ASTRON's main headquarters are located in Lhee, near Dwingeloo, the Netherlands.
The Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) is located in Westerbork. Outreach activities about astronomy can be found on the Milky Way path near the Westerbork telescope.
To visit the LOFAR Supercore, please use this route description.
Traveling to Dwingeloo by train
If you arrive by train, you can use the time table of the Dutch trains.
The nearest station to ASTRON is Hoogeveen (or Beilen if you come from the north).
From ‘Schiphol' - to ‘Hoogeveen' of from ‘Hoogeveen' to ‘Schiphol'.
1) Recommended: from/to Schiphol/Hoogeveen by switching trains in ‘Zwolle'. Note that the arrival and departure platforms in Zwolle are not close to each other; however there is sufficient time for the transfer.
Important: make sure you take the ‘Sprinter' train from Zwolle to Groningen; this one makes a stop in Hoogeveen. The Intercity train does not stop in Hoogeveen and then you need to get out in Assen, which is much further away from ASTRON (and get back to Hoogeveen).
2) From/to Schiphol/Hoogeveen by switching trains in ‘Meppel'. You can leave the train in Meppel and usually at the same platform wait for the next train to arrive (either direction Zwolle for Schiphol or direction Groningen for Hoogeveen).
Purchasing train tickets - at ticket machines or in advance via website
At Amsterdam Schiphol airport or any other railway station you should buy a train ticket (ticket has a chip) from the machine. These ticket machines accept creditcards (Visa and Mastercard). Machines accept most debit cards with a Maestro logo.
IMPORTANT: when you go in and out of a train you must check in and out at the machines at the entrance of the train.
In case you want to buy a train ticket in advance, you may want to use https://www.b-europe.com/
This site allows anyone to buy train tickets (on a specific date) for the Dutch railway system using any standard credit card and print out the ticket. Train times match the timetable of the Dutch railways (NS). Print the ticket and bring it with you together with your passport. The Dutch railway company only allows buying e-tickets with a Dutch bankcard - that is why the above website is recommended. With this print ticket it is not necessary (yet) to check in and out.
Taxi from Hoogeveen railway station to ASTRON
From the station, you will either need a "friend" to pick you up or a taxi to take you to the institute. A taxi can be booked by ASTRON (strongly recommended). The price of the taxi ride is € 32,50 from Hoogeveen and from Beilen. If you need a taxi, the secretariat or your host who is dealing with your visit will arrange a taxi for you. The institute reception (phone 0521-595100 during office hours) can also arrange a taxi for you.
The taxi will be waiting for you outside the station: "Taxi Ellerie" is advertised on the taxi. The taxi driver will know the name of the expected guest and have a sign "ASTRON/JIVE" on view in the taxi.
Bus Transfer from Hoogeveen railway station to ASTRON
There is a bus transfer between the train station of Hoogeveen and ASTRON Dwingeloo for employees and visitors. Recently we implemented a booking system for the bus in order to improve the service. As from July 2, 2018 the bus will only be available if there are bookings. Bookings can be made via email@example.com. Please indicate from which direction you arrive (Groningen or Zwolle) and if you have a ticket. Tickets for the bus can be purchased at the reception desk of ASTRON and will cost 5 euros each. The ticket is valid for a one way trip and needs to be handed to the driver. In case you don't have a ticket you can buy it on arrival.
The bus will be available from Monday till Thursday at 9:40 in the morning from the Hoogeveen train station and at 16:30 and 17:30 from ASTRON (Oude Hoogeveensedijk 4, Dwingeloo) to Hoogeveen railway station.
Bookings for the morning transfer should be made the day before at 16:30 ultimately.
If you have any questions please contact the reception.
Arriving at the guesthouse
If you arrive at the guesthouse outside office hours, you will get the phone number of the taxi company so you can contact them in case of a change in your arrival time. Upon arrival at the guesthouse, the taxi driver will accompany you to make sure that you can enter the guesthouse and have access to your room. Then he/she will leave. You will receive instructions on how to enter the guesthouse outside office hours from the secretariat taking care of your visit. More information about the guesthouse and its facilities can be found here or by clicking the ‘accommodation' link.
Traveling to Dwingeloo by car
Exit highway A28 using exit 29 for Spier, Dwingeloo and Wijster. Take direction Dwingeloo. After about 5 kilometers, turn left at the sign 'Lhee 1'. After entering "Lhee" take the second way to the left. Follow this way. The institute is located in the woods, at about a kilometer distance from your last turn. The ASTRON institute is surrounded by a restricted access zone. Visitors are advised to park their cars outside the zone (and walk to our buildings), or to announce their arrival in advance (call the institute reception at 0521-595 100 during office hours) because we'll need to know your car's license number. Failure to follow these procedures may result in a fine.
