At the Vale & Downland, you’ll discover so much more than a museum! From fossils to a Formula One racing car, we have objects and stories to fascinate all ages.


Our vibrant and frequently changing programme of exhibitions and events ensures there is always something new to see and do for families and schools.


Whilst you are here you can also enjoy delicious home-made cakes and lunches served in the Café. Our shop also stocks a range of books, gifts, toys and souvenirs.

Welcome to the Vale & Downland Museum

We are open Monday to Saturday 9.30am – 3.45pm & Sunday 1.30pm - 4pm • Last admission to the Galleries is 3.30pm • Admission is free.

The Vale and Downland Museum 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.

The range of services is very broad ranging, from galleries interpreting the cultural heritage of the Vale of White Horse region, to a café with a delightful terrace and garden.

It also acts as a springboard for residents and visitors to enjoy and appreciate the countryside around Wantage.

Admission to the museum galleries is free but we welcome donations. (suggested donation of £2 per adult, £1 per child)

Children's Gallery Trail

Due to the current safety measures we have in place within the museum, we are unable to provide our very popular gallery trail sheets.

If you would like to take part in the gallery trail please download it below, print at home and bring along with you on your next visit… don’t forget to bring a pencil.

Winter Gallery Trail PDF 3.3 MB

Step into the Story Online

We are feeling festive here at the Vale and Downland Museum, so to celebrate, we have taken our popular Step into the Story sessions online! Join us as we share Zoe’s Christmas List, the wonderful picture book by Chloe and Mick Inkpen.

We always end our Step into the Story sessions with a craft activity, and this hasn’t changed with our move online! Use the link below to access a template for your very own Little Bear finger puppet to make and play with at home.

Little Bear Finger Puppet PDF 123.8 KB

Victorian Christmas

Did you know that many of the Christmas traditions we follow today were started by the Victorians? School may be ending for the year, but if you would like to learn at home about how Victorians celebrated Christmas 150 years ago, check out our new video!

For the full lesson experience download these worksheets

A Christmas Feast Worksheet PDF 150.9 KB
A Trendsetting Christmas Tree Worksheet PDF 747.6 KB


We have lots of exciting events taking place at the museum throughout the year.

See below for our upcoming and current events. For a calendar of events, check out our ‘What’s On’ page!

Week of Jan 25th

  • There are no events scheduled during this period.