Visitor Information

The Vale and Downland Museum situated in the bustling market town of Wantage, has lots to offer for a fun, interactive family day out.

Nationally acclaimed as an outstanding example of community partnership, the Vale and Downland Museum attracts about 60,000 visitors per year. Offering galleries interpreting the cultural heritage of the Vale of White Horse, an Artist/Craft Exhibition space, a Visitor Information hub, Gift Shop, Garden space, and Cafe.



Normal Opening Times

9.30 am - 4 pm - Monday to Saturday

Galleries open 10.00am, last admission to galleries 3.30pm

Museum Cafe 9.30am - 3.45pm (last food orders 1.50pm)

The museum is closed on Sundays & Bank Holidays.

Special events & pre-booked group/school visits can be arranged outside these hours.


Museum Admission

Entry to the museum is free, but we welcome your donations. The Vale and Downland Museum is a registered charity which relies on donations to keep its doors open.

For current exhibitions check out the Events Page.


Finding Us

Vale & Downland Museum

Church Street, Wantage, Oxfordshire OX12 8BL (01235 771447)

(Signposts directing you to the museum can be found as you approach the town via the A417 and also the A338).

Please note that buses/coaches are not able to drive down Church Street to the Museum, please use the Beacon car park for dropping off & picking up.

For more information on how to find our museum, please see our Visit Us page.



2 hours free parking (ticket required) is available at three Council owned car parks. The closest to the museum being on Portway (OX12 9BU), alternatively Limborough Road (OX12 9AJ) and Mill Street (OX12 9AJ).

All town car parks give easy access to the town centre’s shops and services. Should you be arriving via public transport or using one of the alternative car parks, the museum can be found in Church Street, tucked behind the square and opposite the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul.


Disability Access

The Museum and Visitor Centre comprises a complex of several buildings, most of which are old and not historically designed with access for people with disabilities and Prams in mind. Considerable improvements have been made, enabling the majority of the Museum, garden and services to be accessible to wheelchair users, those with walking and sensory difficulties.  Unfortunately, the Upper Gallery  temporary exhibition space, the library and the Discovery Gallery are not accessible.  However, arrangements can be made for visitors who wish to access the resources in the library.

Additional facilities include a WC for people with disabilities (including baby-changing facilities), a wheelchair for the use of visitors and induction loops on the reception desk and in the auditorium.

The Museum aims to enhance the visitor experience of those with visual or hearing impairment by using a range of interpretation methods in its displays including audio with induction loop (in the auditorium), video, computer interactive displays, and open displays where the objects can be touched. All new displays will be designed with sensory access in mind and will aim to include objects on open display that can be handled.



We welcome Guide, Hearing and Medical Assistance Dogs to all areas of the museum. Pet dogs are restricted from all areas.

Why not combine your visit with that of some of the Area’s other highlights?

Information can be found at the museum’s visitor information desk or at

View our Museum Plan here: Vale & Downland Museum Plan


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