Plan your visit

Opening hours

Daresbury Open Day will take place on Saturday 15th July, 2023.

The site will be open between 10am and 4pm.

What’s happening

When you arrive on site, there will be a host of themed zones for you to discover. Covering science and technology from us here at STFC and our friends on the campus, from UK universities and other STEM organisations – whatever your interest, we have it covered! Click on the zones below for a taste of what to expect.

Coding Zone

Love to code? Never done it but keen to find out more? You will find the coding zone in the Cockcroft Institute building, filled with experts keen to show you more.  

Come and explore: 

  • Scratch coding  
  • Microbit coding  
  • Python coding  
  • Arduino coding  
  • Remote3 robotics  
  • Voice controlled robots 
Computing Zone

The Hartree Centre is the natural home for the Computing Zone.  

Come and explore:  

  • Meet Pepper, our robot!  
  • Beebots interactive 
  • Logic games using Minecraft  
  • Virtual wind tunnel demonstration  
  • Creating music with Sonic Pi   
  • 3D cityscapes and landscapes  
  • Daresbury heat map demonstration  
  • Demonstrations from IBM  
  • Musical fruit 

Plus, much more! 

Engineering Technology Centre

Our Engineering Technology Centre is home to many of the lab’s technicians and engineers, working on large scale, world-wide, projects.  

Come and explore: 

  • Hot Wheels particle accelerator demo  
  • Our monster machines  
  • Meet our apprentices  
  • Vacuum under pressure demonstration  
  • Infrared camera demonstration 
  • Vacuum lab and magnet lab tours  
  • Magnetic toys  
  • Accelerator beam line model 
  • Supersonic ping pong balls! 

Plus, much more! 

Exploring the Nucleus

Take the stairs, or the lift, above our reception to explore the nucleus with us.  

Come and explore:  

  • Have fun with the time slice camera rig  
  • Infrared camera  
  • Discover a cloud chamber and a spark chamber  
  • LEGO nuclear chart 
  • LEGO ISIS Neutron and Muon Source beamline  
  • ISIS Neutron and Muon Source cloud chamber  
  • Nuclear fusion computing activity  

Plus, much more!  

Innovation Centre

Come and explore:  

  • Construction plant simulator  
  • Biofilm blast game  
  • Robotic arm repairs  
  • The glovebox challenge  
  • How to fly a plane  
  • Virtual reality goggles  

Plus, much more! 

Particle Accelerator Zone

One of the biggest zones, there is far too much happening to list it all here! So come and find us in the Particle Accelerator Zone and discover it for yourselves.  

Come and explore:  

  • Take a tour of our onsite particle accelerator, CLARA 
  • Particle accelerator demonstrations  
  • LEGO CERN model 
  • Accelerator radio frequency cavity display  
  • DUNE viewing area 
  • Ecoustic demonstration 
  • 3D printed model of CERN’s ATLAS experiment  
  • Dree for a clean room  
  • Make your own friendship bracelets  

Plus, much more! 

Particles and Light Zone

Come and explore: 

  • LEGO mosaic building with The Brick Consultant 
  • Laser parabola demonstration  
  • Remote handling demonstration  
  • Particle accelerator foot pump activity  
  • Oobleck and nuclear integrity weld demonstration  

Plus, much more! 

Space Zone

Enter through the Particle Accelerator Zone and enjoy an out-of-this-world experience!  

Come and explore:  

  • The giant sun  
  • The glow gallery  
  • James Webb Space Telescope activities and exhibits  
  • Make your own space blanket with the RAL Space experts  
  • Hold a meteorite or lunar rock  
  • Discover the PufferSphere  
  • Crafts with the Square Kilometre Array Observatory  

Plus, much more! 

Super Powered Microscopes

Home to SuperSTEM, the Super Powered Microscopes are all about seeing the unbelivably small. And we mean really small!  Come and explore: 

  • Build a crystal demonstration  
  • Explore the world with microscopes  
  • Scanning electron microscope demonstration  
  • Take a tour  
  • Craft activity  
  • Posters and videos  
Talks and Virtual Tours

Come and join us for 30 minutes talks and tours in the Lecture Theatre.  

