History of Science Museum Tours
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Set in the elegant 17th-century building that held the original Ashmolean Museum, the History of Science Museum (previously known as the Museum of the History of Science) is a treasure trove of scientific wonders. From Einstein’s equations to Marconi’s radio transmitter, by way of astrolabes and penicillin, it’s endlessly fascinating.
Like most British museums, the History of Science Museum is free to enter, but a donation is suggested. In-house guides operate free tours two days per week, while private tours for groups of up to 15 people can be arranged for a charge. Most travelers visit independently, as part of their explorations of downtown Oxford, although a handful of walking tours stop to admire the exterior, and it’s also possible to arrange a visit here on a private custom tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The History of Science Museum is a must for science fans and aspiring scientists of all ages.
- British museums are free but need support. Do donate if you can.
- Only the basement gallery of the museum has wheelchair access.
How to Get There
The History of Science Museum is located in central Oxford, almost opposite the Bodleian Library. Most travelers explore downtown Oxford on foot, or occasionally by bike, and it’s typically easiest to arrive by bus or train. Most London trains start from Paddington, while the popular Oxford Tube coach service stops at Shepherd’s Bush, Notting Hill Gate, Marble Arch, and Victoria. Drivers usually leave their vehicles in park-and-ride zones outside the city.
When to Get There
The History of Science Museum is open in the afternoons, from Tuesday to Sunday, with free museum tours at lunchtime Saturday and early on Thursday afternoons. It is at its busiest on weekends and the English school holidays, particularly the long summer holiday, but also Christmas, Easter, and half-terms (the midterm breaks).
The Story of the History of Science Museum
First opened in 1683 to house the Ashmolean Museum, the building that holds the History of Science Museum is probably the world’s oldest surviving purpose-built museum building. It’s known as the Old Ashmolean. The History of Science Museum itself only came into being in 1924, when the scientific-instrument collector Lewis Evans donated his collection to the University of Oxford. Today, its collection runs to over 20,000 items.
Address: Broad St, Oxford, United Kingdom OX1 3AZ, England
5 Tours and Activities to Experience History of Science Museum
Designed to see the best of Oxford in a safe environment with the smallest group sizing we have ever done. With this specialised tour we take important measure to protect your health, and those around you. All our Oxford University student guides wear medical masks. In addition to this, group sizing is inline with Social Distancing Rules (currently 5 people per group). Furthermore, all guides must submit their temperature before providing the tour. This tour has all the most famous sites in Oxford, with our unique guides providing a fun and entertaining insight into one of the most important cities in the world. See the world-famous sites such as the Bodleian Library and Christ Church – both of which were Harry Potter film sites! Get the inside story on Oxford ceremonies, student life, college rivalries and much, much more!
Are you an early bird? Do you like to explore new places early in the morning, before the mob have had their breakfast? Well, this is the tour for you. For this private tour, we'll meet at 07:30 and have the city entirely to ourselves. The city of Oxford is commonly considered as being divided into two groups: the Town (local residents) and the Gown (students of the University). While I am certainly a ‘townie’, both my girlfriend and sister are studying doctorates at the University of Oxford. This gives me a unique perspective on both sides of the community and the city, and I will share it with you in a tour so entertaining and memorable that you will wish you lived here - or your money back! We’ll cover as much as we can in 90 minutes. If you wish to continue the tour, I’m happy to discuss extending it where possible. Please note that entry fees are not included, though they are not necessary for a fantastic tour.
100% of your booking fee will be donated to two Oxfordshire-based charities, supporting vulnerable individuals facing homelessness and addiction in the city. The city of Oxford is commonly considered as being divided into two groups: the Town (local residents) and the Gown (students of the University). While I am certainly a ‘townie’, both my girlfriend and sister are studying doctorates at the University of Oxford. This gives me a unique perspective on both sides of the community and the city, and I will share it with you in a tour so entertaining and memorable that you will wish you lived here, or your money back! We’ll cover as much as we can in 90 minutes. If you wish to continue the tour, I’m happy to discuss extending it where possible. Please note that entry fees are not included, though they are not necessary for a fantastic tour.
Building upon the success of our 2-hour tour, this extended 3-hour version now includes entry into one of the oldest colleges at Oxford University. It also incorporates visiting the world-famous Bodleian Library, one of the best examples of Medieval architecture in Europe, and a Harry Potter film site. As always, this is done uniquely with our Oxford University student guides.
Price varies by group size
Price varies by group size
See Oxford in one day with this small group, sight-packed, full-day tour with an authentic Oxford student to give you the inside scoop, along with the little known facts and locations off the beaten path! See inside the oldest Colleges in Oxford, including the largest in Oxford - complete with its own deer park. Break for a pub lunch, before entering the most historic part of England's most iconic library, which makes a regular appearance in Hollywood films. For entrance into a famous Harry Potter college, upgrade to include a ticket for Christ Church.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience History of Science Museum?
The best ways to experience History of Science Museum are:
- Social Distancing Specialised Oxford University Walking Tour With Student Guides
- Spencer's Early Morning Tour of Oxford (Private)
- Spencer’s Tour for Oxford (Private, all proceeds to Oxford charities)
- 3-Hour Private Tour of Oxford With University Alumni Guide
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