Coats Observatory

No visit to Paisley Museum would be complete without a tour of Coats Observatory, which is also part of the Museum complex. The stunning building holds a vast range of telescopes for year-round stargazing, and a state of the art digital planetarium.

Built in 1883, Coats Observatory is the oldest public observatory in the country. As well as the astronomical work, daily weather readings are taken and the observatory had also served as a seismic recording centre monitoring earthquakes worldwide, which included the famous 1906 San Francisco quake.

What’s on at Coats Observatory

Tours of Coats Observatory

If you are interested to hear about the history of Coats Observatory and learn more about the stars and planets, then come along to our free tours followed by a short film in our planetarium.

Note: If you will be visiting the Observatory in a large group, please call Paisley Museum ahead of your visit to ensure there are spaces available for your desired tour/film slot.

Tues – Sat  
Tour     Planetarium Show
 11.30am   12pm
 1.30pm   2pm
 2.30pm   3pm


Tour     Planetarium Show
 2.30pm     3pm
 3.30pm     4pm


Planetarium Shows

Transport yourself to a galaxy far far away......Experience constellations, distant galaxies, nebulae and star galaxies in incredible detail through our state of the art digital planetarium.

Free planetarium shows are available at the times above.Maximum of 15 places.

(If the skies are clear planetarium films will be shown in advance of the viewing night instead of the tour of the night sky guided show.)


Telescope Viewings

Our Winter Viewing Nights operate every year from November to end of December, allowing visitors the opportunity to view the wonders of the night sky up close through powerful telescopes housed in the building. These events are free, with no booking required (unless you are visiting as part of a group of 10 or more, in which case please call Paisley Museum ahead of your visit).

The Winter Viewing season for 2016 will run on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from Tuesday 1 November - Thursday 22 December, 6.30pm to 9pm (last admission 8.45pm)

Telescope viewings need clear skies and low wind. If a scheduled telescope viewing can’t go ahead for some reason, alternatives like planetarium shows will be arranged.


Opening hours

Closed Mondays

Tues – Sat 11am to 4pm

Sun – 2pm to 5pm

Daytime entry to the observatory is by guided tour only. Please see above the times for guided tours.



Admission to Coats Observatory is FREE

How To Find Us

Access to Coats Observatory is via Paisley Museum (High Street, Paisley, PA1 2BA)

Access to Coats Observatory during the Winter Viewing Season is via 49 Oakshaw Street West, Paisley, PA1 2DR

Contact Details


Phone: 0300 300 1210

Visit: Via Paisley Museum, High Street, Paisley, PA1 2BA

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For more details on how to get to Paisley Museum and accessibility please access our Plan Your Visit Page

Get In Touch

Renfrewshire Leisure
11 Christie Street

Tel: 0300 300 0250