The Best Museums in Oxford for a Rainy Day

With autumn fast approaching and the weather on the down turn, it might be less inviting to take in the natural beauty of Oxfordshire – but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do!

Oxford, just a short distance from Hardwick Parks, is considered one of the centres of learning in the UK. With the first University being established in the city in 1096 it has a reputation for knowledge and information. This being the case it is of no surprise that Oxford is home to some of the best museums in the country – and many of them are free!

Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

The Ashmolean is a traditional sort of museum, featuring art and historical artefacts from around the world. The museum was founded in 1683 and features several world famous exhibitions; ranging from ancient Egyptian mummies to contemporary modern art – with some of the oldest pieces dating back to 8000BC!

Other exhibits include one of the greatest collections of Raphael drawings in existence, the most important collection of Egyptian sculpture and ceramics outside Cairo, Anglo-Saxon treasures, and the foremost collection of modern Chinese paintings in the Western world.

Best of all, the Ashmolean has no entry fee, meaning you can see all of these wonders of history for free!

The Pitt Rivers Museum

Stepping into the Pitt Rivers Museum feels a bit like stepping into the office of an eccentric history professor. This archaeological and anthropological museum is packed to the rafters with strange and unusual findings from all over the world – with many originally donated by Pitt Rivers himself in 1884.

The museum describes some of its displays as being “visible storage” but this controlled mess is part of the charm! These over-filled display cases marked with hand written note cards – many of which written by the museums first curator – give the Pitt Rivers museum a unique atmosphere. An atmosphere only bolstered by the beautiful galleried building in which the museum resides.

Modern Art Oxford

Modern Art Oxford, located in the centre of the city, is a great place to tap into your artistic and experimental streak. This world-renowned modern art gallery was founded 50 years ago and features a wide collection of contemporary and experimental art. If you’re worried that modern art might not be your thing then Modern Art Oxford is free to enter – making it a risk free endeavour! The gallery aims to make this rather challenging type of art accessible and enjoyable by all and by the end of your visit you might just have a whole new appreciation for the weirder side of art!

The Story Museum

The Story Museum is aimed at families with children and those with limitless imaginations! This unique museum aims to create a strange wonderland-like experience and gives you the opportunity to explore atmospheric spaces and create your own story of wizards, witches and wild things that unfolds throughout your visit.

The Story Museum hosts events for all ages: author workshops, family story tours, talks, performances and more.

These are just some of our favourite museums in Oxford, but there’s plenty more to learn, explore and do – no matter the weather! All of these museums are just a short journey from the comfort of Hardwick Parks – making it a great hub for your next Oxfordshire adventure.

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