The Ashmolean Museum
Main entrance to the Ashmolean Museum
This image comes from Oxford University Images

Visiting museums, libraries & places of interest

The University's four museums - the Ashmolean, Pitt Rivers Museum, Museum of Natural History and History of Science Museum - as well as the public spaces of the Weston Library and the Bodleian Library have re-opened to the public in line with government guidance. The Botanic Garden and Arboretum remain open to visit but pre-booking online is essential before visiting. Please check the venue's own website for further details. University Parks also remains open. For information on further places of interest please see below.

Ashmolean Museum

The Ashmolean is the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology. Founded in 1683, it is Britain’s first public museum and home to half a million years of human history and creativity, from ancient Egyptian mummies to modern art, and much more.

  • Location: Beaumont Street
  • Tel: 01865 278000
  • Open: The Museum is open every day, 10am–5pm
  • Charge: Admission is free but pre-booked tickets are required; special exhibitions are ticketed and a charge may apply
  • Note: Not taking group bookings at the moment
  • Website: Ashmolean Museum

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Oxford University Museum of Natural History holds an internationally-significant collection of natural history specimens and archives in a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture. It is home to a lively programme of research, teaching and events focused on the sciences of the natural environment.

  • Location: Parks Road
  • Tel: 01865 272950
  • Open: The Museum is open daily 10am–5pm
  • Charge: Tickets are free, but booking is essential
  • Note: Groups must book in advance
  • Website: Oxford University Museum of Natural History

History of Science Museum

Visit the History of Science Museum in the world’s oldest surviving purpose-built public museum building. Discover stories of science to spark your curiosity, from Einstein's blackboard and the first life-saving Penicillin cultures to the world's finest collection of ingenious astrolabes.

  • Location: Broad Street
  • Tel: 01865 277293
  • Open: Tuesday-Sunday, noon-5pm
  • Charge: Admission is free
  • Note: Not taking group bookings at the moment
  • Website: History of Science Museum

Pitt Rivers Museum

The Pitt Rivers Museum holds one of the world’s finest collections of anthropology and archaeology, with objects from every continent and from throughout human history.

  • Location: Parks Road (enter via the Oxford University Museum of Natural History)
  • Tel: 01865 613000
  • Open: Monday - Sunday, 10am-5pm
  • Charge: Admission is free but booking is required
  • Note: Groups must book in advance
  • Website: Pitt Rivers Museum

Bate Collection of Musical Instruments

Exhibits in the Bate CollectionExhibits in the Bate Collection
Credit: Bate Collection

The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments celebrates the history and development of the musical instruments of the Western Classical tradition, from the medieval period to present day.

  • Location: Faculty of Music, St Aldate's
  • Tel: 01865 276139
  • Open: Monday to Friday, 2pm-5pm
  • Charge: Admission is free
  • Website: Bate Collection

Bodleian Library & Weston Library

Exterior of the Old Bodleian LibraryView of the Bodleian Libraries

The world-famous Bodleian Library is a must-see cultural destination in the heart of Oxford. It was founded by Sir Thomas Bodley and officially opened in 1602. Since then the Bodleian libraries has now grown to be the largest academic library system in the UK.

The Bodleian Library and the Weston Library across the road are open to visitors daily. The two sites together offer tours (booking recommended), free exhibitions, events, a café, shops and more.

Have you ever wondered what it's like to study in the Bodleian? Tune in and listen to the sounds of Oxford's most famous libraries.

Admission to the Divinity School is free to alumni, Bodleian cardholders and Friends of the Bodleian. Up to four guests will also be admitted free.

Christ Church Picture Gallery

Merton Street entrance to the Picture GalleryMerton Street entrance to the Picture Gallery
Credit: Rob Judges. This image comes from Oxford University Images

Christ Church Picture Gallery houses an important collection of 300 Old Master paintings and almost 2,000 drawings in a purpose-built gallery of considerable architectural interest.

