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The Planet Cafe partners with community cookery school

We recently made a number of renovations to The Planet Café, leaving us with a range of food and catering equipment that we no longer required. Thankfully, Manchester-based social enterprise Bounceback Food were on hand to help out!

Making the changes to our Café, which now focuses on Fresh, Local and Sustainable food, has proved to be a real hit with visitors, but we were keen to avoid any unnecessary waste during the transition.

So, we invited Bounceback to come down and look through what was available. Brilliantly, their team were able to put a wealth of items to good use in their Christmas community freezer project – where healthy, nutritious meals were made to support people living in food poverty over the festive period.

Bounceback Food CIC is a community cookery school that supports people living in food poverty in Greater Manchester, Cheshire & North Wales. They use the ‘buy one, give one’ model on their public cookery courses to generate free places for people using foodbanks and sell staple items of food (pasta, soup, rice etc.) in the same way as part of their foodbank drive at market events. This proactive approach to tackling food poverty has helped them to teach over 1,500 people how to cook, donate almost 10,000 items of food and provide over 50,000 meals as part of their wider community outreach work.

We are delighted to be able to support their fantastic work and our partnership with them continues to grow. The Bounceback team recently published their first recipe book Secret Dishes from around the World, which includes a selection of their favourite vegetarian and vegan recipes developed over the years, perfect if you’re attempting Veganuary this month! Each dish and all the key ingredients were beautifully illustrated by Manchester-based artist Libby Element – they look stunning:

You can pick up a first edition copy of Secret Dishes from around the world in The Planet Café the next time you visit Jodrell Bank. Proceeds from sales of the book go towards Bounceback’s continuing fight against food poverty.

FREE Admission for National Lottery Players!

Thank You Week is back! From 25 November – 1 December, we will be taking part in the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s #ThanksToYou campaign by offering FREE ADMISSION* to all our visitors who play the National Lottery.

We were awarded £12.2m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to develop our ambitious new First Light Project and so this is our chance to say thank you to the National Lottery players that helped to raise those funds.

How to claim your free admission ticket…

Visit Jodrell Bank any day between Monday 25th November – Sunday 1st December, and bring along proof of having played the National Lottery -this can include a recent lottery ticket or a scratch card and it can be either a digital or paper copy, the date of purchase is not relevant. You can bring as many people as you like with one lottery ticket.

You can turn up on the day but we advise booking your free tickets in advance (remember, you still need to bring your lottery ticket with you). To book, simply click here and choose your visiting date. *Please note that car parking charges still apply.

UPDATE: Please note that we have now sold out of free tickets for Saturday 31st November and Sunday 1st December

Book your FREE admission tickets here.

Click here for terms and conditions.

Events and Activities

To continue the celebrations, we’ll also be running some of our most popular activities during the week including:

Telescope Walking Tours
(Weekdays) 3.15pm (Weekends) 11.45am and 3.15pm
Included in your free admission

Live Science Show: The Science of a World Heritage Site
30th November – 1st December, 11am, 12noon, 2pm
Included in your free admission

Tree Dressing Festival 
Sunday 1st December, 10am-5pm
Included in your free admission

See you soon!

October half-term at Jodrell Bank

Ready for all things space and aliens this October half-term? Well, we’ve got a packed programme of tours, shows and interactive activities to keep your budding young scientists busy during the holidays.

AutumnFest is back for the season, so get crafty with Autumn Crowns and Cosmic webs. Plus don’t miss our fun and interactive Alien Craft activities. We’ll be hosting daily Telescope Walking Tours too, where you can learn about the amazing science and heritage of Jodrell Bank.

Join the search for new planets in our brand new science show Planet Hunters; fun-filled and fact-packed, be wowed with our interactive demonstrations and live experiments.

In addition, our popular Meet The Expert sessions are back, where you can meet one of our science and astronomy experts and ask all the space questions you’ve ever wanted answers to!

