We are committed to developing the best possible access to all visitors. If you wish to discuss particular requirements, please get in touch.
Who we are
Jodrell Bank is one of the Cultural Institutions of The University of Manchester. Located in the beautiful Cheshire countryside, we welcome the general public, organised groups, schools and more to engage with the science, heritage and culture of the site.
Before you visit
- We recommend that you book your tickets online in advance.
- Assistance dogs are welcome at Jodrell Bank. We currently accept assistance dogs (which includes Autism Dogs) accredited by Assistance Dogs UK, these are listed here.
- We welcome visitors who need medicine, food or drink to manage their condition. If you have concerns about managing a condition during your visit please contact us and we will be happy to help you make a plan.
- Carers and personal assistants can book free admission to help facilitate your visit.
How to get here
As we’re in the countryside, access by public transport is difficult. Taxi services are limited, and there is no access by bus. The nearest train station is Goostrey, which is about 2 miles away with no walking route from there to Jodrell Bank. The nearest mainline train station is in Macclesfield, 10 miles away.
Our satnav postcode is SK11 9DW and you can find directions on our Getting Here page
When you arrive
- The car park has spaces for around 320 cars and 4 coaches, and is free of charge. The main carpark is a mixture of tarmac surface and pebbles. There are also 20 designated accessible parking spaces on the tarmac surface nearest to our Planet Pavilion (the first building you’ll see when you arrive). We also have a bike shed to store and lock bicycles.
- Our ticket booths are on the left at the end of the car park. They are accessible via a dropped kerb onto the level pavement. Wheelchairs are available to hire on a first come first served basis, so it’s a good idea to contact us in advance to make a booking if you’d like to borrow one.
Finding your way around
When you arrive, you’ll be given a map of the site. There are also signposts pointing to the main buildings that you might like to visit. All of the buildings have level access with automatic doors.
It can be a little tricky to find your way, as the site is quite large, so if you need help, don’t hesitate to ask a member of staff.
First Light Pavilion
This large dome-shaped building is our newest addition to the site. It contains our Space Dome, where you might watch our introductory show, and our First Light exhibition. It’s also where you’ll find our main cafe.
Entry is via two sets of automatic doors. There are toilets, including male, female, accessible, and baby-changing facilities inside, and the whole building is on one floor with no steps or ramps.
Entry to the Space Dome is through a wide door. The Space Dome has raked seating for 140 people. It might be quite dark inside, but there will be staff members and low lighting to help you find your way. There are a number of accessible seats, so if you require one of these, please arrive a little early for the show so that a member of staff can assist you.
If you have epilepsy, a balance disorder, or extreme motion sickness, please contact us to discuss whether the show will be suitable.
The exhibition contains audio-visual and interactive displays. These displays are spaced out to allow plenty of room for wheelchair access. There is also a seating area if you’d like to take a break.
The cafe is self-service and it has seats and tables inside and outside. If you need any assistance, let a member of staff know.
One of the square, black buildings which houses our interactive science exhibition and our event space.
Space Pavilion is where you’ll find our interactive Space exhibition. You’ll enter through an automatic door that is 120cm wide. The exhibition is open plan with plenty of space to move around. The flooring is carpet in the entrance and changes to hard surface inside the exhibition area.
All of our videos have subtitles and any written description is at a height suitable for everyone, including wheelchair users, to read. There are some chairs in the exhibition area, as well as seating areas to watch videos.
Our First Aid room is accessed through the exhibition area, please ask a member of staff if you need assistance.
Our Events Space is sometimes used for temporary exhibitions. Staff will let you know if there is anything to see inside. If you go in, the flooring changes from carpet in the entrance foyer to hard flooring in the event space. The double doors are 108cm wide each.
There are toilets, including male, female, accessible, and baby-changing facilities in the Space Pavilion.
One of the square, black buildings, which houses our Wolfson auditorium, where you may listen to a talk.
If you’re attending one of our talks, this will probably be in the Wolfson auditorium, which is inside the Star Pavilion. Entry to the Star Pavilion is through an automatic door 200cm wide.
The Wolfson auditorium can seat up to 200 people for talks and shows. There may be raked seating as well as individual chairs. The seats nearest the aisle provide additional leg room if needed.
There is usually plenty of space for wheelchairs or mobility aids, but there will also be a member of staff on hand to assist if needed. We can let you in to the auditorium early to make yourself comfortable, if you’d like; please let a member of staff know so that the person running the talk can be there to help out.
This area has an induction loop system.
The final square, black building, which houses our Orrery (model solar system), gift shop and second cafe. This is also where you will exit Jodrell Bank back in to the car park.
The entrance to Planet Pavilion is through an automatic door 200cm wide into the Orrery. There is hard flooring inside, with a mobile solar system in the ceiling and interactive displays around the room. The displays are at a wheelchair accessible height, and the text around the room is at a height suitable for everyone.
