Oxford Culture & history

Our most recommended Oxford Culture & history

London: Full-Day Windsor, Stonehenge, and Oxford Tour

1. London: Full-Day Windsor, Stonehenge, and Oxford Tour

Enjoy a full day of English heritage visiting the exquisite Windsor Castle, captivating Stonehenge, and the beautiful university city of Oxford. On this day trip departing from London, you get the whistle-stop tour of these unique sites with interesting commentary from your guide along the way. Start your day at Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of HM King Charles III. Visit the magnificent State Apartments still used for state occasions and royal receptions (if option selected). Take some time to explore the castle grounds and the 14th century St. George's Chapel, where you can admire one of the most beautiful examples of medieval church architecture in England. Next, go to the standing stones of Stonehenge, still clouded in mystery as an amazing feat of human engineering. Explore the prehistoric stone circle and learn about the theories around its construction (if option selected). Continue to the university city of Oxford, known as "The City of Dreaming Spires." A seat of learning since 1249, it's an idyllic location to explore on a fascinating walking tour.

From London: Windsor, Oxford & Stonehenge Full-Day Trip

2. From London: Windsor, Oxford & Stonehenge Full-Day Trip

Embark on a full-day guided tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford from London. Take the scenic route through the lush English countryside in a comfortable air-conditioned bus. The first stop on this tour is Windsor Castle. With its sweeping landscaped gardens and turreted Round Tower, it is easy to see why the castle is the Queen’s favorite weekend residence. Enjoy a fascinating through-the-keyhole peek at the lavish State Apartments, home to priceless artworks by Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci. You can also visit Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and St George’s Chapel - the final resting place of the monarchs of old, including Henry VIII. The tour then moves on to spectacular Stonehenge. You will never forget your first glimpse of the monolithic rock formation rising up against the skyline of the Salisbury Plain. Theories abound as to Stonehenge’s mysterious origin. Was it intended as a religious temple? An astronomical clock? A Bronze Age burial ground? Make up your own mind as you explore this unique landmark. Your final stop of the day is the charming university town of Oxford. Here you will enjoy a walking tour with free leisure time. Stroll the captivating college courtyards and cobbled lanes of this historic university town. The tour will finish at approximately 07:15 PM in London.

From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

3. From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

Embark on a full-day guided trip to Oxford and Cotswolds from London. See the historic Oxford University, explore the Cotswolds villages, and admire the lush English countryside. Depart London and travel by a luxury Mercedes minibus and spend the morning exploring the beautiful university city of Oxford. Wander amongst the listed buildings and colleges, and climb one of the vantage points for breathtaking views of the spires. Marvel at the Ashmolean Museum's collection before making your way to the quaint Cotswolds villages to see traditional tiny cottages built from stone. Arrive at the village of Burford, the Gateway to the Cotswolds, and lose yourself in this bustling market town. Make the short journey to Bibury and stroll to the famous and fairytale-like Arlington Row. Admire these 14th-century cottages and gain an insight into the history from your guide. After, enjoy the scenic ride back to London.

Oxford: Official University and City Walking Tour

4. Oxford: Official University and City Walking Tour

Explore Oxford, the city of Dreaming Spires, on a walking tour with an expert guide from the city’s tourism board. Be shown the city’s most famous sights, uncover its hidden history, and enjoy all the astonishing stories about Oxford's key characters- real and fictional. Meet your guide at the grand and very old Broad Street (once the city's ditch) let them know where you come from and any special Oxford interests you may have and they will do their best to incorporate those.  Go to Martyrs' Memorial, the scene of terrible religious retributions in medieval times, and on to the oldest tower at St Michael of the Northgate built in Saxon times. Then, make your way to the very heart of the University and the inspiration behind Harry Potter's Hogwarts School. Pass by the pubs where the Inklings used to meet to discuss their writing as well as the pubs where Inspector Morse was filmed and the most popular student drinking holes in days of old. Discover the city that is home to several of Britain's most famous literary characters - both fictional and real - such as JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, Philip Pullman, and Colin Dexter as well as some of their most famous creations like Lyra and Will, and Inspector Morse. Admire Oxford's stupendous architecture, gargoyles and grotesques, so wonderfully preserved from every historical period and style, and take a stroll through the breathtaking Radcliffe Square. Cross the whimsical Bridge of Sighs as it's fondly known, just like the ones in Venice and Cambridge. See the Bodleian Libraries from the outside in the splendid Old Schools Quadrangle. Learn about the city’s famous museums including the Museum of the History of Science, containing Einstein's blackboard, The Pitt Rivers, once home to shrunken heads, and the fabulous Ashmolean, which was one of the very first ever museums in the world. If time allows, walk as far as to the beautiful Christ Church Meadows, where punting happens and cattle graze; a truly pastoral and quintessential English scene.

