South Downs Planetarium

General Information

Additional Needs and Accessibility

In line with the objectives of the Charity, the South Downs Planetarium strives to be as inclusive as possible. To this end the Planetarium has been constructed to be as fully accessible as possible and our working procedures reflect this aim. Our team of volunteers are also fully aware of the importance of meeting all of our visitors’ needs however diverse those may be.

Mobility Access - Wheelchair Friendly

Access to all show areas, the star dome, Bunker Hall and display areas is either on level ground or has a gentle slope to allow easy access. Within the star dome there are a number of spaces allocated for the placement of wheelchairs. We are aware that there are occasions when some patrons can transfer from their wheelchairs into the reclining seats, and if this is possible a better experience may be had when watching any of our shows.

If patrons have any other needs regarding mobility, Please advise us upon booking.

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Difficulty in Hearing

All presentations are ‘live’ shows and if any patrons have any difficulty with hearing, they are advised to request a seat near to the presenter. There are occasions when we have been requested that our presenter wears a personal microphone as part of the patron’s hearing aid system, and we are happy to accommodate this; again Please advise us in advance of your needs.

We have received visitors who are profoundly deaf and we have sometimes been able to provide a volunteer who is able to use sign language. However, this facility is only available if the volunteer is available. Please be aware that due to the darkness that is essential within the Planetarium, not all of the content of the show can be communicated by this means. Again, advance notice of your requirements is essential.

Education and Learning Needs

We are Pleased to state that we have received many visitors from organisations that specifically cater for young people and adults who have additional educational and learning requirements.

In these circumstances we strongly advise that a private booking is made so that we can tailor the content of the entire show to accommodate your needs. In these circumstances our volunteers can focus on and meet your needs as a group so that everyone gets the most out of the visit to the Planetarium. There are many occasions when patrons with additional needs join our public shows. We appreciate that the individual or their carer will know whether a period of time in the dark, moving pictures and the ability to be able to listen to the presenter for an hour is a realistic expectation. We leave this to your judgement, but Please feel free to discuss your requirements with us if you have any queries.

General Issues and Booking Advice

If we are made aware of the additional requirements of any of our patrons, we will as far as possible strive to meet those needs, but this may mean reserving seats in the star dome accordingly. If booking on line it is useful to also contact the Planetarium by telephone to discuss your requirements with a member of staff so that we can ensure you have an enjoyable visit. We will discuss how we can best accommodate your needs and also how you can help us to help you.


There are two disabled car parking spaces adjacent to the main entrance of the Planetarium; additional parking spaces can be allocated accordingly if the need arises.


The Planetarium has two easy access toilets, one of which is slightly larger so as to accommodate carers if this is necessary.

Accompanying Carers

Carers (one per visitor) can be admitted to shows at a discounted ‘child rate’, but Please advise us when making your booking.

Booking a Private Visit

If you have a larger group of people it may be worth considering booking a private visit (we frequently receive such private bookings). There is a minimum charge but we will tailor the entire visit to suit your requirements. Please call us to discuss.


We always welcome receiving feedback on how well we have cared for you. Please let us know what was good and what we did well, and also in those areas where we can make some improvements.

Our volunteers give freely of their time to care for all our visitors and for them to know how well they did is helpful and very much appreciated by us all.

General Information

Family Groups

Our programs

How to find us.


SDP Car Park

Please Note

The onlyentrance for walkers, cars buses, lorries, coaches, PoGo sticks or Space Hoppers, is by the High School entrance in Kingsham Road, then follow the signs to "The South Downs Planetarium and Science Centre" It is located at the southern end of the Chichester High Schools campus.

There is no direct access off the Chichester Bypass. All access via Kingsham Road only.

There is no direct access off the Chichester Bypass. Vehicular access via Kingsham Road only.

Click here or the map to get a printable copy.[238kb]

Car Parking

There are two free car parks available.

the South Downs Planetarium car park

One of the two free car park.

Note for Satnav users.

Satnav postcode use PO19 8EB

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Opening Times

Only open 45 minutes before advertised show times.

The reason for this is that the Planetarium is run by volunteers as an edcational charity on a not-for-profit basis.

We operate throughout the year but are not open every day.

Group visits by schools, colleges, adult and youth groups may be pre-booked at any time. Just call us on 01243 774400 or email us at

We also run shows for the general public at specific times, which are advertised on this website.

We regret that we are unable to accommodate casual visitors outside of the advertised public show times.

If You Need to Cancel Your Tickets

We fully understand that some people will need to cancel their tickets in advance of a show taking place, but Please give us as much notice as possible when doing this. (Always email your cancellation request.) If you wait until just 24 hours before the show start time it is very difficult for us to try and resell those tickets to others who may wish to come in your place.