THE first chapter of The Story Museum’s phased reopening revealing its £6 million transformation will begin in August.

Visitors will be able to get their first glimpse of the Oxford museum’s makeover after it closed its doors for two years.

The museum was due to reopen in April, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the grand unveiling was postponed until further notice, and the doors have remained closed to visitors since the lockdown began.

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Now, following Government guidance and with emergency funding from the National Lottery and Arts Council England, The Story Museum will begin a phased reopening this summer.

Oxford Mail:

From Thursday, August 6, visitors will finally be welcomed into the new-look ground floor galleries including the shop and café.

Visitors can see Small Worlds, a story-themed play space specially designed for families and children aged 0-5, as well as ‘City of Stories’, a short film exploring Oxford’s thousand-year literary history.

There will also be live storytelling performances in the outdoor courtyard and guided story walks around the city centre.

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CEO Caroline Jones said she was looking forward to welcoming visitors back at long last.

She said: “Every great story has a twist and for the Story Museum that was being forced to close our doors before we’d even opened them.

"After many months of uncertainty about our future, it feels fantastic to be sharing our plans for a phased re-opening, starting with our ground floor spaces.

“We look forward to welcoming local families as well as nursery groups who we’re sure are ready to come out and play with some familiar story characters in Small Worlds.

Oxford Mail:

“We’ve loved inviting our audiences to use their imaginations through various online activities over the past few months but there’s nothing like the real, sensory and immersive experience visitors will get inside our museum.

“Alongside our other family activities and learning projects for children – including some of those most affected by lockdown – we’re sharing a taste of things to come when The Story Museum can finally fully open later this year.”

The museum plans to have reopened all its galleries by the autumn.

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The galleries will include The Whispering Wood, a mysterious indoor forest tracing the history of oral storytelling, and The Enchanted Library where visitors can step inside iconic scenes inspired by much-loved children’s stories, from emerging through a wardrobe into The Chronicles of Narnia to cutting through into the parallel realms of His Dark Materials.

The museum is also releasing new online digital resources with a collection of stories and audio at

As well as inviting people in, the Story Museum also takes stories into schools and communities with the help of authors, illustrators and performers, and runs courses and workshops.