Traveling by bike
If you arrive by train and want to use a bike to go to the Dwingeloo or Westerbork location, you can use the "Fietsrouteplanner provincie Drenthe" page from the Dutch Cyclists' Union. From the nearest station you can make your own route.
From Beilen station, it is a 12 kilometre bike ride to either Westerbork or Dwingeloo. The trip from the Hoogeveen station to Dwingeloo is about 11km. Both stations of Beilen and Hoogeveen have bike rentals and "ov-fietsen".
Information and regulations for the WSRT area
The Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) is situated close to the village of Hooghalen in the area of the "Voormalig Kamp Westerbork''. From this camp, during the Second World War, people were sent to the concentration camps. From Hooghalen you can follow the signs "Voormalig Kamp Westerbork". From the A28 (motorway) and N381 (nearby main provincial road), the Voormalig Kamp Westerbork is indicated by road signs. It is not recommended to use GPS (SatNav) to go to the WSRT by car, since many systems suggest drivers to take forest tracks with deep mud or sand, and into the restricted access zone.
The Westerbork radio telescope area is a restricted access zone. This is necessary to minimise "interference": electronic disturbances on the very sensitive observations of the sky.
Within this zone, any type of transmission is prohibited. This includes the use of mobile phones (GSM), tablets, walkie-talkies, wireless recorders, etc. These devices must be switched off or set to "airplane" mode.
Within this zone, access by vehicles is restricted. Visitors who are not hosted by ASTRON should park their cars outside the zone and walk or cycle to the telescope. There is a large parking area near the remembrance centre/museum Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork.
Walking: there are two possible routes from the parking lot of the museum Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork.
The first route follows the asphalt road to the main Kamp Westerbork site, from where you can see the telescopes off to the side (in the summer the road is mostly used by a special shuttle bus service from the Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork).
The second route is an educational track through the forest, along the so called "Melkwegpad'' (Milky Way path). The Milky Way path is a scale model of the Solar System. You can find a short explanation for every planet as you discover these small globes in their vast surroundings. The Milky Way path ends at the first dish of the WSRT. From there, you have a nice view of the Radio Telescope dishes. You are NOT allowed to access the telescope terrain. Please turn off your mobile phones and tablets and other electrical devices completely or turn them into airplane mode in order to avoid interference. You may continue to rejoin the main paved road to visit the Kamp Westerbork site.
Transportation: you can also take the transportation organised by the ‘Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork' - see http://kampwesterbork.nl/museum/vervoer-en-bereikbaarheid/
If your visit is hosted by ASTRON or you have prior permission from ASTRON to visit the telescope area, you will receive further information. Please turn off your mobile phones and tablets completely as this will cause interference for the radio telescope array. For more information: email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0521 595776 / 790.
Visiting the WSRT
The Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) is situated close to the village of Hooghalen in the area of the "Voormalig Kamp Westerbork''. From this camp, during the Second World War, people were sent to the concentration camps. From Hooghalen you can follow the signs "Voormalig Kamp Westerbork".
You can park the car at the parking place of the Herinnerings Centrum Kamp Westerbork (address: Oosthalen 8 9414 TG Hooghalen). From there, you can carry on by foot. Please turn off your mobile phone. There are two possible routes. The first follows the asphalt road straight to the telescopes (in the summer it is mostly used by a shuttle bus service). The second is an educational route through the forest, along the so called "Melkwegpad'' (Milky Way path). The Milky Way path is a down-scale model of the solar system. You can find a short explanation for every planet. The scale is 1 to 3.700.000.000, each step you take is 2.5 million kilometres. The Milky Way path ends at the first dish of the WSRT. From there, you have a nice view of 12 of the dishes.
Traveling to Westerbork by train
The Westerbork telescope is located some 30 km from Dwingeloo (near Hooghalen, between Beilen and Assen). If you get there by train the nearest station is Beilen. You must call us ahead of time to arrange transport to Westerbork, a driver from the Observatory will normally meet you at the station. Contact the reception by telephone at 0521-595 100 during office hours.
There is no guest house at the Westerbork facilities. Please contact ASTRON or JIVE to make the proper arrangements.
Traveling to Westerbork by car
How to reach ASTRON Westerbork (address: Schattenberg 1, 9433 TA Zwiggelte): see pdf.
To minimise the possibility of interference in ongoing observations with the radio telescope array, the ASTRON facilities are surrounded by a restricted access zone. Visitors who are not hosted by ASTRON will have to park their cars outside the zone and either walk to the telescope or take the transportation organised by the Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork. If your visit is hosted by ASTRON or you have prior permission from ASTRON, you will receive further information. Please turn off your mobile phone completely as this will cause interference for the radio telescope array.