Oxford Castle and Prison: Guided Tour

5. Oxford Castle and Prison: Guided Tour

Step into 1,000 years of Oxford’s history with a costumed tour guide. Climb the Saxon St. George’s Tower, descend deep underground into the 900-year-old Crypt, explore the Victorian Prison D-Wing and Debtors' Tower, and scale the Mound of the 11th-century Motte-and-Bailey castle. Built in 1071 and only closed in 1996, Oxford Castle & Prison is a site with so many fascinating tales to tell. From the modern day stretching all the way back to the barbaric medieval era. The site has links to the birth of education in Oxford, the famous legends of King Arthur, the valiant escape of Empress Matilda and the infamous modern-day cases of murderers and criminals. For hundreds of years, the site has held both famous and infamous residents, serving time as a religious site, a home for royalty, and a center of justice as the county jail. After your 50-minute tour, you will be led into the exhibition wing where you can explore at your own leisure.

From London: Day Trip to Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton

6. From London: Day Trip to Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton

Visit Oxford and top 'Downton Abbey' filming locations on this guided day trip from London. Start the day with a walking tour of Oxford and its famous university buildings. Continue to the Cotswolds’ village of Bampton. Visit the magnificent Highclere Castle with entry tickets included. Board your bus in London and set out on your tour. Journey in a comfortable bus as you head towards your first stop for the day, the city of Oxford. Here, embark on a guided walking tour of the city, home to one of the world’s oldest universities and packed with architectural highlights. Next up is a visit to Bampton, the filming location and setting for the exterior village scenes in Downton Abbey. See the church, the house of Matthew Crawley's mother, and homes transformed into the post office and various pubs. Head to Highclere Castle, the country seat of the Earls of Carnarvon. The tour of the Castle’s public rooms includes the magnificent main hall, the library, sitting rooms, and other rooms featured in Downton Abbey. Take home a copy of Lady Carnarvon's book as a souvenir of your visit.

From London: Oxford and Cambridge Universities Tour

7. From London: Oxford and Cambridge Universities Tour

Explore the grounds of Oxford and Cambridg on guided walking tours with this full-day trip aboard a comfortable bus from London. Dive into the stories behind these institutions and hear your guide clearly with the provided headsets.  Hop aboard the spacious bus at Victoria Station and relax on the drive across the Chiltern Hills to Oxford, the 'City of Dreaming Spires,' whose hushed courtyards have inspired generations of scholars like Bill Clinton, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien. Begin your guided walking tour and visit the Christ Church college, where Harry Potter scenes were filmed. See the Bodleian Library and the picture-perfect college courtyards for which Oxford is justifiably famous. Get back on the bus for the trip to Cambridge, a living city that has shaped history and today reflects the best of historic and contemporary life. Enter the grounds which inspired figures like Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton,and many of the Monty Python group. Discover the magnificent chapel of Kings College on a guided walking tour. Stroll thorugh a city filled with beautiful buildings and historical quirks, including the famous Bridge of Sighs. Return to Victoria Station in London at the end of your tour. 