Click here to find out more and plan your visit…

Dates and Times

Science Show: Planet Hunters
21st Oct – 3rd Nov

Various times
Find out more…

Telescope Walking Tours 
21st Oct – 3rd Nov
11.45am and 3.15pm
Find our more… 

Alien Craft Activities
26th Oct – 3rd Nov
11am – 4pm
Find out more…

Meet The Expert
21st Oct – 1st Nov
1pm (weekdays only)
Find out more…

29th Oct – 1st Nov 

11.30am – 3.30pm
Find out more…




New Season of Events at Jodrell Bank

We’re delighted to announce a new programme of events and activities for Autumn/Winter, all designed to delight and inspire! As the nights draw in, its stargazing season and you’ll see our Introduction to Astrophotography and Advanced Astrophotography Lectures return.

Plus, the news we’ve all been waiting for… Stargazing is back!

So, whether you’re a beginner, pro-gazer, or are just looking for something different to do with the family, get ready to explore the wonders of the night sky.

In addition, we’ve got a new family programme for everyone to enjoy, including lots coming up in October half-term where you can see our new science show Planet Huntersmeet an expert, take part in Alien Craft Activities, or celebrate the season at AutumnFest.

See you here soon!

Stargazing is back!

Family Stargazing
19th October – 8th February, 6pm-9pm
£9.50/ £8.50

Stargazing Night
15th November – 20th March, 7pm-10pm
£9.50/ £8.50

More to enjoy…

One Giant Leap: Talk and Tour
12th October – 17th November, 1.30pm – 4pm
£12/ £10.50

October Half-Term
21st October – 3rd November, various events and times
FREE with general admission

Introduction to Astrophotography
23rd October – 26th February, 7.30pm – 10pm
£32.50/ £29.50

Girls Night Out Moon Special
Friday 25th October, 7pm – 10pm
£14.50/ £12.50


We’re taking part in the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s #ThanksToYou celebrations. From Monday 25th November – Sunday 1st December, admission to Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre will be FREE to National Lottery Players to say thanks for helping us raise the funds awarded to us for our First Light Project.

See What’s On Here…

Watch the Lovell Telescope transform in a new projection mapped artwork.

Our annual festival of discovery, bluedot is set to return from 18 – 21 July, coinciding exactly with the 50th anniversary of the iconic 1969 Moon landing. In celebration of this extraordinary moment, and to mark Jodrell Bank’s important role in the historic mission, projection mapping artists Illuminos will present ‘Lunar Loops’, transforming the Lovell Telescope with an incredible visual representation of archive materials from the Apollo 11 mission.

Using some of the 19,000 hours of audio ‘loops’ created between mission control and the lunar module, fused with signals and recordings generated by the Lovell Telescope as it tracked the moon landings, Illuminos will bring their unique projection artwork in a one-off spectacle that’s not to be missed. Using a combination of graphics and audio, visual representations of these audio feeds will be made to chatter, rise and fall across the epic canvas of the Lovell telescope. The beeps, tweaks and spoken word all created as lines and patterns reminiscent of the chart recording signals the telescope itself creates.

The visual feast will culminate in a real time video mapping of the moment of touchdown on the Moon at 3.56am, 21 July – 50 years to the minute from when our small blue dot was first seen from the lunar surface – the moon rising across the base of the Lovell dish.

bluedot 2019 arts programme….

In 2018, bluedot’s critically acclaimed arts programme saw the world-premiere of Luke Jerram’s Earth. To continue this year’s Moon landing celebrations, 2019 festival-goers will also get the opportunity to reflect on the Moon’s wonder and magnificence in Jerram’s hugely popular piece Museum of the Moon. View the moon close up like you’ve never seen it before in a 360 degrees projection of the lunar surface supported by a sound composition,and a series of lunar inspired events.

This year’s cosmic culture programme also welcomes back Global Grooves: Night Parades. With astronomically brilliant beats, dancing robots from the future, a giant astronaut, a mobile lunar digital light show and general cosmic craziness… It can only mean one thing -Illuminated lunar parties and night parades are back!

Further highlights include the chance to explore an extraordinary fusion of immersive experiences in the Ocean of Light by Squid Soup; where virtual and physical worlds meet, talk to the skies with Ithaca’s interactive light and sound installation; or enter the world of musical composition with Mr Beat.

