Visit Westerbork

Visit Westerbork

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 secretaryobservatory@astron.nl 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.