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 fields near the main building, a short walk from the public car park.

The dates of our 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. All viewing is subject to clear weather and may be curtailed or cancelled if the weather is poor. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter feed for the latest updates.

Dates for 2015:

  • Saturday 21st November
  • December – cancelled

Dates for 2016:

  • Saturday 16th January
  • Saturday 13th February
  • Saturday 19th March
  • Saturday 16th April
  • Saturday 7th May (midday solar observing)
  • Saturday 11th June (midday solar observing)
  • Saturday 16th July (midday solar observing)
  • Saturday 6th August (midday solar observing)
  • Saturday 10th September (7–10pm)
  • Saturday 8th October
  • November – TBC
  • December – No event

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.


  • 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. Hi, Regarding the Starfest on 17/10 are there reduced price tickets for children under 12 please?

  2. Children are free with an accompanying adult.

    On Thursday, 8 October 2015, North Essex Astronomical Society wrote:


  3. Hello
    I’m just wondering if the October stargazing event at great notley is still on this evening. I wrote it on my calendar but when I’ve looked on the website but can’t see anything about it. Has it been cancelled? Me and the children were really looking forward to going.
    Anyone know?
    Sara x

  4. Stargazing at Notley was on 3rd. Today we have our Starfest convention instead.
    We have Abberton stargazing next Saturday night though.

  5. Ok, thank you for your reply. I must have written the wrong date or it was changed. Hope star fest is well attended.
    See you in November x

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