Sussex is a brilliant place to live, but many of the amazing attractions are outdoor-based. Luckily we seem to exist in a weather microcosm most of the time, but when it’s less clement (please tell me the rain is going to stop soon) we’re not exactly spoilt for choice. Â There is, however, the completely brilliantÂ Observatory Science Centre in Herstmonceux. Like a mini version of the ever-wonderful Science Museum, it comprises four indoor galleries exploring Light & Colour, Force, Earth & Beyond and Time where you can interact with exhibits to create coloured shadows, take a ride in a chair powered by a vacuum cleaner, peer at objects through a videoÂ microscope and construct a clock mechanism. There are also two temporary exhibitions at any one time – Â currently Shocking Electricity and Good Vibrations: the science of sound.
Alfie’s favourite thing by far was the Sound Dishes – one of you stands and whispers quietly at one dish, while someone else listens at the other dish, 30 metres away, and hears you loud and clear. All of that without even mentioning the telescopes in the green domes that make the site so distinctive or the myriad activities, events and workshops that occur throughout the year. The Observatory is that rare thing – a place that successfully makes education fun.Â Admission: adult: from Â£7.80, child, from Â£5.85.Â Open: Until 2 December 2012. 10am-6pm (Oct-Dec: 10am-5pm). Last admission 2 hours before closing.