Our re-opening plans

On 17th March 2020, in light of the UK Government and Public Health England’s latest advice relating to the coronavirus outbreak, The University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre closed for public visits. Now that government guidance has been updated to allow for the re-opening of visitor attractions, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to do all we can to welcome people safely back to Jodrell Bank.

We’re delighted to announce that we will be open to visitors again from Saturday 22 August.

We’re really looking forward to re-opening this important and much-loved site and are satisfied that we have put all appropriate safeguards in place. The health, safety and wellbeing of all our staff and visitors remains of paramount importance.

Please note that we have made a number of changes in areas such as Tickets and Booking, Hygiene and Safety Measures, and Facilities and Visitor Experience. You can read through our FAQS below.

Priority booking for our Annual and Locals’ Pass holders, along with current ticket and voucher holders will open on Tuesday 11 August, with public booking opening Friday 14 August.

Thank you so much for supporting us through this time and we hope to see you at Jodrell Bank very soon!

The Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre Team

Tickets and Booking

When will the Discovery Centre re-open?

The Discovery Centre will open for visitors on Saturday 22 August

When can I book tickets?

Priority booking for Annual and Local Pass holders, along with current voucher and ticket holders, opens on Tuesday 11 August. Public booking will then open the following Friday 14 August.

How much are tickets?

Adult £8.50
Concession £7.50
Child £6.50
Under 4 Free
Family of 3 £22.00
Family of 4 £27.00
Family of 5 £33.00

Concessions: Over 65s and students
Children: Aged 4-18

Have the Discovery Centre’s opening times changed?

Yes, the Discovery Centre will now be open from Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 4pm

How far in advance can I book tickets?

You will be able to book tickets up till 30 September 2020.

Do I have to book?

Yes. To enable us to manage the number of people on site at any one time, everyone needs to book. We will not be able to grant entry to visitors who do not have a pre-booked ticket.

Can I just visit the Café?

Not for the time being, no. We need to maintain a restriction on visitor numbers and so the Café will be available only for those that are visiting the site with an admission ticket.

How do I book tickets?

When booking opens, you will be able to book your admission tickets on our website.

Once you’ve selected the day you wish to visit, you will also be required to choose a 1 hour arrival time slot from the available list. You can then select your ticket choices.

Once you have booked, you’ll receive a booking confirmation by e-mail, you’ll need to print this out and bring it along with you when you visit. You’ll be asked to show this to a member of our team when you arrive.

How do time slots work?

1 hour arrival time slots have been made available to allow us to manage the number of people on site at any one time and to help reduce queues and maintain social distancing.

Your booking confirmation e-mail will tell you your arrival time slot. You can arrive at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre any time within this 1 hour window. Once on site, you can stay as long as you wish. We advise a visit should take no longer than 2 hours.

Can I visit as part of a group outside my household or support bubble?

We ask that for your own safety, and that of others, you only visit with members of your household or support bubble. You can check the latest government advice on this here.

Do I still need to pay for car parking?

No, we have temporarily reduced our car parking charge from £4 to £0 meaning that car parking is free for all!

Can I bring a carer?

Yes, free carers tickets are available. Please go ahead and book the tickets you need to visit us, you can then e-mail us at Jodrell.visitor.centre@manchester.ac.uk to request any additional carers ticket and we will accommodate this.

What if I have an Annual Pass?

While Annual Pass holders can visit for free, you will still need to book your tickets. This is so that we can maintain our daily restriction on visitor numbers.

Annual Pass holders are eligible for our priority booking period and you will receive an e-mail from us about how to access this online. To order your free tickets online, you’ll simply need to choose Annual Pass tickets and enter your membership number. You will need to bring your card with you, along with your booking confirmation when you visit.

What if I have a Locals’ Pass?

Locals’ Pass holders will be eligible for our priority booking period and will receive an e-mail from us about how to access this and book your tickets online.

I purchased an admission voucher, how do I use this?

If you have a gift of admission voucher, you still need to book you admission in advance of your visit. You can do this from 11 August by completing this online form, or e-mailing Jodrell.visitor.centre@manchester.ac.uk with the date and time you would like to visit and we will aim to provide a booking for you.

I have a ticket booked for a date when you were closed, what can I do with this?

If you have a ticket booked for a date that fell during our closure period, your ticket will have been exchanged to an ‘open ticket’. This means it can be used within 12 months of purchase. You will still need to book in advance of your visit. You can do this from 11 August by completing this online form, or by e-mailing Jodrell.visitor.centre@manchester.ac.uk with the date and time you would like to visit and we will aim to provide a booking for you.

Can I book a school trip?

Guidance is currently being updated on school trips. You can sign up to our schools mailing list here to be first for news on when bookings re-open

Can I book a group visit?

Guidance is currently being updated on group visits. You can sign up to our groups mailing list here to be first for news on when bookings re-open.

Hygiene and Safety Measures

Do you have any certification for Covid compliance?

Yes, in partnership with the National Tourist Organisations of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Good To Go industry standard confirms that Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre has met government guidelines relating to Covid 19.

You can download our certification here

What safety measures have you put in place?