Whether its using the language of mathematics, logic and science to explore the Black British experience, don’t miss Keisha Thompson’s Man on the Moon, an exploration of Afrofuturism, incorporating music, spoken word, theatre and dance. Plus, look out for Circus Zambia’s award-winning daring acrobatics, hip hop dance, circus skills and comic spectacle.

View the full culture programme and book your tickets online here.

Bring all the family to bluedot…

The countdown to bluedot has already begun and with suspense building, there’s now only 8 weeks to go till the return of our award-winning festival (18-21 July), so it’s the perfect time for families to start planning their trip.

bluedot continues to provide a scientific and cultural experience centred around family-friendliness so that parents and kids can have the best festival fun,  with lots of provision for young families including free tickets for under 5s, dedicated parent and baby spaces, early morning activities and quiet camping, along with a mind-boggling array of fan activities.

Family festival-goers can immerse themselves in amazing science shows, interactive workshops, hands-on activities, and extraordinary experiments. Explore the latest discoveries with our very own family-friendly festival scientists and learn all about the awe-inspiring science of Jodrell Bank.

Discover a world of wonder in our intergalactic family areas…

The Science Fields

The place to be to discuss the latest discoveries with scientists and researchers with tents and stalls packed with scientific displays, games and interactive experiments. Look out for the University of Manchester’s Physics Outreach Team, Lightsabre Training Sessions, Science Grrls’ Women of Science, The Square Kilometre Array, Chester Zoo’s Conservation Scientists,  Practical Action, and lots, lots more.

Space Pavilion

Explore the interactive displays on the workings of the Lovell Telescope, its ground-breaking discoveries and world-leading research. The Space Pavilion is also our workshop base during the festival, where you can get hands-on with a wealth of interactive activities. Look our for Wallace and Gromit modelling workshops with Aardman Animations and lots more.

Big Bang Stage

The spot for fun and fact-packed science shows. With live experiments and interactive demonstrations, be ready to be inspired by StrongWomen Science, Physics in the Freezer, Fossil Frontiers, Read your DNA live, and plenty more… Warning: may include loud bangs!

See you there!


Weekend camping available from £169.
Discounts for children and teens, under 5s go free. Get your tickets here

New Heritage Officer for Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre

We are delighted to announce that Hannah Niblett has joined the team here at Jodrell Bank as our new Heritage Officer. Hannah will be helping to deliver our First Light at Jodrell Bank project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and developing ways of preserving and interpreting Jodrell Bank’s inspirational heritage.

Hannah is a heritage engagement specialist who comes to us from the University of Manchester Library Special Collections, where she managed social history archives and developed public, community and academic engagement programmes. She has also worked with the University’s institutional and scientific object collections, has recently completed an MA in Museum Studies, and has a research interest in academic heritage.

Hannah has said ‘Although the history of radio astronomy is a new area for me, the Jodrell Bank philosophy that science is part of our shared culture is something I strongly believe in, and I’m massively excited to be joining the team as we embark on delivering the First Light project. I’m especially looking forward to working with our audiences and communities to collect and interpret the shared history of Jodrell Bank’   

Head of Engagement, Julia Riley says “As we wait to hear about our case for UNESCO World Heritage Site status, and embark on our ambitious new First Light Project, this is an exciting time for the Discovery Centre. We have lots of work to do over the next few years and we’re thrilled to have such a well-qualified, experienced, and motivated new member of our team. Hannah will be a great asset”

You can find out more about First Light at Jodrell Bank here.

Be Amazed by Science during May Half Term

Visit Jodrell Bank this half term and prepare to be Amazed by Science as we take part in the annual Cheshire-wide festival with another packed programme of tours, shows and interactive activities.

This half term, we’ll be launching our brand new Rocket Lab, a hands-on and interactive activity zone exploring the science of rockets. Our Under 7s sessions are back too and ready to take you on a mission to the moon, perfect to inspire a whole new generation of astronauts! And don’t miss our explosive live science show, fun-filled and fact-packed, including interactive demonstrations and live experiments, its perfect for all the family!

Our friends at Siemens will be joining us again too, testing your science and engineering skills with their fun and interactive games, as well as hosting their amazing Gadget Factory Workshops. And if you’re interested in earth science and the natural world, we’ve got that covered as well! The Cheshire Beekeepers will be here to teach you about the honeybee in a live demonstration in Jodrell Bank’s very own buzzing beehives… Come along and bee happy!

