Edinburgh Playfair Observatory

Edinburgh Playfair Observatory

Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH7 5AA

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

The Astronomical Society of Edinburgh

The Astronomical Society of Edinburgh organises events at this location

Please contact The Astronomical Society of Edinburgh directly with any enquiries relating to visiting this location


Weather forecast

  • 13/06/24

    11° 94%
  • 13/06/24

    10° 88%
  • 14/06/24

    10° 55%
  • 14/06/24

    11° 74%

Weather forecast for Edinburgh (0.2 miles away) updated 13/06/24 at 12:00.




Events nearby

Display nearby events on a calendar
  • St Andrews University Astro-Society meeting and stargazing

    Thursday 13th June 2024 from 21:15pm to 23:15pm

    University of St Andrews Observatory, St Andrews, KY16 9LZ (29.9 miles away)

    More info
  • St Andrews University Astro-Society meeting and stargazing

    Thursday 20th June 2024 from 21:15pm to 23:15pm

    University of St Andrews Observatory, St Andrews, KY16 9LZ (29.9 miles away)

    More info
  • St Andrews University Astro-Society meeting and stargazing

    Thursday 27th June 2024 from 21:15pm to 23:15pm

    University of St Andrews Observatory, St Andrews, KY16 9LZ (29.9 miles away)

    More info
  • The Astronomical Society of Edinburgh meeting

    Friday 28th June 2024 from 19:30pm to 21:00pm

    Augustine United Church Centre, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL (0.6 miles away)

    More info
  • St Andrews University Astro-Society meeting and stargazing

    Thursday 4th July 2024 from 21:15pm to 23:15pm

    University of St Andrews Observatory, St Andrews, KY16 9LZ (29.9 miles away)

    More info

Stay and gaze nearby

Stay at one of these stargazing-friendly accommodation providers.

  • Caddon View

    14 Pirn Road, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, EH44 6HH (23.6 miles away)

    Stay & Gaze

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