Visitor FAQs

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 put in place a number of actions that allow us to welcome people safely back to Jodrell Bank.

We’re delighted to have to re-opened this important and much-loved site but 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.

Click here to book you admission tickets online…

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

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?

Our opening times are currently from 10am – 5pm. However, we are now only open from Wednesdays – Sundays.

Between the 3rd-27th October this will change to 11am-4pm from Wednesday to Friday and 10am-5pm on weekends.

How far in advance can I book tickets?

We are currently taking bookings up till 23rd October 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.

How do I book tickets?

Click here to book your tickets online…

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. This acts as your ticket and 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.

What will you do with my booking data and personal information?

We will retain ticket booker’s contact details and booking information in line with GDPR. You can read our Privacy Policy here.

Please note that we are also supporting NHS Test and Trace. This means that we will share booking details and contact information with NHS Track and Trace if we are required to do so.

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. If you are visiting with others outside of your household or support bubble, you must not be in a group of more than 6 people. You can check the latest government advice on this here.

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.

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 with your booking confirmation number 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.

To order your free Annual Pass tickets online, you’ll simply need to select ‘Annual Pass £0.00’ tickets. You will need to bring your card with you, along with your booking confirmation when you visit.

Click here to book your Annual Pass tickets…

What if I have a Locals’ Pass?

Locals’ Pass holders also still need to book their tickets in advance. You will have recieved an e-mail from us about how to access an exclusive Locals’ Pass voucher code.

Clicke here to book your tickets…

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

Are you supporting NHS Test and Trace?

Yes, we are supporting NHS Test and Trace. This means that we are collecting contact information of all visitors to Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre and retaining this information for at least 21 days. In the event of a coronavirus outbreak, we will share this information with NHS Test and Trace.

It also means that we are supporting and encouraging the use of the NHS Test and Trace app which launches on 24th September. From that date onwards anyone who visits Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre and is using the app, will be able to ‘check in’ on arrival by scanning our unique QR code. Please note that you will still need to book with us in advance of your visit. Once you have ‘checked in’, you will be asked to turn your phone to airplane mode to avoid causing interference with the radio astronomy taking place on site.

You can find out more about NHS Test and Trace 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

Is there anything I won't be able to see or do?

We have temporarily closed our Space Pavilion exhibition as we are currently unable to maintain social distancing or the required levels of hygiene in this area, due to the interactive nature of the displays.

We have also closed the Planet Pavilion entrance and therefore the exhibits in this area. Similarly, the interactive screens in the Orrery are currently out of use.

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 our new ‘pop-up’ Gift Shop
  • Complete a range of family activities
  • View the First Light Pavilion 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