Vale and Downland Museum

Vale & Downland Museum with Sir John Betjeman Bust
baby changing facilities icon Food icon Shop icon Library icon Study area icon Hearing disability facilities icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

The Vale and Downland Museum and Visitor Centre
is located in the busy market town of Wantage in Oxfordshire, UK. The museum has been nationally acclaimed as an outstanding example of community partnership. It was runner up in Tourism South East's small visitor attraction awards for 2004. The range of services is very broad, ranging from galleries interpreting the cultural heritage Vale of the White Horse region, to a cafe with a delightful terrace and garden. It also acts as a springboard for residents and visitors to enjoy and appreciate the countryside around Wantage.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Mon-Sat 09.30-16.00
Closed on Bank Holidays and Sundays except for private bookings.

Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays
except for occasional special events and private bookings

Admission charges

Entry to the Museum is Free for all ages.
Donations welcomed

Additional info

Public car park at the Beacon (formally The Civic Hall) Free parking for 2 hours, about 5 minutes walk away. Buses from Oxford and other nearby towns and villages stop in the Market Place, about 3 minutes walk away. Museum is signed from car park and Market Place via finger-posts.
The Museum has another site, Lains Barn, at Ardington, just outside Wantage. This is used for functions, including civil weddings and receptions.

Archaeology, social history, interactive relief map of the hinterland, specially produced films on the area narrated by David Attenborough, Wantage Tramway exhibit, rural arts and crafts, tanning and cloth making exhibits, agricultural machinery, Dean Butler and the Oxford Movement, Williams F1 racing car, discovery gallery for children.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Land Transport, Religion, Science and Technology, Social History, Trade and Commerce, Weapons and War

Vale and Downland Museum
The Old Surgery
Church Street
OX12 8BL

logo: Heritage Open Days 2014



General Queries

Tourist Information


Business & Faciillities Manager


General enquiries and administration

01235 771447

Tourist information

01235 760176

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.