Welcome to Mills Observatory

Mills Observatory

We are delighted to welcome you back to Mills Observatory.

Britain’s first purpose-built public observatory enjoys a magnificent woodland setting on the summit of Balgay Hill. Watch stars and planets through our telescopes, or admire the scenery with some spectacular treetop vistas across the silvery Tay.

With fascinating space exploration and astronomical displays, planetarium shows and a fully computerised telescope that can detect 30,000 objects in the sky, there’s so much to see, do and learn!

What can you expect?

Mills Observatory is open over the Winter Season which normally runs from 1st October to 31st March and is closed during other months of the year.

Entry is free and our friendly staff will be on hand to help and advise.


Frequently asked questions

We have multiple telescopes located within the dome of the observatory, which a member of staff will help you operate to view the night sky. Please Note – night sky viewing is weather dependant, we need a dry evening with clear skies to open our dome and use the telescopes. As a general rule of thumb – if you can see the stars from where you are, you will get a better view through our telescopes – so come and see us!

Entry to the observatory and the use of all equipment is free, but we do gladly accept donations. Donations boxes are located throughout the building, and a member of staff can direct you to one if required.

Our planetarium shows offer participants the chance to join a member of the Mills Observatory team as we take you on a tour of the night sky in the Observatory’s Planetarium Room. Here you will learn about constellations, asteroids, galaxies and much more. The Planetarium Show will be followed by an opportunity to see through the Observatory’s telescopes (weather dependant). These shows are suitable for adults and children aged 6 years and over. Planetarium Shows will run at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm on the following dates:

  • Friday 6th October 2023
  • Friday 20th October 2023
  • Friday 3rd November 202
  • Friday 17th November 2023
  • Friday 1st December 2023
  • Friday 15th December 2023
  • Friday 5th January 2024
  • Friday 19th January 2024
  • Friday 2nd February 2024
  • Friday 16th February 2024
  • Friday 1st March 2024
  • Friday 15th March 2024

Booking Essential. Bookings can be made via telephone only. Please call 01382 435967 during the Observatory’s openings hours to book a space.


Adults - £3.00, Children £1.50
Capacity - 25 Visitors
Cancellation - If you cannot make a show you have booked please call to let us know so that we can offer these spaces to others

There is a small car park at the entrance to the Observatory, which includes two accessible parking spaces.

COVID-19 measures have been reduced in line with current government guidance. Robust cleaning regimes are in place at the Observatory, which focus on touch points, the telescopes and our toilets. Hand sanitiser will also be available to visitors. The wearing of face masks is optional.

Shop @ Mills Observatory

The Observatory’s Shop offers unique gifts for space and astronomy fans, including NASA branded goods, stargazing guides, space themed books and toys for little astronauts.

Telescopes for sale at Mills Observatory

We have a fantastic range of telescopes for all ages at amazing prices. So if you're interested in stargazing yourself or looking for a gift for a budding astronomer, come in and take a look. Our staff are on-hand to offer advice and help you find the right model for you.


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