


Abberton Reversoir

We also host monthly events at Abberton Reservoir, but pre-booking is essential for these. For more information, go to the Essex Wildlife Trust website here and search the What’s On listing.

Dates for 2018 have been pencilled in as follows – but please check with Essex Wildlife Trust and book with them.

Star Gazing
27 Jan
17 Feb
24 Mar
28 Apr

Solar Gazing
19 May
16 Jun
21 Jul
25 Aug

Star Gazing
22 Sep
13 Oct
17 Nov
15 Dec


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


  1. Hello Neil.
    The car park at Abberton is private property and the entrance gates are locked every night from 5.30.
    You could always park on the causeway and sit on the reservoir walk and watch them if you live out that way?

  2. I would like to sell my celestron evolution 8 can you advise of my best option

  3. Hello, I am the secretary of the Solar Society, which is a day time educational group in Castle Hedingham. We have speakers on different topics, but am looking for someone for next year to speak about the Moon landing, as it is it’s 50th anniversary, as you must know. I have been in touch before and was told that most of your members work during the day, but I wonder if that is still the case? Or could you refer me to someone who might be able to speak on this subject?

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.

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