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Plan Your Visit

Safety & Accessibility

What to expect during your visit

Virtual Tour

Take a virtual tour of our spaces before your visit so you can familiarise yourself with the museum and know what to expect.

Take a virtual tour

Three steps to a safe visit

  • Check what’s on

    7 June - 16 July 2021:
    Mondays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays: CLOSED
    Thursdays & Fridays: Small Worlds Gallery, shop & cafe open 09:30-14:00
    Saturdays & Sundays: All Galleries, shop & cafe open 09:30-18:00
    17 July - 5 September 2021 - SUMMER HOLIDAYS

    Daily: All Galleries, shop & cafe open 09:30-18:00.

    Check out the What’s on Section of the website for details of events taking place, including our family story walks and children's skills courses or browse our season brochure.

  • Book in advance
    Your safety is our first priority. In order to help us control numbers on site and to minimise queuing we ask that you book your tickets in advance.
  • Keep your distance and wear a mask
    We have adjusted our Gallery experience to help family groups stay together in their own bubble and keep their distance from other groups. Please follow instructions from our Visitor Services Team, look out for new signage to help you navigate your way around and wear a mask inside our Galleries (children under the age of 11 are not expected to wear a mask). If you are exempt from wearing a mask, please let our Visitors Services Team know when you arrive.
Good To Go England
NHS covid testing

Please note: if you are feeling unwell or experiencing symptoms associated with Coronavirus (Covid-19), or you have been asked to self-isolate, please do not come to The Story Museum.

Details of our refund policy can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When is The Story Museum reopening?
    The Story Museum Galleries will be reopening when Step 3 of the Government Roadmap comes into force. In line with the current anticipated timescale this means that we plan to reopen our Small Worlds Gallery from Thursday 20 May and our main Galleries from Saturday 22 May. However our opening pattern has changed so please check before you visit. Tickets are limited and booking in advance is essential.
  • What are your opening times?
    During term time our main Galleries and City of Stories film experience are only open on Saturdays and Sundays. Our Small Worlds Gallery, shop and cafe are also open on Thursday and Friday mornings. During holiday periods all areas of the Museum are open seven days a week.
  • What steps have you taken to keep your staff and visitors safe?
    We have carried out a full risk assessment of our site
    We have introduced new enhanced cleaning procedures
    We have installed additional hand washing and hand sanitising facilities for our visitors
    We have adapted our Gallery experiences to help family groups maintain social distancing and to limit numbers on site
    We have created interactive story packs for family groups to use during their session which will be thoroughly cleaned after use.
    We have installed screens at payment points in the café and shop
    We have trained our staff in the new safety requirements
    Our ground floor Galleries have an air circulation system that ventilates the spaces with fresh air every 10 minutes.
  • Will I have to wear a mask during my visit?
    Yes, based on the current government guidance on wearing face masks, we will ask you to wear a mask whilst in our shop and in our Gallery spaces. Likewise you will find that some of our Front of House team will be wearing protective visors depending on their roles. Please note that children under the age of 11 are not expected to wear face masks. We ask visitors who are exempt from wearing a mask to let our Visitor Services Team know on arrival.
  • What happens when I arrive?
    We ask visitors to arrive through the large gates on Pembroke Street where a member of our Visitor Services Team will be on hand to give you a warm welcome at a safe distance! At quieter periods you may be asked to enter via the shop where your tickets will be checked. Click here to watch a video about what to expect when you get here.
  • Do I need to print out my ticket?
    One of our Visitor Services Team will be greeting people in the courtyard and checking tickets when you arrive or you will have your ticket checked in the shop at quieter periods. You can either print out your ticket at home or show it on your phone or other handheld device when you arrive. When you have shown your ticket you will be given a Sticket (disposable wristband) to put on.
  • What happens if I miss my timed entry slot?
    In order to maintain social distancing around our site, we have introduced timed tickets for all our experiences. Please aim to arrive at least 10 minutes before the time on your ticket to allow time for ticket checking and cloakroom visits. It is your responsibility to arrive on time - if you miss the entry time on your ticket we will do our best to find an alternative time slot but this may not be possible at busy periods. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for more information.
  • What happens if I'm unwell and can't visit?
    If you find that you are unable to visit because you are unwell or need to self-isolate, as long as you give us a minimum of 24 hours notice before the start time of your ticket, we will credit your account with the value of your tickets so that you can rebook at another time. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for more information.
  • Will the shop and café be open? Can I pay by cash?
    Our shop and café will be open under Step 2 of the Government Roadmap from 13 - 17 April and at weekends from 1 May onwards. From 20 May the shop and cafe will then be open at the same times as our Small Worlds Gallery. Our café will be operating a take away service and visitors will be able to sit outside in the courtyard. Café customers who are not visiting the Museum will be asked to provide their contact details in line with the Government’s track and trace requirements. We are only accepting contactless payment in our shop and café.
  • Will I be able to bring my own food and drink?
    No. We ask visitors not to bring their own food or drink on site.
  • How is the building ventilated?
    Our ground floor Galleries have an air circulation system that ventilates the spaces with fresh air every 10 minutes. We also keeping open doors and windows when possible. As a result, we would advise all our visitors to bring an extra jumper to help keep warm. We have lockers available for a £1 non-refundable fee if you find that you've brought more layers than you need!
  • Will the toilets be open?
    Yes our toilets will be open and we have introduced a new enhanced cleaning regime. There will be signage within the cloakroom area to help visitors maintain social distancing. Our lockers will also be available and take a non-refundable £1 coin.
  • What about other events?
    Full details of our events programme can be found in the What’s on Section of the website, including our outdoor family story walks and after school and weekend skills clubs.
  • Do I have to book in advance?
    Yes, all tickets must be booked in advance via our website or via telephone through the Box Office. In order to maintain social distancing, numbers on site are limited so we have reduced the capacity for our activities. We are asking visitors to book in advance to reduce queuing and minimise contact.
  • Are group visits allowed? Can I meet friends and family at the Museum? Why can’t I book as many tickets as I want on your website?
    In order to help keep our staff and visitors safe during their visit we are asking visitors to stay within their family groups or ‘bubbles’. We have designed our Gallery experiences to minimise social contact between groups.
    Our Small Worlds Gallery experience is designed for groups of up to 4 and our Galleries experience is designed for groups of up to 6. If you are a larger family group or ‘bubble’ and require more tickets then please contact our Box Office and we will be happy to arrange your booking over the phone.
  • Why have some of your ticket prices changed? Why are there no discounts?
    We have reviewed our ticket pricing and our adjusted offer for this period. We aim to keep our ticket prices as affordable as possible and we are confident that this represents good value for money as our Galleries and family events are designed for all ages to enjoy. Under 1s do not need a ticket. We also offer bursary places and reduced price tickets for families taking part in our wider community project work.
  • Will school visits still be happening?
    Our learning team are planning a full range of activity in the Autumn including group visits to the Museum, teacher CPD and continuing our popular outreach work in schools. Please contact them to find out more.
  • What happens if I have a Story Pass?
    All Story Pass holders will still need to book a ticket in advance by contacting the Box Office. Existing Story Passes will also automatically be extended to run throughout 2021.
  • What if I can’t visit the Museum?
    We appreciate that many people may not be able to visit the Museum at the moment. In response we have launched a brand new online story resource 1001 Stories featuring stories from our collection. You may also like to subscribe to our YouTube channel which hosts a range of author interviews and activities.
  • Why am I having problems getting through to anyone on the phone?
    We currently have a reduced staff team working on site which means that it may take us longer to answer questions and there is not always someone available to answer the phone. Please feel free to email the Box Office and leave a name and number so that we can call you back at a convenient time.
  • Where can I park in Oxford?
    Parking in Oxford can be tricky but we appreciate that at the moment Government Guidance is to avoid the use of public transport if possible. Details of City Centre car parks can be found in the ‘Getting here’ section of the website. Both the Redbridge and Seacourt Park and Ride car parks are within a 30 minute walk of the Museum.

