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
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.
Music & Concerts
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 show you the places where your favourite TV series and movies, from Harry Potter to Inspector Morse, were filmed.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
Oxford Festival of the Arts
Oxford Festival of the Arts is a fortnight of events across the city, which attracts nationally and internationally renowned performers and artists each summer from the third week of June onwards.
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.