Astronomy courses at Astrofarm

We run a number of different astronomy courses at Astrofarm throughout the year. The courses are all standalone short day courses and can also be combined to create a deeper learning experience. All our courses are a mix of tutorial, workshop and hands-on and are specially designed for an adult audience. They are friendly and fun and delivered in a relaxed and comfortable environment.  You do not need any prior knowledge or lots of equipment and the courses are great value for money. 

You can arrange your stay at Astrofarm to enjoy a course during your visit or if you have a group of 6 - 10 friends or family, we can run the course on a date to suit just for you! We can often provide the course at short notice if we don't have B&B guests. 

Why not make an occasion of your learning experience with a discounted overnight stay in our B&B. For example, the 'Complete Beginner's Guide' course plus B&B, starts from just €75 per person. We can also provide vouchers for Xmas and birthday gifts - ideal for that 'hard to buy for' family member!

All courses are limited to 10 participants and can be booked by emailing admin@astrofarmfrance.com

You can find a calendar of course dates here. In addition to the courses, we also have special astronomy events throughout the year and you can find the details here.

Complete beginner's guide to astronomy

Have you ever sat outside on a clear summer night and been awestruck by a spectacular Milky Way? Are you perhaps now living under velvet dark skies for the first time and would love to understand what you are seeing? Maybe you have tried to find your way around the constellations with a book or phone app and now want to understand far more?

This course for the absolute complete beginner will show you how to identify the most popular constellations, appreciate the movement of the Earth and planets in our solar system, explore galaxies and understand distance, size and space.  

With a mix of tutorial, workshop and practical observing we will help you to enjoy the night sky and answer those questions you have pondered about the universe.

The courses starts at 6.00 pm and, weather permitting finish with a late night observing session. You do not need to have any prior knowledge, equipment or experience – we have everything here at Astrofarm!

The courses costs €40 per person, including supper and numbers are strictly limited. 2018 course dates can be found here. Please email for information, to book a place or to organise a group course:-   admin@astrofarmfrance.com

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An Introduction to Astro-photography

The perfect follow on from the beginner course, this evening session will start you taking impressive photographs of the night sky. With a tutorial introduction followed by a practical session during the evening, you will not be disappointed with the results from your learning.

Starting at 6.00 pm, the course covers basic use of a DSLR camera on a tripod, through to using your camera with a telescope. You will need a DSLR camera to benefit fully from this course. This course can be taken as a stand-alone session or as the first of a 3 part syllabus. 

In the event of poor weather for the practical session, we will happily invite you back to Astrofarm anytime to capture that perfect image. 

The course costs  €40 per person including supper and numbers are strictly limited. Dates can be found here and please email for more information or to book a place:-admin@astrofarmfrance.com

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Astro-photography Masterclass

This is the final class in the series of 3, which will take all your learning so far and then add new skills and knowledge, enabling you to take and process high quality astro images. You will be on site taking images of star trails,  galaxies and nebulae. You will then process these images for a final portfolio of stunning astro-photographs. 

The masterclass will be a practical workshop during an evening on site at Astrofarm. The session costs €40 and is limited to 10 to allow for individual attention and help. Please email for more information or to register your place. 

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"A very friendly meet and greet which set us up for the day. As you said in your introduction it would be a relaxed and informative day and you were true to your word. The syllabus was well paced with plenty of breaks and refreshments. Really enjoyed the evening meal and opportunity to chat with others." Kevin July 2016

Next step in astronomy 

In this course, we take you on from the beginner course continuing your astronomy learning journey and delve a little deeper into the subject of astronomy.

We cover:- The solar system – the players and their composition, astronomical terms and abbreviations, our star the Sun, exploring what is a sunspot? Where do solar flares come from? What causes the Northern lights.

Galaxies – Hubble’s law, the basics. We will look at relative velocities (red shifts) of faraway galaxies and how to estimate their distances from the Earth.

We check out using Stellarium and other software and fine tune your observation skills – Some tips and techniques that will make your observing easier and more pleasurable.

You will also have the option to carry on your learning with guided modules and projects if you have really caught the astronomy bug!

The courses starts at 6.00 pm and, weather permitting finish with a late night observing session. You do not need to have any prior knowledge, equipment or experience – we have everything here at Astrofarm!

The courses costs €40 per person, including supper and numbers are strictly limited. 2018 course dates can be found here. Please email for information, to book a place or to organise a group course:-   admin@astrofarmfrance.com

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Image Processing Class

We invite you to bring your astro-photographs to this 3 hour class and learn how to process your raw data and create stunning images. Using freely available software, you will become confident with stacking, levels, contrast, colour and composition. At the end of the session, you will have your own stunning image and the knowledge to process all your future astro-photographs.

You will need a Windows-ready laptop for this session and we will provide links to the free software which can be downloaded in advance of the course. 

The class, limited to 10, will be 3 hours in an evening or afternoon and will cost €25 per person and includes refreshments. Please email for more information and to register your place for the next class to admin@astrofarmfrance.com

Astrophotography weekend special deals

Our whole weekend of astrophotography includes the 3 courses detailed above and starts with the 'Beginners Guide to Astrophotography' on Saturday night, processing your images on Sunday afternoon and the Masterclass on Sunday night.

You can stay at Astrofarm for the weekend and enjoy 2 nights B&B & supper and the 3 courses from just €175.

Day visitors can save on the individual course prices when booking for the whole weekend. Deal includes the 3 astrophotography courses with supper both nights for just €95

Sunday day visitor includes 2 astrophotography courses with supper for €60. Email Sue or ring 0545 712 553 to book - dates for current weekends can be found here.

NEW - Advanced Astronomy Course

We have been asked by many people who have enjoyed the Beginner Astronomy course - 'what next?'

So we have put together an advanced syllabus for those of you who would like to take your learning to the next level. You do not need to be a scientist or mathematician for this course (the most common worry from adult learners) although we would recommend that you have done our beginner course or equivalent first. The course will be run one a month over the winter and will be a mix of tutorials, practical astronomy and project work. 

The group will be strictly limited to 10 and dates, days etc will be decided between the group so that everyone can attend the sessions. In the first instance please email Sue to register your interest. 

Digital Photography

This one day course takes you from the basics of photography to getting your camera out of “Auto” and into manual. Getting used to words such as aperture, “f” stops, ISO and exposure. We will also be looking at framing, landscapes, portraits, macro and even long exposures.

Most of the images will be taken onsite at Astrofarm. Weather permitting, we will do location shoots at St Germain de Confolens and down in the town of Confolens too.

You will need a DSLR camera to get the most from this course and although a little knowledge about your camera settings would be advantageous, it is not essential. 

The course costs €40 and includes lunch. Please email admin@astrofarmfrance.com to book a place or for more information.

"Firstly we would like to say that we both really enjoyed the day and took a lot from it.  It was very clear from the beginning that Andrew knows so, so much and is an expert in his field.  It was also clear he is passionate about what he does which shone through all day.  Combined with his enthusiasm to share his knowledge we came away learning far more than we expected to and would recommend the day to anyone." Dianne and Ian.