Inspired by a Greek temple of the Four Winds, the Playfair Observatory, also known as the Edinburgh City Observatory, was designed by William Henry Playfair in 1818. The first Astronomer Royal to work at the facility was Professor Thomas Henderson, who in 1834 discovered how to measure the distance to nearby stars using the “parallax” method.
The venue was redeveloped in 2019 and is now an art and exhibition space — unfortunately, as things stand, the observatory is not currently open to the public. However, The Astronomical Society of Edinburgh is planning to host events here.
Location events organiser
Weather forecast for Edinburgh (0.2 miles away) updated 09/08/22 at 20:00.
Local light pollution
The above demonstrates the estimated effect of light pollution - graphics created using Stellarium.
Best time to visit
The below chart shows when the skies will be at their darkest at this location and therefore the best time to visit. Moonlight is shown in light yellow and the Sun's twilight in light blue. Midnight on the date shown is shown as a white line with sunset to the left and sunrise the next morning to the right. A black background with stars shows the best times for stargazing. See our dark sky calendar for more details.