Coronavirus Important Info

UPDATE 11/6/21: Since 12th April as a Non-Essential Shops we have been allowed to open to the public as long as we follow Covid Safe Guidlines. 

As before lockdown, from this date we have Opened by appointment only and we plan to continue with this for the coming weeks.   This enables us to make sure that we can manage numbers in the showroom to a level that is both Covid safe and compliant, meet any special needs, and can confidently give our customers the time and service they have come to expect from Tring Astronomy Centre.  An additional and previously unexpected element before the crisis is stock management!  As you can see on our website there are significant 'Out of Stocks' particularly on telescopes (Nationally across all suppliers) so we want to be honest with customers and set realistic expectations. We are pleased to say the situation is improving slowly, and whilst choices are more limited than we would like, we are at least holding some key stock now, and of course we are happy to take pre orders wherever possible. The appointment process allows us the opportunity to check that we have what you would like to see to avoid disappointment, and of course to make sure we are here to meet you!

You can contact us by email on or by Telephone on 01442 822997 to book a visit.  Please note that we do still have staff on furlough at this time, so if we are with customers or otherwise busy you will get an answerphone message.  A third method of contact is via a chat function on our website which you are also welcome to use.

Stock Situation

As hinted above please be aware that the availability of Astronomical Telescopes in particular has been severely limited due to the impact of Covid-19 on the manufacturers supply chain.  We are still receiving deliveries and updating our website on a daily basis.  Each product page has a box that you can enter your email to be informed when that item is either back in stock, or at a point where it is on its way to us from a manufacturer and can be pre-ordered. This triggers an email the moment an item is updated and is available to order.  Please note that the email notifications are automated, so its important to read the listings themselves to see the lead-time estimates before deciding to order. Generally the availability of binoculars and daytime optics is improving at a faster rate than astro equipment, but it is still prudent to check if you have a particular requirement. You can use the same contact methods as above and we will be happy to assist.

Please note that Covid-19 is having a notable impacts on 3 key areas of our business - Stock and availability, Showroom visits, and making contact with us, so we would like to give you some updates on these below;

Availability and Lead times

Since the start of of lock down there has been a surge of interest in hobby activities that can be safely carried out from home, and that naturally has included Astronomy - something everyone one in the industry is extremely grateful for.  However this has also coincided with some significant disruptions in the supply chain which has left manufacturers and distributors unable to keep up with the demand.  It is for this reason that you will be seen a much larger proportion of 'Out of stock' items than is normal, and or indications of much longer than normal lead-times.  Stock is coming through though in varying quantities, and any items not pre-sold are being loaded on the website on arrival or when shipping has been confirmed.   We are constantly in the process of updating our website to reflect the items in stock, and to note when you are likely to have to wait across all brands, but please be aware that manufacturers and distributors are often struggling to provide stock updates or information due to the pressures on their own upward supply chain, as much as we are trying to keep pace with the fast pace of changes. This is causing obvious impacts on our website info, so please feel free to check any item with us in advance if your order is of an urgent nature. In the meantime if any of your orders are affected we will let you know. Thank you in advance for your understanding and your support.

Showroom Visits

Showroom Visits are possible, but strictly by appointment only.  As well as the reasons mentioned above, we have very strict cleaning protocols in place that we need to take car of between visits.  With optics being placed up to eyes this is of paramount importance, so we really appreciate your understanding in helping us manage our environment in this way for the time being.  Appointments will typically be available Monday to Friday between the hours of 10am to 4pm.

Contacting us

We can be contacted via email - via the messenger system on our website or via telephone on 01442 822997.  

We will answer our telephone or messenger when we are not dealing with customers or on another call, but we are aware that the exceptional increase in incoming call volumes is causing extended periods of 'engaged' and is also jamming our answer-phone very quickly.  We are very sorry about this, but very understandably the national stock shortages on many components are driving a huge amount of extra enquiries, which we are of course very happy to answer as quickly as we can.

We are a small family business, so all your enquiries are valuable to us and we pride ourselves in the quality, friendly and personal service we can offer - but unfortunately do not have call centres or the like behind us, so it is only for this reason that our incoming message contains some info and recommends contacting us via messenger or email in the event we can't answer. If this is inconvenient please feel free to keep trying and we will answer when we can, but please bear with us.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for your understanding and continuing support.

Jane and Neil

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