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Ashmolean Museum

Last updated: 08 February, 2024

Oxford University’s Ashmolean spreads 3,000 years of history over five floors, with Egyptian rooms to rival the British Museum, a whole floor dedicated to 19th-century and pre-Raphaelite European art, and a unique collection of artefacts from every corner of the world.

Browse through the centuries – from ancient terracotta figures and sculptures from the Near East, statues and sculpture from ancient Greece and Rome, up to more recent ceramics from Delft and intricately-carved Islamic artefacts. There’s a cleverly thought out ‘Spotlight Trail’ that will guide you through the museum, stopping off at 12 highlight objects. Great for adults and kids.

While you’re there 

Once you’ve soaked up as much culture as you can, head up to the roof terrace for afternoon tea overlooking the city’s dreaming spires.

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Fast trains from London Paddington to Oxford take about an hour; the museum is a few minutes’ walk from the station.

Entry is free and you can just turn up, but it’s advised to book tickets in advance to guarantee entry, especially at peak times. If you book an afternoon tea, that includes an entry ticket. Download the Spotlight Trail PDF before you go, or pick one up at the door.

The website has a helpful section on the museum’s greatest treasures – worth a glance before you go (or while you’re there). There are also a number of short videos explaining the stories behind the key artifacts and their behind-the-scenes care.

The Ashmolean restaurant offers full meals, or an excellent afternoon tea. Sandwiches and snacks are available at the ground floor café.  Alternatively, if the weather is good, stroll to the nearby Head of the River pub located on the banks of the Cherwell and with plenty of outside seating.

When to do it

The museum is open all year round, seven days a week.