Visiting Explore Oxford
Explore Oxford is the only museum exhibition, in a city of world-class museums and heritage offers, telling the story of Oxford and its people.
Explore Oxford presents our city's past and present in two dramatically different spaces:
Explore the past - Walk into City Engineer, William White's office and step back into 1897 when the current Town Hall was first opened. Rummage through William White's desk drawers to find out what the City Engineer at Oxford Council was working on, check out his drawing table and get an insight into how much Oxford has changed since it was founded around 810 AD.
Explore the present - Continue into the modern Oxford Gallery and take a virtual high-speed bike ride. The four bike rides take you north, south, east and west from the Town Hall taking in the city's highlights as well as to places you don't normally get to see, including BMW's MINI plant.
On your journey, you will meet a wealth of Oxford characters who will tell you the story of the city, including:
- Tamesibugus (150 AD) a Roman Potter who worked near modern Headington,
- David and Licoricia (1200s) Jewish residents of Oxford whose house almost certainly stood on the site of the Town Hall,
- John Davenant (1570-1622) Mayor of Oxford and master vintner who ran the Crown Inn on Cornmarket Street,
- Sarah Jane Cooper (1848- 1932) wife and business partner of Frank Cooper – makers of the world-famous Cooper's Oxford Marmalade.
Groups Bookings and Entry Charges
Advance booking is essential for all group visits
The Museum of Oxford has always been a popular destination for groups who are visiting the city to improve their language skills and explore Oxford's history and heritage. The Museum is now located in a much smaller space within Oxford Town Hall and we can only accept groups of 15 or less at any one time. Therefore it is essential to book in advance as we are reliant on volunteers to help run the Museum. Groups may be refused entry if they are not booked in.
Please download our FAQs for International Schools and Language Group Visits
Group booking entry charges
Entry to the Museum is free of charge to all individuals and families, local schools and community groups from Oxfordshire.
There is a small charge for the following group visits and activities; this money helps to cover the cost of producing activities and printing worksheets, as well as helping to sustain gallery resources, interactives and displays.
- International school and language group visits with activity worksheet £1 per student
- Guided tour of Oxford Town Hall £3.50 per person
- Exploration Station Art and Craft activity £1.50 per person
- Trails £1.50 per person
- School workshops / hands-on sessions £3 per person
Please email the learning team for more information firstname.lastname@example.org
Book a Group Visit
If you would like to book a group visit to the Museum, please read the group bookings guidelines and policy below before completing a booking form and returning it to email@example.com:
The Explore Oxford Galleries and the Town Hall Gallery are both open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Last admission 30 minutes before closing. Occasionally the Galleries close for events so we advise visitors to contact us in advance if making a special journey.
Admission to the Museum Galleries is FREE.
A small charge may apply to some activities, special events and guided tours. Organised groups are very welcome to visit but we ask that all groups contact the Museum to book in advance.
Contact Details and Useful Information
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Monday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm. Last admission 30 minutes before closing.
Christmas Opening Times
Explore Oxford and the Gallery will be open during the festive season. Regular hours apply, 10am-5pm Monday to Saturday, with a few exceptions:
Tuesday 24 December 2013 - 11am-3pm
Admission to the Museum Galleries is FREE. A small charge may apply to some activities, special events and guided tours.
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A fully licensed cafe serving a range of food and beverages.
The building also has male, female and disabled toilet facilities, and a baby-changing area.
How to find us
The Museum entrance is on St Aldate's. It is a short walking distance from Gloucester Green coach station and the Oxford Visitor Information Centre, and 10 minutes walk from the train station. Coaches and buses can drop and collect passengers at nearby Oxpens. Car travellers may leave cars all day at the park-and-ride car parks.
Easily accessed from the Town Hall's main entrance on St Aldate's (just down from Carfax Tower).