What’s on at Jodrell Bank

Rocket Lab!
Saturday 25th – Monday 27th May
11am – 4pm (drop-in)

Siemens Gadget Factory Workshops
Tuesday 28th and Wednesday 29th May
10:15am, 11:30am, 1:15pm, 2:30pm, 3:45pm

Telescope Walking Tours
Saturday 25th – Friday 31st May
11.45am and 3.15pm

The Cheshire Beekeepers
Monday 27th – Friday 31st May
10am – 4pm (drop-in)

Meet The Expert
Tuesday 28th – Friday 31st May, 1pm

Science Show: Lift Off!
Tuesday 28th – Friday 31st May
Various times

Siemens Interactive Games
Tuesday 28th – Friday 31st May
10am – 5pm (drop-in)

Tiny Astronauts (Under 7s)
Tuesday 28th – Friday 31st May
Various Times

Book Admission Tickets

We expect Half Term to be popular again and so encourage visitors to plan ahead and book their tickets online and in advance:

Book Admission Here

This Easter its Elemental!

Visit Jodrell Bank during the Easter holidays and join us as we celebrate 150 years of the periodic with a series of special science shows, sessions, tours and activities.

From Monday 8th – Monday 22nd April, we’ll be exploring the periodic table and sparking your curiosity. Expect to be surprised and excited by the elements you encounter every day in our new live science show, It’s Elemental.

We’ll also be launching our fun-filled ‘rocket trips’ into space, perfect for any budding young astronaut under 7! Meanwhile, for older kids, our popular Meet the Expert sessions are back to give you the chance to ask our resident scientists any question you’ve ever wanted to about space. Plus, there’s always our popular Telescope Walking Tours to enjoy, every day.

See you soon!

What’s on this Easter…

Get Set, Blast Off!
Monday 8th – Monday 22nd April
Various times. (Mondays – Saturdays only)

Meet The Expert
Monday 8th – Thursday 18th April
1pm (Weekdays only)

Science Show: Its Elemental!
Monday 8th – Monday 22nd April
11am, 12noon, 2:30pm (Monday – Saturday only)

Telescope Walking Tours
Monday 8th – Monday 22nd April
11:45am and 3:15pm (Mondays – Saturdays)
3:15pm (Sundays)

Book your admission tickets

We expect the Easter holidays to be popular again and so we encourage visitors to plan ahead and book their tickets online and in advance.



bluedot Celebrates the Moon Landing

This summer’s bluedot festival falls on the 50th anniversary of the historic 1969 Moon Landing and we’re thrilled to announce the first phase of our mind-blowing Moon-themed line-up!

Taking place 18-21 July 2019 our multi award-winning festival will bring a summer of celebrations honouring the moment humankind stepped foot on another celestial body and celebrating Jodrell Bank’s unique role in tracking the Eagle Lander onto the surface of the Moon.

There’s plenty to look forward to with a stellar science line-up including Dr Helen Sharman the UK’s first astronaut and the first woman on the Mir space station; veteran broadcaster and science historian James Burke the BBC’s anchor for the live coverage of the Apollo 11 Moon Landings in 1969; and the UK Space Agency’s human spaceflight expert Libby JacksonPlus, look out for Dr Katherine Joy, Dr Simeon Barber and broadcaster Dallas Campbell discussing Moon missions and space travel including an in-depth examination of establishing a permanent human presence on the Moon’s surface.

Meanwhile, using audio ‘loops’ created between mission control and the lunar module, fused with signals and recordings generated by Jodrell Bank as it tracked the moon landings, celebrated light artists Illuminos will transform the Lovell Telescope with Lunar Loops Telescope Projection. The festival’s arts and culture programme will also be enriched with bespoke lunar content including Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon.

And don’t miss the Moon-dwelling Clangers celebrating their 50th anniversary with a series of talks, and the award-winning Aardman Animations are also marking a milestone birthday with the 30th anniversary of the first Wallace and Gromit film, A Grand Day Out. There will be a special screening of the popular Moon-shot short and an in-conversation with the Aardman team.

Click here to see more of our Moon celebrations and book your festival tickets