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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 08 February, 2024
Expert travel writer: Annabelle Thorpe

Just setting foot into this spectacular museum is an experience; built in 1860, it has a stunning Gothic interior, with 126 columns supporting the striking glass and iron roof.  The space houses over seven million exhibits from the natural world, alongside an archive of over half a million manuscripts.

The Main Court is the place to start exploring, famous for its ‘skeleton parade’, with over a dozen animals exposed down to their bones.  Other highlights include the world’s most complete dodo skeleton, the trilobyte wall and a spectacular collection of gemstones.


Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 6+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The museum is located in the city centre, a 20-minute walk from Oxford Station. The main car park for the city is at the Westgate.

Entry is free, and you don’t need to book tickets in advance. The collection is so vast that it’s definitely worth downloading the visitor guide from the website, so that you can plan what to see. The website also has a handy section on the main highlights – worth a look before you go.

The Eat the Future Café does decent lunches, and on sunny days, coffee and cake from the Horsebox Coffee Co. on the lawn is an al fresco treat.

When to do it

The museum is open all year round, seven days a week. It’s predictably busier in school holidays and weekends.

Destination guides


Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Oxfordshire, United Kingdom (UK)

External view of the beautiful round building, in golden stone, with domed roof

One of Britain’s most beautiful and historic cities, graced by heartstopping architecture and home to the world’s second-oldest university.

The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds, United Kingdom (UK)

Silhouettes of cottages on a misty day. Winters morning in the Cotswold village of Ebrington, Gloucestershire

One of England’s most beautiful regions – a patchwork landscape of idyllic countryside, postcard-perfect villages and cosy historic boutique hotels.