Over July and August, the spotlight has been on the University’s cultural institutions during the focus on our sixth way to well-being – Learn and Discover. Despite being off-campus, if you’re looking to broaden your knowledge, learn something new, or even just have a day out, then it’s well worth taking a trip to Jodrell Bank.
You don’t even have to be clued up on astrophysics prior to your trip. Jodrell Bank is a place for everybody to enjoy, whether that be groups of friends, families, those that are enthusiastic about science, or those that simply want to learn something different in a different environment. It offers the opportunity to broaden your knowledge about astrophysics mainly, yet it successfully combines culture, science, history, and heritage, so much so that this year it was made a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Jodrell Bank’s Planet Pavilion is home to a clockwork Orrery, which is the largest of its kind in the world and acts as a working scale model of our solar system. There’s also a Space Pavilion where visitors can listen to the sound of the Big Bang, learn about how scientists use radio telescopes to discover more about what’s going on in space, and also get involved with numerous activities.
As well as this, the iconic Lovell Telescope has resided at Jodrell Bank since 1957, and has been gathering radio waves and monitoring space ever since. It tracked the 1969 moon landing, and spectators even gathered by the telescope to witness the first man on the moon! If the weather permits, you can also take a walk around the Jodrell Bank Gardens, which is a great space to chill out and even take a picnic!
Each year, Jodrell Bank hosts Bluedot – a family friendly festival packed with music, science, and culture. This year, many speakers and exhibitors joined the line-up to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1969 moon landing that Jodrell Bank played a part in. Tickets are already available for the 5th Bluedot in 2020, and judging by the positivity and popularity surrounding this year’s event you should definitely check it out! There’s also more information on events and activities over on the website.
Jodrell Bank might not be near campus, but that doesn’t mean it has to be out of bounds. Driving there is the easiest option, if this is possible, but if not then you can take the train from Piccadilly to Macclesfield or, the smaller but closer station, Goostrey before taking a short taxi ride to Jodrell Bank. It’s definitely worth the trip, whether it’s for a day out with friends or as a trip with your family when they come to visit. Whatever your reason for visiting, it’s the perfect place to learn and discover something new!