I have been meaning to visit the Oxordshire Museum in Woodstock for some time, and the kids and I finally got round to it this half term.
It was definitely worth the wait! We really enjoyed ourselves and managed to spend two-and-a-half hours there, including a stop for lunch, which is longer than some much larger museums have detained us in the past.
The building that hosts the museum is beautiful -- a large eighteenth-century house in the heart of the historic market town of Woodstock -- and each gallery or room of the house includes a wall plaque telling you a little about the history and past uses of the room itself.
The museum collection is eclectic, but broadly covers artefacts from, and periods of history pertaining to, Oxfordshire. There are galleries covering dinosaurs, Roman times, the Victorians, wildlife, innovation, the people of Oxfordshire, and more. The artefacts are very well presented, there are hands-on activities, and the theme running through much of the museum is that history is about people and the way they live their lives.
The museum also boasts a spacious and lovely garden (full of spring flowers when we visited) with a terrace where you can sample the food from the cafe on warmer days.
An added bonus when we visited was 'Keeping up Appearances', an exhibition of women's fashion through the two world wars, which told the story of how changing fashions reflected the changing status and lives of women.
I would highly recommend a visit to the Oxfordshire Museum, and if you want to catch 'Keeping up Appearances', make sure you visit before 12 April.