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Located in the heart of Oxford, this luxury hotel is steps from Oxford Playhouse and Ashmolean Museum. University of Oxford and Exeter College are also within ...
Macdonald Randolph Hotel£109Macdonald Randolph Hotel£109
Situated in the historical district, this hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Abingdon County Hall Museum and within 9 miles (15 km) of Christ Church College and University ...
Oxford Abingdon Hotel£39Oxford Abingdon Hotel£39
Oxfordshire is a county unusually rich in history and cultural traditions, and there are many hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses to choose from when you come here for a visit of any duration. The landscape of rolling hills and winding river valleys makes it popular with outdoors enthusiasts, and culture vultures enjoy the treasures of cities like Oxford. The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments in St. Aldates is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by visitors to the city.
The various collections that pack the museums of Oxford tend to be crammed in, stuffed to the ceiling and quite bewildering when you first encounter them. The Bate Collection is no exception, but there is order to the chaos and curators are on hand to guide you through the musical jungle. When you stroll along to St. Aldates from your Oxfordshire hotel or guesthouse you'll quickly get your bearings and be able to appreciate the incomparable Bate Collection in all its glory.
The Bate Collection consists of over 2000 instruments, although only about 100 of them are on display at any one time, which is more than enough for most visitors. Weird experiments in instrument design down the centuries, and many downright weird creations that resemble organic monstrosities from a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, add zest to a visit!
The Bate staff are extremely helpful and do their best to guide visitors through the maze and hopefully fully appreciate the wonderful collections. The audio guides are especially good at helping you understand what the pieces are supposed to sound like when professionally played, and interactive digital catalogues are also available.
Apart from being slightly off the beaten tourist map of Oxford, the Bate Collection has rather restricted opening times, and many residents of the city are unaware of its existence. When staying at a local Oxfordshire hotel such as the Ethos Hotel or Tower House you really should pay this excellent collection a visit to discover a world of interest in the evolution of musical instruments down the centuries.