National Space Centre – Leicestershire

Space Centre Rocket Tower

One of favourite family days out is the National Space Centre located in the city of Leicester.

The centre gives a fascinating insight into the history of space travel, space technology, our Solar System and much more. So what can you expect from a day out at the National Space Centre?

Getting there

Getting there is fairly straight forward, the National Space Centre website has a great “How To Find Us” section. There is a large carpark with all day parking for £3.

Address: National Space Centre, Exploration Drive, Leicester, LE4 5NS

Space Centre Map

Ticket Prices and Opening Times

Ticket prices (correct May 2020)

Adults – £15.50

Children (5-16) – £12.50

Concessions – £12.50

Under 5 – Free

Parking – £3 per day

(please note that tickets are valid for one year, meaning you can return as many times as you want within that year)

Opening times

Monday to Sunday 10am-5pm

What to Expect

Tickets can either be booked online or at the centre itself. There are dedicated desks for both options. You will be provided with a centre map on arrival and will be all set to go!

The centre is inside one very large open plan building that is divided into different sections. It’s quite dark inside which is great for all the graphics and really adds to the atmosphere. You are immediately greeted by the Soyuz satellite that is suspended above the entry.

National Space Centre Soyuz Satellite

National Space Centre Floor Layout

The Planets

This section to dedicated to learning about the planets of our Solar System. There are lots of fun interactive things for little hands, you can drive the Mars rover and you can learn about how heavy a can of beans would be on each of the eight planets and the sun!

National Space Centre Mars Rover

Exploring the Universe

Exploring the universe focuses on the formation of the universe, planets, stars and about different civilisations throughout history who used stars and cosmos in every day life.


The Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium is a 192 seat state of the art full dome theatre. Travel to the edge of the universe and beginning of the time. The shows vary throughout the day and are aimed at different age groups.

National Space Centre Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium

Image: National Space Centre

Orbiting Earth

Discover the satellites in space that make a real difference to your life. Satellite navigation, weather forecasting, emergency disaster warnings and understanding the changes to our fragile planet are all highlighted in the Orbiting Earth Gallery. There is a fun interactive weather pod where you can actually present your very own weather report and watch it back on the big screen! Littler children would need adult assistance here as there is reading involved.

National Space Centre Orbiting Earth Globe

Space Oddities

The Space Oddities gallery showcases some hidden treasures from our collection. The unusual objects on display here reveal some of the less well known stories in space history. This gallery is regularly updated, allowing our Curator to hand-pick new objects for display. The gallery also houses our interactive touch-table, through which you can explore objects in further detail.

National Space Centre Space Oddities

Image: National Space Centre

Rocket Tower

This is a rather impressive extension to the main centre, this semi transparent tower is 42 metres in height and is home to The Blue Streak and Thor Able rockets, as well as the Gagarin Experience, Apollo Lunar Lander and real Moon Rock!

National Space Centre Rocket Tower

There is a lift that takes you to the very top for a closer look. The tower has several different levels, each packed with many interactive things to do everything from landing your own shuttle to making a rocket take off.

Into Space

Take a tour round Into Space and you will come face to face with astronauts, spacesuits and our journey into space. Not only will you walk through a mock up of the Columbus Module from the International Space Station, but you can also discover the answer behind the most asked question asked at the National Space Centre, how do you go to the toilet in space?

National Space Centre Into Space Columbus Landing Module

Tranquillity Base

As soon as you enter Tranquillity Base, you become a trainee astronaut on a lunar base in the year 2025. Load up the shuttle with a good balance of supplies to send to the lunar base, mine through moon rock, and control jet boosters on the Micro-G-Manoeuvre. Undergo a series of mental and physical tasks to be graded and allocated a position at the Base dependent upon your scores. There are high restrictions for same of the activities.

National Space Centre Tranquillity Base Entrance


Boosters Cafe

Round off your visit with a meal under our amazing rockets in Boosters Cafe. Serving a selection of freshly made and locally sourced sandwiches and snacks, as well as hot and cold drinks and our chef makes fresh soup everyday. We also serve high quality “diner” fare, including warm nachos with fresh chilli, cheese and salsa, as well as gourmet hot dogs.

There is also a gift shop onsite for some space themed souvenirs.

Be sure to check out the National Space Centre website for a list of special events that take place throughout the year!

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Thanks for reading.

L x

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National Space Centre Pinterest Pin


Disclaimer – this was not a paid review. We purchased our own tickets to the National Space Centre. Our thoughts and opinions are our own.