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Plan Your Visit

Safety & Accessibility

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to The Story Museum from Thursday 6 August. We’ve made some changes to your visit in order to ensure that everyone can have fun whilst staying safe.

What to expect during your visit

Three steps to a safe visit

  • Check what’s on
    We’re opening our Galleries in phases, starting with the Ground Floor. We also have outdoor family storywalks taking place over the summer. Check out the What’s on Section of the website for details of events taking place and sign up for our newsletter to hear when our other Galleries will be opening. You can find more details on the changes we’ve made in each Gallery in the Explore section of our website.
  • 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 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).
Good To Go England

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 is planning a phased reopening. From Thursday 6 August we will be opening our ground floor galleries (Small Worlds and our City of Stories film), as well as our shop and café, for limited numbers of visitors, from Thursday to Saturday. We are planning to open more of our Galleries in the Autumn.
  • What are your opening times?
    For Phase 1 of our reopening, The Story Museum will be open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 – 17:00 from Thursday 6 August.
  • 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.
  • What happens when I arrive?
    We ask visitors to arrive through the large gates on Pembroke Street where a member of our Front of House will be on hand to give you a warm welcome at a safe distance! You'll be able to watch a video about what to expect when you get here very soon.
  • Do I need to print out my ticket?
    One of our Front of House team will be greeting people in the courtyard and checking tickets when you arrive. 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.
  • Will the shop and café be open? Can I pay by cash?
    Our shop and café will be open at the same times as the ground floor galleries. Our café will be operating a take away service and visitors will be able to sit outside in the courtyard. If the weather is wet we will provide an alternative indoor area for visitors. 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.
  • 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?
    During August we will also be offering three weeks of our popular summer skills courses for children aged 8-12. Each course will run for three days with numbers restricted to a maximum of 10 children per group. The courses will use the same approach as the school 'bubble' model so that children and session leaders stay together as a group for the entire course. We are also planning to run some outdoor Family Story Walks and some live storytelling in our external Courtyard in August. Full details are in the What’s on Section of the website.
  • Why aren’t the other Galleries opening?
    The safety of our visitors and staff is our top priority. We are reopening the museum in phases to help limit numbers on site and to allow us to make modifications to the Galleries to improve social distancing and minimise touch points without compromising the overall experience. We plan to reopen the remaining Galleries later in the year.
  • 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 more than 4 tickets 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 in a way to keep family groups together and our City of Stories audio experience will run for individual family groups to minimise social contact. This means that online booking is restricted to 4 tickets but if you are a larger family group or ‘bubble’ and require more than 4 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 and decided on a flat rate of £5 per ticket for all visitors over the age of 1. 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. 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 this summer. 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.
  • 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

Wheelchair and Lift Access
All of our spaces, including our galleries, café and gift and book shop, are fully accessible for wheelchair users. There are three lifts offering access to all floors. During our Phase 1 reopening only the ground floor of the building will be open so the lifts will not be in use.

Accessible toilets
Accessible toilets are located on the ground and first floor of the building, with one space offering changing facilities and a shower.

Guide Dogs
Guide dogs and other assistance dogs are welcome.

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

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