New blog post! September: Oxford Open Doors

With clear blue skies, and without the crowds, Oxford Open Doors 2020 was a great success. Over the weekend of 12 and 13 September, OPT were delighted to put on a range of events – from the virtual, through to self-guided walks, and some real booked activities. Everything was carefully planned so that everyone could be suitably distanced and safe.

The challenges that this year posed were the very inspiration for us to try something new. With the support of our wonderful partners, the University and the Colleges, and from Historic England, we were able to bring together a programme of over 30 virtual tours, talks, exhibitions and concerts.

Visitors to this website could take a peek inside Trinity College, explore the Bodleian’s collections, hear about archaeology in the City, discover archive footage of the Swingbridge turning, attend a concert at the Sheldonian Theatre, and so much more! And all these online events allowed us to engage a younger and more diverse audience than ever before.

We were also thrilled by the success of our self-guided Green Spaces and Hidden Heritage walks and family activities. With thanks to our NHS partners at the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare and others, we were able to connect Oxford’s communities with parks, meadows, and woodlands in their local area. Due to recent changes in COVID-19 guidance, we have decided to keep these available for your continued enjoyment – download your walk here!

Thanks also go to the Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum, Christ Church, Magdalen College, Lady Margaret Hall, and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, who worked with us to pre-book and still open their gardens safely.

Oxford Open Doors has always been a free event but like for everyone life has been tougher this year. We do not know if we will be able to bring back Oxford Open Doors as before, but we will take lots of positives from this year’s event which we can use for the future.


Image: Copyright Louise Long