Arts and Culture
Oxfordshire is one of the UK’s most exciting arts and cultural destinations: home to world-renowned museums, libraries and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, internationally celebrated art galleries, theatres and music venues, along with festivals and events that celebrate arts and culture throughout the year from around the world making it a great place to visit all year round.
The county has an unrivalled offer that caters for every taste and activity, from natural history to stately homes, unique collections of art and sites of heritage, classical music, contemporary theatre and visual art, making Oxfordshire an inspirational and unmissable destination for all family members. Oxfordshire has it all!
Feel inspired by Oxfordshire’s diverse offering, our county is bursting with culture and talent and is a welcoming place for everyone, if arts and culture is what you are looking for, for your next holiday or day trip, you won’t be disappointed!
Museums & Libraries
📍 Oxford City
The Story Museum
Where else would you find the Hundred Acre Wood, Narnia and Wonderland under one roof? Whether you’re 2 or 102, there’s something for everyone at The Story Museum in Oxford!
Founded in 1884, the Pitt Rivers Museum offers a wide display of artefacts, such as musical instruments, weapons, masks, textiles, jewellery, many in the original wooden display cabinets.
Museum of Natural History
The award-winning museum is a place of scientific research, collecting and fieldwork, and plays host to a programme of events, exhibitions and activities for the public and school students of all ages.
History of Science Museum
See instruments from the Middle Ages, Einstein’s blackboard and the first cultures of the life-saving antibiotic Penicillin under one roof, in the world’s oldest public purpose-built museum building.
The Ashmolean is Britain’s first public museum. It is home to half a million years of human history and creativity, from ancient Egyptian Mummies to modern art, and much more.
Bodleian Libraries was founded in 1602 and has the largest academic library system in the UK. At the site, you can explore historic spaces that you might recognise from popular movies such as Harry Potter.
The Weston Library offers free, inspiring exhibitions featuring the Bodleian Libraries’ rich collections, a unique gift shop and a lovely café set against the backdrop of the floating book stacks in its atrium.
Museum of Oxford
The Museum of Oxford is the only museum dedicated to telling the story of Oxford and its people. It will reopen later this year and will host new exhibitions, among new spaces for families and school children.
📍 Oxford City
Modern Art Oxford
Modern Art Oxford is one of the UK’s leading contemporary art spaces with a changing programme of acclaimed exhibitions, exciting artist commissions, fun events and creative activities for all ages.
Film Oxford has an international reputation for film and digital media training, community project work and professional production and streaming services. We regularly exhibit work online and in museums and venues across the City.
Fusion Arts is a community arts organisation based in the heart of east Oxford that facilitates creative experiences by connecting diverse communities and artists from across Oxford and beyond.
Sunningwell School of Art
Sunningwell School of Art has been educating people of all ages for almost 50 years. Our burgeoning, creative, artist-led community boasts 22 of Oxfordshire’s professional artists and makers.
Oxford Official Walking Tours
Breath in all the history and heritage that Oxford has to offer on an Oxford Official Walking Tour! Your knowledgeable guide will lead you past Oxford’s most popular sights, cobbled lanes and narrate the history of the city, its most popular inhabitants and show you the places where your favourite TV series and movies, from Harry Potter to Inspector Morse, were filmed.
Music & Concert venues
Music at Oxford
Music at Oxford presents an annual concerts which embraces a wide range of genres to create series of exciting and high-quality performances by bringing internationally renowned musicians to Oxford.
Orchestra of St John’s
The Orchestra of St John’s was founded by John Lubbock in 1967 while still a student at the Royal Academy of Music. Their aim is to bring orchestral music of the highest quality to a wide range of audiences.
Oxford Contemporary Music
OCM works in partnership with arts venues and public spaces to offer memorable and magical live musical experiences and run educational projects for young inspiring musicians and performers.
Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra
Established in 1998 and formerly known as Oxford Philomusica, the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra occupies a unique position within the UK orchestral landscape, thanks to its Music Director.
📍 Oxford City
Old Fire Station
Theatre, comedy, dance, music, visual art and design. The Old Fire Station presents quality art aimed at adults which takes a risk, asks a question and entertains and also offer space for performance and more.
North Wall Arts Centre
The North Wall is an arts centre with a vibrant public programme of theatre, music, comedy, dance, visual & digital arts and family shows. The programme places an emphasis on new and innovative work, offering an alternative to the mainstream.
Oxford Playhouse offers a vibrant programme of in-house produced drama and high-quality touring work, including, dance, music, comedy, spoken word, circus, family work and new writing.
Pegasus is a home for a new generation of creativity. It offers a range of shows for all ages, from dancing and puppetry, to comedy and contemporary theatre with the aim to inspire, perfect for all audiences.
Located in Oxford’s medieval city centre, the Sheldonian Theatre is the principal assembly room of the University, and the regular meeting place of Congregation, the body which controls the University’s affairs.
New Theatre Oxford
Playing host to some of the biggest shows and names, New Theatre Oxford is situated right in the centre of the city. There is always plenty on, from comedy shows to operas, there is something for everyone.
Cornerstone is a, professional arts, culture and entertainment venue in the heart of Didcot, brought to you by South Oxfordshire District Council. The centre offers a programme of live performance, events, exhibitions and outreach work. Cornerstone comprises a 220 seat auditorium, café bar, gallery and four studios, perfect for dance and arts activities, as well as meetings.
The Bicester Festival is an annual celebration of the arts, taking place from 11 – 26 September and offers experiences for all ages and pop-up art events, street performances and a spectacular parade.
Enjoy a summer full of events at the new Broad Meadow on Broad Street; Oxford City Centre’s largest outdoor space containing wildflower meadows, lawns and seating. Grab a drink and enjoy the nice weather!
Oxford Festival of the Arts
Oxford Festival of the Arts is a fortnight of events across the city, which takes place each summer from the third week of June onwards that attracts nationally and internationally renowned performers.
Oxfordshire Artweeks is the UK’s oldest and largest open studios event, a three week celebration of the visual arts which takes place each May in hundreds of venues across the county.
Looking to explore the visual arts? Find venues on Visual Arts Oxford
Oxford’s cultural venues are collaborating on Visual Arts Oxford – a digital map that helps visitors quickly see what’s on and then navigate their way around the city.
Oxford is well known for its historic museums and buildings, but it is also home to some truly amazing contemporary art spaces. Discover a wealth and variety of art in Oxford where there is something for everyone. From permanent collections to temporary exhibitions, as well as workshops, classes and festivals. This Visual Arts Oxford interactive map is here to guide you. The venue details and opening hours are available via a link to each website.