To get from the Orrery to the rest of the Planet Pavilion, you’ll walk down a short dimly lit corridor with twinkly lights above and through some more automatic doors. Here you’ll enter the gift shop with a range of shelving and low level displays.
Our second cafe is accessed through the shop. This is where you’ll also find the toilets, including male, female, accessible, and baby-changing facilities. The cafe has tables and chairs inside and outside including wooden picnic benches on the grassed area. The outside tables are generally accessible to wheelchair users. The outside decking area is accessed via a retractable bi-fold door with a minimum width of 870mm.
When you’re ready to leave, you’ll do so through the automatic doors in the shop, which are 235cm wide and lead out onto the dropped kerb access to the car park.
At Jodrell Bank we have some beautiful outside spaces for you to walk around, play and maybe enjoy a picnic.
The First Light Pavilion is surrounded by our gardens. There are resin bonded pathways around some of the grounds here, as well as picnic benches and seating areas dotted about. If you walk around the outside of the First Light Pavilion, you’ll come to our play area, which has a woodchip surface.
There are no pathways around the majority of our arboretum and the surface is grassy, perhaps muddy, and uneven. Access to this area may vary seasonally, and there will be clear signage indicating any closed sections.
Our cosy Comet Lodge can be used as an indoor picnic area – it has wheelchair accessible picnic benches nearby outside. (Note that wheelchair access inside the Comet Lodge is limited)
The Lovell Telescope can be viewed as you wander along our telescope pathway: coloured red tarmac. You’ll also notice our whispering dishes, which allow you to ‘magically’ hear your friend whispering from several metres away. The whispering dishes are accessed via 2 steps to each.
- If you’re not able to queue at the ticket booth, head straight into the gift shop through the automatic doors from the car park. A member of staff will be happy to help you.
- Our talks and shows are always relaxed environments where we encourage participation and questions. We certainly don’t take offence if anyone has to leave early. We often do exciting demonstrations, but we’ll always let our audience know if something surprising is coming up.
- The centre is generally quieter from 10-11am and 3.30-5pm. The exhibition areas are also usually quieter when a talk is going on, as a lot of people head to the talk instead. You’ll be told the times of the talks when you arrive, so you might be able to take this in to account as you go about your visit.
- We also offer occasional ‘Autism friendly early opening’ on set days, when we open an hour early to allow autistic visitors to explore the site with few other visitors. Keep an eye on our website for details of any upcoming events.
- During our ‘autism friendly’ events, we offer a chill out room that has been prepared with items to help our autistic visitors feel relaxed, if the exhibition has been a bit overwhelming. Even if we’re not offering a specific chill out room when you visit, please let a member of staff know if you need somewhere quiet to go, and we’ll do what we can to help.
Visually Impaired Visitors
- If you’re joining a Space Dome show or talk and have a visual impairment, please let a member of staff know as they will assist you to your seat (if required) and use more descriptive language during the presentation.
- Many of our exhibits include audio or tactile elements to allow them to be enjoyed by visually impaired visitors. If you require additional commentary on any elements of our exhibitions don’t hesitate to ask one of our explainers, who will be more than happy to talk you through anything you need.
Hard of Hearing Visitors
- Many of our spaces benefit from induction loop systems. It requires you to use the T setting.
- We’d really appreciate it if you could arrive 10 minutes early for your talk or show. This will allow the presenter time to help you to find the best seat position and adjust the microphone so that you can enjoy the presentation. If you use a directional microphone, presenters are happy to wear it, just ask.
- Some of our Space Dome shows have subtitles. Please check our website to see the dates and times. We also have British Sign Language days with a friendly interpreter – see our website for the special dates.
Babies and Pre-schoolers
- If you’d prefer to visit with your little one at a quieter time of day, we’re usually less busy between 10-11am and 3.30-5pm.
- Baby changing facilities are available in each of our accessible toilets.
- We are a breast-feeding friendly venue – if you would prefer somewhere private, please let a member of staff know. If you have baby food or a bottle that needs heating up, don’t hesitate to ask a member of our cafe team. High chairs are also available in both our cafes.
There are male, female, and accessible toilets in each of our buildings, including baby-changing facilities. The male toilets have urinals and cubicles and the female toilets have cubicles.
Accessible toilets all offer the following:
- Toilet with back cushion.
- Moveable grab bars at the side of the toilet.
- Grab bars on walls.
- Assist cord.
- Low-level sink with easy lever mixer tap.
Accessible toilets all have outward opening doors with a width of 930mm. Turning spaces vary.
- Planet Pavilion – 210cm x 144cm.
- Space Pavilion – 215cm x 160cm.
- Star Pavilion – 260cm x 155cm.