London: Oxford, Stratford, Cotswolds, and Warwick Day Trip

8. London: Oxford, Stratford, Cotswolds, and Warwick Day Trip

Make the most of your time in England with a day trip to the English countryside. Enjoy a walking tour of Oxford city and university including entry to the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, witness the scenery of the Cotswolds, enter Warwick Castle, and visit the birthplace of Shakespeare. Walking tour of Oxford Follow in the footsteps of Oxford's famous students, from C.S. Lewis to Bill Clinton, as you stroll the captivating college courtyards and cobbled lanes of this historic university town, on this guided day trip by bus from London. Take in the famous 'dreaming spires' and see the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe. Be captivated by the unspoiled narrow alleys and ancient squares of this naturally beautiful town. Oxford is famous for being home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world – countless bright young things have wandered the town’s cobbled streets over the years! During this guided walking tour you will see the stunning University Church of St Mary the Virgin and furtively discover unspoiled narrow alleyways, ancient squares, and towering spires. Entry to the 13th-century University Church of St Mary the Virgin. Soak in spectacular sights of the unique baroque design and architecture as you explore the center of the University of Oxford. This absolute gem is a must-visit on your trip to Oxford. The Cotswolds Enjoy views of the breathtaking countryside, sleepy villages, and bustling market towns as you drive through the charming scenery of one of England's most beautiful regions. Stratford–upon–Avon  A unique market town, famous as the home of William Shakespeare, arguably the world's greatest writer. Visit the picturesque half-timber house where the legendary bard was born, and gain fascinating insights into his childhood. Shakespeare’s birthplace: See where the famous playwright grew up and spent his years as a married man. Warwick Castle  Be part of Britain’s greatest medieval experience deep in the heart of Warwick Castle. Immerse yourself in battle preparations and feel the weight of a medieval sword. Become a soldier – try on a battle helmet for size. Visit the spectacular State Rooms and feast your eyes on Victorian party preparations. 

London: Windsor, Oxford, and Stonehenge Tour

9. London: Windsor, Oxford, and Stonehenge Tour

Uncover the charms of picturesque Windsor, explore the academic centre of excellence that is Oxford, and marvel at ancient Stonehenge in its majestic grandeur on this full-day tour departing from London. Leave in the morning and drive to Windsor, a place awash with natural beauty. Discover the 17th-century historical monuments that line its cobbled streets. You can also choose the option to visit the home of Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s largest and oldest castle. Later, make your way to Stonehenge, its rocks rising up against the skyline on Salisbury Hill. Was this mysterious site a temple, a clock, or a burial ground? Decide for yourself as you explore the landmark that has had the world stumped for 5,000 years. Finally, head to Oxford for a walking tour. Follow in the footsteps of the city's famous students, from C.S. Lewis to Bill Clinton, as you stroll the captivating courtyards and cobbled lanes of this historic university town. Take in the famous "city of dreaming spires" and see the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe, on your visit. Be captivated by the narrow alleys and ancient squares of this naturally beautiful town.

From London: Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds Day Trip

10. From London: Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds Day Trip

After a morning pick-up in central London, you’ll head to Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Cotswolds on a full-day tour that takes you through English history and beautiful countryside. Visit Shakespeare’s Stratford, take a short walk past the house where Shakespeare was born in the center of town, and then visit Shakespeare's Schoolroom with your tour manager. Afterward, you will have free time to explore Stratford with its rich Tudor and Shakespearean history. Enjoy a drive through the picturesque Cotswolds, an area of astounding natural beauty. Admire the landscapes of beautiful rolling hills and honey-colored stone villages. Weather permitting there will be time for photo stops. Next stop is Oxford for a walking tour with a guide who will show you many points of interest, such as the Sheldonian Theater, Balliol College, Christ Church, and the Museum of Science. Your expected arrival time back in central London is 19:00.

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Frequently asked questions about Oxford

What top attractions are a must-see in Oxford?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Oxford?

The best day trips and excursions from Oxford are:

Burford

Other Sightseeing Options in Oxford

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What people are saying about Oxford

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,353 reviews

Very nice day trip. We had enough time at all the places. Nothing felt rushed. We didn’t go into Windsor but rather walked around the gorgeous little town! Definitely would recommend. Our Tourguide Chrissy was lovely and had lots of interesting stories and facts to tell. Janos our driver was lovely as well. Overall a very nice day!

Great trip. The guide Eileen was knowledgeable, friendly and very funny. You could not ask for a better guide. This trip was a great way to experience some new places and get a feel for something different.

everything was great, the guide was very nice and sweet, the english countryside is beautiful and so worth visiting!

Great tour! Chrissy was a super guide, and we had a great time. Worth it any day!

The guide is good even for non-English native. I enjoyed very much.