Planning your visit - your questions answered

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We've made a few changes to help you feel relaxed and safe during your visit.
Here's what you need to know when you're planning your visit.

We're still open online while our doors are temporarily closed.

Join us for an online event or explore our virtual exhibitions and galleries

 

Changes at a glance

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You need to book a free ticket and a timeslot to visit the Museum

Entry is by ticket only. Booking is essential. Please arrive at the time on your ticket — we may not be able to accommodate late arrivals.

Book your timed entry ticket here.

Visitors aged 11+ are required by law to wear a face covering in museums and galleries in England.

Keep a 2-metre distance from any visitors who are not part of your household or social bubble.

We're limiting the number of visitors in the Museum so you'll have space to relax and enjoy our ingenious objects.

We're asking everyone to look out for each other and be considerate of visitors and staff.

We've put hand-sanitiser stations throughout the Museum which you can use as often as you wish.

Please sanitise your hands when you enter the Museum, and before you go down to the stairs to the Basement Gallery.

You'll come in to the Entrance Gallery through the Sheldonian Yard (there will be signs on Broad Street to direct you).

There's signage throughout the Museum to help you explore and find your way around.

Above all — relax and enjoy your visit.

And just ask one of the Museum staff if you need us — we're here to help.

We've moved our Shop to the Basement Gallery.

 

If you feel unwell — particularly if you experience any symptoms of COVID-19 — please postpone your visit.

It's easy to book another ticket when you're feeling better.

Book your timed ticket online

Your visit

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Limiting numbers with timed and ticketed entries. The Museum has introduced a ticketing system to limit the number of visitors and meet social distancing guidelines.

Ticket checking and queuing system. We will scan pre-booked tickets when you enter through the Sheldonian Yard, before you come into the Museum. We have a queuing system in place to help visitors keep 2m apart.

One-way routes. Enter through the Sheldonian Yard. There are direction signs on Broad Street showing you the way. There's signage throughout the Museum to help you explore and find your way around. Above all, relax and enjoy your visit. And just ask one of the Museum staff if you need us — we're here to help.

Face coverings. You'll notice our members of staff wearing face coverings as you enter. All visitors aged 11+ are required to wear a face covering in the Museum. You'll see plexiglass screens at our tills and information points.

Enhanced cleaning. Hand sanitiser stations are available for you to use throughout the Museum, and we've introduced an enhanced cleaning regime to help keep you safe.

Yes. Everyone is required to wear a face covering, by law, in museums and galleries in England.

We're asking visitors to wear a face covering throughout their visit where possible.

There are several reasons in line with Access and Equality that may mean individuals cannot wear face coverings.

You are exempt from wearning a face-covering if, for example, you

  • are a child under the age of 11
     
  • have a physical, neurological, mental or emotional condition that means you cannot put on, wear, or remove a face covering
     
  • know putting on, wearing, or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress
     
  • are travelling with  or providing assistance to  someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
     
  • are asked to remove your face covering by a member of staff
     
  • require First Aid assistance or need to signal for urgent assistance from staff
     
  • need a member of staff to remove their face covering to talk to you, for example to lip read. Please ask and we'll be happy to help.

You'll come in to the Entrance Gallery through the Sheldonian Yard (there will be signs on Broad Street to direct you).

There's signage throughout the Museum to help you explore and find your way around.

Above all — relax and enjoy your visit.

And just ask one of the Museum staff if you need us — we're here to help.

Your ticket will give you entry to:

  • Entrance Gallery
     
  • Basement Gallery and shop
     
  • Exhibition: Precious and Rare: Islamic Metalwork from The Courtauld - Cultures in Conversation

The exhibition is in the Entrance Gallery and entry is free with your ticket. 

We have closed the Top Gallery for safety reasons.

There are no public toilets available in the Museum.

Cloakroom facilities are not available and we're asking visitors not to bring bulky bags, e.g. luggage or shopping, with them during their visit.

Yes.

We've moved the Shop down to the Basement Gallery.

We're asking visitors to maintain social distancing when you're in the Shop, and when you're queuing.

We're not selling food and drink in the Museum.

We're also asking visitors not to bring food or drink with them (with the exception of bottled water).

For the safety of our visitors and staff, we're not running guided talks and tours at present.

We do not offer a public lift.

If you have a mobility impairment and require level access, please book a dedicated ticket and our staff will arrange access for you via our Museum lift to our Basement Gallery.

Only two people who are members of the same household or social bubble may use the lift at one time.

We're unable to offer storage for buggies and the lift can only be used by visitors with impaired mobility needing level access.

Visitors with buggies would need to carry them up the stairs at the Entrance and down the stairs to the Basement Gallery.

Yes.

Only assistance dogs can accompany their owners in the Museum — no other pets or animals are allowed.

We'd love you to take photographs to remind you of your visit.

No flash photography is allowed inside the Museum.

Ticketing information

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You can plan your visit and book your free, timed ticket on our Plan your visit page.

It's easy to book your free ticket using the online booking system.

Yes.

Who needs to book: All visitors need to book a free, timed ticket in advance to help us manage the numbers of visitors and allow for social distancing.

Free tickets: Tickets are free, and there is no booking fee: you can choose to make a donation to the Museum when you book.

Choose your day: You can book tickets in advance — or on the day of your visit if there are still tickets available.

Choose your time: Opening hours are 12-5pm, Tuesday to Sunday. We're closed on Monday. Last admission is 4pm (one hour before closing).

Arrival times: Entry times are every 30 minutes, and will be available from 12pm until 4pm (1 hour before the Museum closes at 5pm). To avoid disappointment, please arrive at the entry time on your ticket.

Your free ticket will give you entry to:

  • Entrance Gallery
     
  • Basement Gallery and shop
     
  • Exhibition: Precious and Rare: Islamic Metalwork from The Courtauld - Cultures in Conversation

The exhibition is in the Entrance Gallery and entry is included with your free ticket. 

We have closed the Top Gallery for safety reasons.

Yes.

Our new exhibition — Precious and Rare: Islamic Metalwork from The Courtauld - Cultures in Conversation — is in the Entrance Gallery.

There's no charge for entry — it's included in your free ticket. 

Yes.

We will scan all tickets when you enter the Museum.

When you book online, we'll send you an e-ticket attachment with your confirmation email.

You'll need to either:

  • show the ticket on your phone or device
     
  • bring a printed ticket with you.

We may not be able to let you in to the Museum without a ticket. 

Please arrive promptly at the entry time stated on your ticket. 

Unfortunately, as we need to limit numbers of visitors in the Museum, we cannot guarantee to allow you into the Museum if you arrive after your allotted entry time.

Tickets are not time-limited; you can stay in the Museum for as long as you wish until closing time (5pm).

It is possible to book advance tickets online on the day, if tickets are still available. 

However, for safety reasons we're not able to accommodate visitors who arrive at the Museum without having booked a ticket in advance.

At the moment, we're not taking group bookings — even provisional ones  for any group visits (including schools).

We're keeping this policy under constant review and we'll amend it as circumstances and government advice — change around social distancing.

We look forward to welcoming back groups to visit us as soon as we can.

Yes.

Every individual visitor to the Museum must book a free, timed ticket.

Booking is essential.

With your permission, the History of Science Museum is collecting information that will help support the government’s Test and Trace programme. 

All of this information — along with any information that we would usually gather during the booking process — is collected and used in line with GDPR.

You can read our Privacy Policy at https://www.glam.ox.ac.uk/privacy-policy-ticketing.