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Dinosaur Garden

Home > Oxford > Museums | Kids | Free | Family | Escape the City
by Oxford Explorer (subscribe)
I'm a Mum of two boys living in Oxfordshire, enjoying lots of fun activities and writing about them when I get a chance.
Published May 24th 2013
Dinosaurs Roamed Oxfordshire
Meglosaurus, dinosaur, garden children, toddler, kids, fossil, footprint
The Meglosaurus roamed Oxfordshire

Did you know that 168 million years ago a meglosaurus lived in Oxfordshire? Back in 1997, footprints were discovered at Ardley Quarry and you can see some of them in the Dinosaur Garden.

Step back in time by entering the Dinosaur Garden at the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock. It's set in a small walled garden that was probably once an ornamental knot garden. As you enter you are greeted by a large replica meglosaurus, which would excite any dinosaur crazy youngster. The garden is not large but it's free to visit and makes a lovely visit on a sunny day.

Meglosaurus, dinosaur, garden children, toddler, kids, fossil, footprint
Enter the walled dinosaur garden

There are useful information boards to provide some insights and history. As well as the model meglosarus, you can get really close to the actual footprints that were discovered. Four of the fossilised footprints that were preserved in mud were excavated and are displayed in the garden. It's a great opportunity to see such a rare find.

Meglosaurus, dinosaur, garden children, toddler, kids, fossil, footprint
The fossilised footprints are a rare discovery


Meglosaurus, dinosaur, garden children, toddler, kids, fossil, footprint
Jurassic Garden

The small walled garden has also been planted with Jurassic plants that existed at the time of the dinosaurs. The Monkey Puzzle tree is my favourite.

Meglosaurus, dinosaur, garden children, toddler, kids, fossil, footprint


Meglosaurus, dinosaur, garden children, toddler, kids, fossil, footprint

Outside the Dinosaur Garden you can enjoy the rest of the outdoor space. It makes a calm spot to sit and read the paper or rest in the shade of a tree while your kids burn off some excess energy.

The museum cafe opens onto the garden with a pleasant terrace. Prices are reasonable for Woodstock with simple soups, sandwiches and cakes on offer. I was tempted to try the Banbury Cake. Not nearly as old as the dinosaurs, the Banbury Cake still has a long and exotic history. It's believed to have been created after crusaders brought dried fruit and spices back to England in the thirteenth century. It's no wonder the recipe has stayed popular as it tasted delicious.

Banbury Cake, ancient recipe, crusaders, fruit, spices, history, woodstock
Banbury Cake

The Dinosaur Garden makes a lovely visit with kids on a dry day and great value as there is no entry charge. It's housed in the grounds of the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock. There's no parking directly at the museum but if you're lucky you'll find a space on the street or at the nearby car park. If you're visiting Blenheim Palace, it's a quick walk from the gate.
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Why? A rare opportunity to see a real life dinosaur footprint
When: Tue - Sat 10am to 5pm, Sun 2-5pm. Check website for details as it's sometimes closed on bank holidays
Phone: 01993 811456
Where: Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock, OX20 1SN
Cost: Free
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