2023 Venue

This page about Autscape 2023 is of historical interest only. Go to the home page for current information.

On this page

The venue for Autscape 2023 is The Hayes conference centre, Swanwick, Alfreton, Derbyshire.

There will also be an accompanying and parallel online event, on which the presentations from the main Autscape programme will be streamed. More details soon.

(Please do not contact the venue directly! You will find details explaining how to contact Autscape on our contacts page.)

About the venue


All of the main conference halls are accessible for delegates who use mobility aids and feature hearing aid loops. There are a selection of accessible bedrooms and you should indicate when you book if you require one of these rooms or have any other access requirements. Registered support dogs are also permitted. Please inform the registrar if you will be bringing a support dog so we can assign you suitable accommodation.


The Hayes is based around an old country house. Over the years it has been extended numerous times and various meeting rooms and accommodation added.

In the main house, all the bedrooms require steps to access (no lift). This includes all of the single standard (non en-suite rooms). The bathrooms for the standard rooms are similar to those typically found in a house, with a toilet, washbasin and shower or bath in a self-contained lockable room. These bathrooms are gender neutral.

The majority of the bedroom accommodation is similar to Travelodge/Premier inn and spread over 4 floors. There are stairs and lifts to all floors. The majority of the rooms have one double bed. These can be occupied by one or two people. There are also family rooms, twin rooms and fully accessible rooms. The en-suites have either a separate shower cubicle or a shower over the bath. If you need a particular ensuite please let us know when you book.

Please note the fee is per person and not per room.

All rooms have bath and hand towels, complimentary shampoo and shower gel and tea and coffee making facilities. Hair dryers are provided in en-suite rooms.

The Autscape 2023 Menu is now available (updated 30 July 2023).

When you book you will be asked to select a diet from the following:

If you have a restricted or special diet that cannot be catered for under one of the above categories you will need to contact the registrar prior to booking to see if the venue can meet your needs. If the venue cannot meet your needs we will be unable to accept your booking.

Please note:

The venue will be catering for over 300 people. They have lots of experience in devising menus that take into account the above diets.

At Autscape, we understand that food and diets can be an issue for many of our people and they worry that they will not have anything to eat. As a result, the organisers have many years experience negotiating with chefs to provide menus that cover these extra needs. However, we are not paying a la carte prices, and even though a large proportion of the fee goes on catering costs, the budget does not extend to individualised menus. We must keep our requests to a minimum to avoid an increase in fees for everyone.

To help you decide whether you need to ask for a special diet please note the following:

  1. The venue specialise in serving home cooked, fresh food with plenty of fruit and vegetables and healthy options.
  2. There will be plenty of food for everyone and it will not run out.
  3. You do not have to stick to the option you chose when booking. In other words if you chose the vegetarian option but you wanted to select an option that includes fish, you can do. Caterers allow for some variation but it is expected that for the majority of the time you will go with the option you chose.
  4. Along with the set dishes we will always have a selection of food that is plain and un mixed.
  5. The majority of food will be self service so you can take as little or much as you want.
  6. There is no self catering or fridges, microwaves available for participants to use. Meals are not allowed in rooms and only dry snacks can be eaten in rooms. Takeaways are not allowed to be brought on site.

You will also be asked if you have any allergies when booking.

Children and Childcare

Children are welcome at Autscape and crèche is provided during the main programme on Tuesday and Wednesday and until lunchtime on Thursday.

The crèche is provided by Box of Frogs childcare. Craig and his team have been providing the crèche at Autscape for approx 11 years and understand Autscape and its children well.

Our crèche is slightly different from most in that all children under the age of 18 are welcome to attend. From the age of 12 children are able to access any age appropriate activity at Autscape but they remain the responsibility of their parents/carers who must be aware of their whereabouts at all times. Children under the age of 12 must be closely supervised by their parents/carers at all times that they do not attend the crèche.

All children, whether they are neurotypical or neurodivergent, are able to go to the crèche. However, should your child normally require 1:1 support then you will be required to provide it. The crèche team are used to children with different needs and they are usually able to work with the child to provide a good experience. Children do not have to access the crèche as long as they are closely supervised and are not destructive. Often children access the crèche for short periods of time and parents/carers are welcome to stay if they wish.

Many people worry that their children will not be happy in the crèche, especially those who have additional needs and difficulty in most mainstream settings. However, our crèche, just like Autscape itself, is more accommodating than the average place. Some of our young people are disappointed that they are now too old for the crèche.

General info

Parking - there is plenty of parking and some electric chargers at the Lower Lakeside car park.

Wi-Fi - free Wi-Fi is available throughout the venue.

Smoking - smoking and e-cigarettes are not permitted in any of the buildings but there are plenty of outdoor smoking areas.

Bar - a bar is available in the evenings.

Gym - there is a fully equipped gym available for people over the age of 18.

Shop - Autscape will be running its own shop selling merchandise, snacks, toiletries and some essentials.

Further information

Please do not contact the venue directly! You will find details explaining how to contact Autscape on our contacts page.