  • Location: Oriel Square
  • Tel: 01865 276172
  • Open: October - June (closed Tuesdays): Mon, Wed - Sat: 10.30 - 13.00 & 14.00 - 17.00, Sun 14.00 - 17.00
    July–September (open every day): Mon–Sat 10:30–17:00, Sun 14:00 – 17:00  
  • Please note that the Gallery is closed on Tuesdays from October to June
  • Charge: Adult: £5, Concession: £3, Free for members of Oxford University and National Art Pass holders. Visitors who have purchased an entrance ticket for Christ Church are entitled to a 50% reduction on the Gallery entrance charge. All groups should book in advance.
  • Website: Christ Church Picture Gallery

Christ Church Meadow

View of Christ Church and Meadows from pathView of Christ Church and Meadows from path
Credit: Rob Judges. This image comes from Oxford University Images

Christ Church Meadow is a large area of tranquil pasture in the heart of the busy city of Oxford, owned and maintained by Christ Church and bordering the rivers Cherwell and Isis. A herd of beautiful Longhorn cattle are maintained by Christ Church on the Meadow and spend most of the year there. The Meadow is open to the public until dusk each day, and provides opportunities for picnics and river walks. It can be entered through the Memorial Garden entrance on St Aldate's, through a gate between Merton College and Corpus Christi on Merton Lane, or through a gate at the eastern end of the Meadow next to the Botanic Gardens. The Longhorn Café (open until 30 Sept) and Christ Church Shop, located in the Visitor Centre in Christ Church Meadow, are open for gifts and delicious takeaway snacks. Find out more.

Website: Christ Church Meadow

Botanic Garden

The Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in Britain, and forms the most compact yet diverse collection of plants in the world.

  • Location: High Street
  • Tel: 01865 286692
  • Open: Daily from 9:00, seasonal closing times, last admission 45 minutes before closing time.
  • Charge: Adult day ticket from £5.45, concession day ticket from £4. Annual season tickets are available. Free to children under 16 (when accompanied by a paying adult), registered disabled visitors and their carers, University and OUP employees, Oxford and Oxford Brookes students (proof of ID required).
  • Website: Botanic Garden

Harcourt Arboretum

Autumnal acers, Harcourt ArboretumAutumnal acers, Harcourt Arboretum
Credit: Botanic Garden. This image comes from Oxford University Images

The Harcourt Arboretum is home to many beautiful trees from all around the World, one of the best bluebell woods in this county and newly restored meadowland. The site comprises 130 acres containing the best collection of trees in Oxfordshire with some of the oldest redwoods in the UK.

  • Location: Nuneham Courtenay
  • Tel: 01865 343501
  • Open: Throughout the year, check website for specific times
  • Charge: Adult day ticket from £5.45, concession day ticket from £4. Annual season ticket £17.95, (concessions £14.30). Free to children in full-time education (when accompanied by a paying adult), registered disabled visitors and their carers, University and OUP employees, Oxford and Oxford Brookes students
  • WebsiteHarcourt Arboretum

University Parks

University Parks in AutumnUniversity Parks in Autumn
Credit: Greg Smolonski. This image comes from Oxford University Images

University Parks consists of around 70 acres (30 hectares) of beautiful parkland, bordering on the River Cherwell, including sports areas, a duck pond and a large collection of plants and trees in landscaped surroundings.

  • Location: Parks Road
  • Tel: 01865 282040
  • Open: 7.45 (closing times vary according to season)
  • Charge: Admission is free 
  • Website: University Parks

Sheldonian Theatre

The Sheldonian TheatreThe Sheldonian Theatre
Credit: Whitaker Studio. This image comes from Oxford University Images

Designed by Christopher Wren, the Sheldonian Theatre is the principal meeting and ceremonial venue of the University. It offers excellent panoramic views over Oxford.

  • Location: Broad Street
  • Tel: 01865 277299
  • Open: Mon-Sat 10.00-13.00 & 14.00-16.00 (15.30 in winter)
  • Charge: Adults £3.50, concessions £2.50. Group rate (15 and over) £2.50 per person. For tour charges see below.
  • Notes: Opening hours may vary when the Theatre is in use for ceremonies, meetings or concerts. Tours run all year (£8/£6 concessions/under 6s free) - for information on availability and to book see the website.
  • Website: Sheldonian Theatre

University Church of St Mary the Virgin

University Church from Radcliffe SquareUniversity Church from Radcliffe Square
Credit: OU

The University's own church has a long and varied history and offers excellent panoramic views of the city. It also has an excellent coffee shop with a garden, which is open daily from 9am to 5.30pm.

  • Location: High Street/Radcliffe Square
  • Tel: 01865 279111
  • Open: Mon-Sat 9.30am-5pm (6pm Jul-Aug), Sun noon-5pm (6pm July-Aug)
  • Charge: No charge for entry to the Church. A charge applies for entry to the tower. You may buy a tower ticket online here.
  • Note: Principal Sunday Service is Eucharist at 10.30am
  • Website: University Church of St Mary the Virgin
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