The best UK science festivals for astronomy

UK science festivals can be a great opportunity to attend talks and performances on astronomy, or to get together with like-minded people for a spot of stargazing.

Space fans young and old can usually find something at a science festival to sate their stargazing appetite. Credit: Cheltenham Science Festival

UK science festivals often have at least one astronomy or space-related event, making them a great opportunity to find out more about the night sky and get involved in some stargazing.

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Keep an eye on which annual science festivals occur near you, and when, and check their website or social media to see whether any astronomy events are taking place.

Below is a list of some of the biggest annual science festivals in the UK.

UK-wide

British Science Festival
Where: Exact location differs year to year
When: September
www.britishsciencefestival.org/about-the-festival

Pint of Science
Where: Informal pub-based science outreach, occurring at various venues across the UK.
When: various dates
www.pintofscience.co.uk

England

Cheshire

Amazed by Science
Where: Cheshire-wide, various venues.
When: late May / early June
www.amazedbyscience.co.uk

Bluedot
Where: Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire
When: July
www.discoverthebluedot.com

County Durham

Celebrate Science
Where: Durham University, Durham
When: Late October
www.dur.ac.uk/celebrate.science

Devon

Sidmouth Science Festival
Where: Sidmouth, various locations
When: Early October
www.sidmouthsciencefestival.org

Gloucestershire

Cheltenham Science Festival
Where: Cheltenham-wide, various venues.
When: June
www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/about/

Herefordshire

Electromagnetic Field
Where: Eastnor, UK
When: July
www.emfcamp.org/about

Lancashire

Lancashire Science Festival
Where: University of Central Lancashire, Preston
When: Late June
www.twitter.com/lancscifest

London

UCL Your Universe
Where: University College London.
When: March
www.ucl.ac.uk/your-universe/

The Great Exhibition Road Festival
Where: Exhibition road, south Kensington
When: June
www.greatexhibitionroadfestival.co.uk/

Summer Science Exhibition
Where: The Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London
When: July
www.royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2019/summer-science-exhibition/

Nottinghamshire

Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity
Where: Nottingham-wide, various venues
When: February
www.nottsfosac.co.uk

Oxfordshire

ATOM Festival of Science & Technology
Where: Abingdon-on-Thames
When: March
www.atomfestival.org.uk/events

West Yorkshire

Leeds Festival of Science
Where: Leeds-wide, various venues.
When: March-April
www.stem.leeds.ac.uk/festivalofscience/publicprogramme/

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Science Festival
Where: Across Northern Ireland, various venues.
When: February
www.nisciencefestival.com

Comedy meets science in the pub at A Science Skeptacular, as part of the Edinburgh Science Festival. Credit: Edinburgh Science Festival
Comedy meets science in the pub at A Science Skeptacular, as part of the Edinburgh Science Festival. Credit: Edinburgh Science Festival

Scotland

Edinburgh

Edinburgh Science Festival
Where: Edinburgh-wide, various venues
When: April
www.sciencefestival.co.uk/festival

Dundee

Dundee Science Festival
Where: Dundee Science Centre
When: October
www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk/dundee-science-festival/dsf-home/

Glasgow

Glasgow Science Festival
Where: Glasgow-wide, various venues
When: June
www.glasgowsciencefestival.org.uk

Highlands

Inverness Science Festival
Where: Inverness, various locations
When: Late May / early April
www.uhi.ac.uk/en/inverness-science-festival

Stirling

Middle of Scotland Science Festival (MoSSFest)
Where: Mugdock Coutry Park, Mugdock
When: October
www.facebook.com/mossfestscotland/

Wales

Anglesey

Festival of Discovery
Where: Anglesey
When: late May / early June
www.festivalofdiscovery.wales

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South Wales

Cardiff Science Festival
Where: City-wide, various locations
When: Late February / early March
www.cardiffsciencefestival.co.uk