No need to book, drop in. All ages welcome. It is a great chance to learn about some of the amazing science – from deep underground at Boulby to a galaxy far, far away!  

11:30am: Discover CERN. With Dr Stewart Martin-Haugh from STFC  

Stewart is a physicist working at STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. He has been associated with CERN and the ATLAS experiment for 15 years. 

12:30pm: The science of Star Wars. With Professor Carsten Welsch, University of Liverpool and the Cockcroft Institute  

Science facts can sometimes be even greater than science fiction! Join Carsten as he delves into the very real world of accelerator science using some very familiar ideas from the popular film franchise.  

1:30pm: Go deep underground to Boulby Underground Laboratory. With Jemima Tranter and Chris Toth from Boulby Underground Laboratory 

Did you know that STFC runs a lab over a kilometre underground in Yorkshire. Chris and Jemima will talk about working below the ground, searching for dark matter and helping to test vehicles destined for Mars! 

2:30pm: The science of Star Wars  

With Professor Carsten Welsch, University of Liverpool and the Cockcroft Institute 

Science facts can sometimes be even greater than science fiction! Join Carsten as he delves into the very real world of accelerator science using some very familiar ideas from the popular film franchise. 

The Wonder Marquee

Step inside! 

We have universities, visitor attractions, businesses and science and technology organisations waiting for you with fun activities and loads to discover.  

The Wonder Marquee is going to be full of science and technology experts who want to share their knowledge in fun ways. There is going to be lots to do, from mask making to archaeology, green screen fun to hyperbolic hats!  

3D Printing Zone

By the canal, the Campus Technology Hub is opening up to you as the 3D printing zone. Think you know about 3D printing? Come and find out more, and discover how we use it to support businesses in the region.  

Come and explore:  

  • 3D printing demonstration 
  • 3D printing in space  
  • Colouring activities  
  • VR demonstrations

Plus, much more!  

Robot parade

Throughout the day, we will have three robot parades, so make sure to look out for them on site!

The parades will be happening at:

11.00-11.30 (by the tower near the welcome marquee)

1.30-2.15 (leaving from the tower)

3.30-4.15 (leaving from the Explore the Nucleus Zone building)

Not only can you watch them, you can join in too! Head over to the Wonder Marquee to make a mask and join their parade!

Lights, Camera, Action with Blackmagic Design

Based in V1, one of the newest buildings on campus, Blackmagic Design are industry leaders in creating video production technology.  

They are turning their space into a video production studio for the day, so budding film makers, streamers and movie fans should put this on their agenda!

Come and explore:  

  • An interactive tour of a professional production studio  
  • Get hands on with Hollywood technology  

At the top of Innovation Way, next to the bus drop off point, this is the ideal spot to start or end your visit.  

Book your visit

Please note that tickets have sold out. Check the website for returns:

Open Day Map

Download the open day map (pdf)

Be prepared!

Head to the welcome marquee to get checked in and start your day. Make sure you have the QR code on your ticket ready for scanning. You can have this on your phone or tablet, or you can print them off.  

Check the weather and bring a raincoat / sunscreen / sun hat depending on the forecast.  

We have water points across the site, so bring your refillable bottles and cups and stay hydrated.  

Food and drink

A variety of food and drink will be available to purchase on-site during the event. You are also welcome to bring your own picnic. Please note that food and drink shouldn’t be consumed within our indoor spaces. If you are unsure, please ask a member of staff.

Site wifi

If you require WiFi access on the day, you can connect for free to the GovWifi network: 

  • text ‘Go’ to 07537 417 417 
  • You will get a username and password. Do not share your details with anyone else 
  • If you have any problems signing up, you can get help connecting 

By connecting to GovWifi, you accept the privacy notice and terms and conditions of the network.  


For your protection, we have put in place several safety and security measures. We kindly ask that you refrain from bringing anything that is either illegal to have in your possession or may be considered to be a risk to use on-site, such as BBQs and drones.  

To help us to maintain a safe and secure environment, we will be conducting security screenings for bags larger than 56 x 45 x 25 cm (22 x 18 x 10in). Thank you for your cooperation in making this event a safe and enjoyable experience for all. 

Please note that pets are not allowed on site – trained service animals only.