Vale and Downland Museum

Museums and Galleries

Oxford and Oxfordshire's museums are some of the most famous attractions. They come in all shapes and sizes and ensure all-weather and all year round interest for visitors, especially families. Most have a programme of temporary special exhibitions, tours, lectures and school sessions, as well as 'hands on' and 'family fun' sessions -sometimes by torchlight.


The Ashmolean, the world's first public museum, was re-opened by the Queen following a £61 million refurbishment. With treasures ranging from ancient Greek and Roman statues to Egyptian mummies to Lawrence of Arabia's robes - the collection is too vast to list. The Pitt Rivers Museumwhere treasures range from a witch in a bottle to a totem pole. The University Museum of Natural History famed for having the best-preserved remains of the extinct Dodo.

The Museum of Oxford recreates the life and times of Oxford's townspeople - exciting and violent as they some times were, especially during the English Civil War when Oxford became Britain's Capital and Charles I held his Court - and Parliament here.


Oxford's art collections range from the magnificent Western Art in the Ashmolean Museum, to the Old Masters on display in the Christ Church Picture Gallery. Modern Art Oxford and the O3 Gallery cater for more modern tastes. Almost all the colleges have remarkable collections of portraits of benefactors and alumni.


Oxfordshire's stately homes contain priceless collections of portraits and landscapes, sculpture and objects d'art; Blenheim Palace's collection is without equal.


The award-winning River and Rowing Museum in Henley invites you to row in a trireme while Didcot Railway Centre recreates the golden age of the Great Western Railway.


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