    Disabled visitors showing both parts of the Blue Badge may park for free in any of the on-street parking spaces. There are 90 Disabled Parking Bays around Oxford and there is also allocated parking on level 4 of the Westgate car park and at the Park & Ride car parks. For information on where to park when displaying a Blue Badge click here.
  • Where can I leave my bicycle?
    To allow easier social distancing on site we have temporarily removed our bicycle parking on site. The nearest bicycle parking to the Museum is at the end of Pembroke Street nearest to the Westgate Centre.
  • Risk Assessment
    The Story Museum has followed the Government’s guidance on managing the risk of Covid-19 and carried our risk assessments for our employees and visitors. A copy of our Five Steps to Safer Working Together certificate is displayed on site.

Access guidance

Our buggy park is located in the cloakroom on the ground floor. There are also lockers in the cloakroom - you can purchase a £1 token from the shop.

Wheelchair and Lift Access
All of our spaces are accessible for wheelchair users. There are three lifts on site; the lift in the cloakroom requires staff assistance.

Many of our doors are automatic. There is step-free access to the café via the courtyard.

Wheelchair users can use the first row of our performance space during the shows.

Accessible toilets and Baby Changing Facilities
Accessible toilets and baby changing facilities are located on the ground and first floor of the building. The accessible toilet in the cloakroom on the ground floor also has a shower, a height adjustable bench and a ceiling hoist.

Visitors who are deaf or who have a hearing impairment
Induction loops are provided at service counters and in the performance space. The Whispering Wood experience involves listening to stories through headphones. A transcript of the audio is available in the Portal, as you enter the Whispering Wood.

Visitors who are blind or have a visual impairment
There are some spaces in the Museum that are dark or have dim lighting - please contact us or notify a member of staff if you are concerned. The main lift has audio announcements.

Guide Dogs
Assistance dogs are welcome on site.

Carer Admission
Any companion or carer to a disabled visitor will be granted free admission to the museum exhibitions and events.

Food and drink
Food and drink is not permitted in our galleries or museum spaces. Our on site café sells a range of food and drink that caters to different dietary needs including gluten free and vegetarian options.

Places to sit down
Seating is available at various spots throughout the galleries. Please ask a member of staff if you need additional seating.

We are here to help
If you have any particular needs or access issues you would like to discuss with us before your visit, please get in touch.

We are here to help

If you have any particular needs or access issues you would like to discuss with us before your visit, please get in touch.

Get In Touch

Download a Visual Story of The Story Museum