Oxford University Museum of Natural History & the Pitt Rivers Museum

Oxford University Museum of Natural History & the Pitt Rivers Museum

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Take a Look
The great hall in the Museum of Natural History
Exhibit of different animal skeletons
The Pitt Rivers Museum hall
The T-Rex in the Museum of Natural History
The hall inside the museum of Natural History
Model ships in the museum
Masks
The Museum of Natural History Sign
Full-size boats in the Pitt Rivers Museum
The T-Rex skeleton
Description

You can enter the Pitt Rivers Museum through Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History.
Both of these museums are free to enter; a voluntary donation is asked for.

Our Review

We visited the Natural History Museum in London only last year, and so not having seen photos of Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History, I’m not sure what I was expecting.

Perhaps I was expecting a typical museum, with rows of items in cases. However, after prying open the huge wooden doors at the entrance of the grand building, we were met with a sight that surpassed the famous Kensington’s building’s entrance hall.

The Museum of Natural History is very impressive

Wow!

The hall inside the museum of Natural History

Wow! We weren’t expecting this inside the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

The massive hall, constructed out of stone and metalwork, has a high glass ceiling. Standing on the floor, are full-size creatures, from prehistoric to those found alive today.

Including the iconic Tyranasauraous Rex.

The T-Rex in the Museum of Natural History

What Natural History Museum wouldn’t be without a T-Rex. Getting up close showed just how fierce this dinosaur would have been to face.

We visited on a Saturday in February and the museum was packed. Families were making their own way around, on a guided tour, or children going around completing a booklet of questions and things to find that the museum provides.

There were many exhibits that were casts of specimens, with signs encouraging children to touch and get engaged. However, there were other exhibits within reach that had small signs saying do not touch. This was the one thing that let the museum down, as it was confusing to kids (and us parents!) what could and couldn’t be touched. It wasn’t always obvious.

Exhibit of different animal skeletons

There are lots of exhibits showing the natural world, both past and present. The kids can get hands-on with some.

The Pitt Rivers Museum

Connected to the Oxford University of Natural History is the Pitt Rivers Museum.

Once again, we went through huge wooden doors to reveal another sight we weren’t expecting, and another “Wow”!

The Pitt Rivers Museum hall

This is the hall of the Pitt Rivers Museum. It’s a treasure trove of items from nearly every culture in the world.

It would be easy to imagine the Pitt Rivers Museum as the treasured collections from Indiana Jones. The museum is packed floor to ceiling with items from civilisations all over the world, from ‘death heads’ to clothes and costumes.

Everywhere you looked, that was something else to see.

Unnoticed by us at first was a huge totem pole that spans floor to ceiling. This thing was massive!

Totem Pole in the Pitt Rivers Museum

This totem pole was massive. I never realised they could be this big.

9Expert Score
Verdict

Both of these museums were a pleasant surprise. They're a great place to take the kids.

Value for Money
10
Family Friendly
8
PROS
  • Lots of things for the kids to explore.
  • They won't cost a fortune for you to take your family.
CONS
  • Pushchair access is possible, but it can get a bit congested at times.
  • Parking at the museum is limited.

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Planning your visit
Facilities
Toilets
Pushchair Friendly
Accessible
Cafe

There are lifts to get wheelchairs and pushchairs to the upper floors.
There is a cafe on the first floor of the Museum of Natural History.

Prices

Free admission. Donations are welcome.

How to get here

Here’s where you can find Oxford University Museum of Natural History & the Pitt Rivers Museum.

Directions

There is Pay and Display parking close to the Museum on Mansfield Road, Keble Road and Blackhall Road. View fees and locations.

There are five Park and Ride car parks (on the A40 at Headington; Redbridge, Abingdon Road, near Kennington; Pear Tree Roundabout, Woodstock Road; Water Eaton, Banbury Road, Kidlington; and Seacourt at Botley). The main car park for the city is at the Westgate.


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