We have put a number of new safety measures in place including:

  • Introduced timed admission, enabling us to minimise queues and reduce the number of people on site at any one time
  • Created one way routes in certain areas in order to enable social distancing
  • Installed extra signage to help visitors maintain social distancing and promote personal hygiene.
  • Enhanced our cleaning regimes, paying particular attention to high touch-points such as door handles, rails and outdoor exhibits.
  • Installed a number of hand sanitiser stations across the site.
  • Given all our staff additional covid-related training and provided each staff member with a face mask or covering
  • Closed indoor and interactive exhibitions where social distancing or hygiene cannot be effectively maintained.

We are also asking visitors to:

  • Use contactless payments when visiting the Café or Gift Shop.
  • Wear a face mask or covering whenever they are indoors.
  • Dispose of your own personal rubbish, such as picnic waste, either by using the bins provided or by taking rubbish home with you.

Have you carried out a risk assessment for Covid 19?

Will I need to wear a face mask or covering?

In line with government guidance, we ask that, unless you are exempt from wearing face masks or coverings, all visitors should wear one whenever they are indoors. When visiting the Discovery Centre, this will include when using the toilets, visiting the Gift Shop or entering the Café. You can bring your own, or we have single use masks available for visitors to use when on site.

Do you have hand sanitiser or face masks available for visitors?

Yes, a number of hand sanitiser stations have been positioned around the site and face masks are available for those that do not have their own.

What safety measures have you implemented for your staff?

We have taken all reasonable steps to ensure our staff can work safely and implemented a number of mitigating measures in light of Covid 19.

You can download our Staying Secure notice here. 

If I’m unwell on the day of my visit, what should I do?

If you, or anyone you live with, displays symptoms associated with Covid 19, or you’ve recently been in contact with someone who has Covid 19, please stay at home and delay your visit until it is safe to do so.

What should I do if I fall ill with Covid 19 symptons after my visit?

You will need to follow the lasts government guidance on Test and Trace.

Facilities and Visitor Experience

What will I be able to see and do?

We’ve been working hard to ensure that we can provide a memorable visitor experience whilst also safeguarding our visitors and staff. Jodrell Bank is a 35 acre attraction and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors to the Discovery Centre will be able to:

  • See the Grade I listed Lovell Telescope
  • Explore the Telescope pathway
  • Join a Telescope Talk
  • Explore the Jodrell Bank Arboretum
  • Discover a range of outdoor exhibits including the popular whispering dishes
  • Use the children’s playground
  • Experience an Orrery demonstration
  • Discover more about Jodrell Bank’s UNESCO World Heritage Site status
  • Visit the Café and Gift Shop
  • Complete a range of family activities
  • Find out more about our new First Light Pavilion and view the building’s progress

Will the toilets be open?

Yes, our toilets will be open, including disabled access toilets and baby changing facilities, and we have social distancing measures and extra cleaning regimes in place.

Will any spaces remain closed?

Some indoor spaces including those that have interactive displays such as the Space Pavilion exhibition will remain closed. This in order to reduce the risk of transmission arising from shared exhibits and confined spaces.

Will I be able to visit the Gift Shop?

Yes, we will be operating a pop-up gift shop with a range of our best-selling products in the Space Pavilion where there is more room for visitors to shop in a safe and socially distanced manner. Buying from our Gift Shop is a great way to support our work -all profits raised from sales in our gift shop are reinvested back into our mission to protect, share and celebrate this important site.

Will The Planet Café be open?

Yes, our popular café will be operating a takeaway service of hot and cold drinks, tasty sandwiches, ice creams and delicious cakes. Our staff will be implementing extra cleaning regimes and social distancing measures will be in place, and our suppliers have taken care to carefully wrap their products. Outdoor seating will also be provided on our café terrace with great views of the Lovell Telescope and there are plenty of picnic spots across the site.

Will I be able to bring a picnic?

Yes, visitors are welcome to bring their own food and drinks and you’ll find socially distanced picnic benches around the site. We kindly ask that all picnickers dispose of their rubbish in the bins provided.

Will family activities be taking place?

While we’re unable to run our popular live science shows, family visitors can complete a brand new Mission Log Book full of activities, challenges and scavenger hunts to help make the most of their visit.

Will other activities be taking place?

Yes, subject to staff availability, visitors will be able to enjoy a 20 minute outdoor Telescope Talk from one of our expert explainers. We will also be holding 5 minute demonstrations of our clockwork Orrery throughout the day.

What if I have specific access needs?

We have considered accessibility throughout our re-opening plans and the site remains fully accessible. If you have any specific access requirements, you can e-mail us in advance of your visit at Jodrell.visitor.centre@manchester.ac.uk

Will I be able to borrow a wheelchair?

Yes, we have two wheelchairs available for visitors to use while on site. These will be cleaned and sanitised for you and can be made available on arrival. If you would like to book a wheelchair in advance of your visit, please e-mail us at Jodrell.visitor.centre@manchester.ac.uk with the date and time you would like to visit and we will reserve one for you.

Further Questions?

If you have any further questions or queries, you can get in touch with us by e-mail at jodrell.visitor.centre@manchester.ac.uk