University of Oxford

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University of Oxford: Our most recommended tours and activities

Oxford: University and City Walking Tour with Alumni Guide

1. Oxford: University and City Walking Tour with Alumni Guide

This Oxford University and city walking tour begins in central Oxford and is designed to show you the world behind the doors. The small group size enables the student guide to give a personalized account of university life. Visit one of the university’s oldest colleges and the Bodleian Library. Learn about the history of the university colleges, including All Souls College, Trinity College, Oriel College, Hertford College and Merton College and also the Radcliffe Camera, the University Church of St. Mary and more. You’ll get an equally in-depth history about the town. Hear about ceremonies at Oxford, famous graduates, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and also how the most powerful Archbishop of Canterbury was burned at the stake in Oxford.

Oxford: University and City Walking Tour

2. Oxford: University and City Walking Tour

Join a university-educated guide, with years of experience and local knowledge of Oxford City and colleges, and explore the dreamy spires of one of the oldest univerities in the world on a 90-minute walking tour. Go inside some of the city’s most historic colleges, such as New College, founded in 1379 and more recently seen in the Harry Potter films and television productions of Inspector Morse and Lewis. Visit Exeter College, founded in 1314, and another favorite on most tours. Stop by Hertford College, with its romantic façade and Bridge of Sighs, instantly recognizable from Brideshead Revisited. See the University Library and learn about the collegiate system unique to Oxford and Cambridge. Discover famous alumni who studied and taught at the university, including the infamous Dr Spooner, whose portraits hang in New College Dining Hall and whose name is given to the playful linguistic phenomenon of spoonerisms.

Oxford Experience Cruise

3. Oxford Experience Cruise

This 50-minute long river cruise takes you on a fascinating stretch of the Thames River, starting with the University Regatta Course and heading towards the quaint Iffley village. This section of the river – referred to by the locals as the Isis – is one of the liveliest, and paints an accurate picture of the bustling river life. As you make your way down the river, you'll see the ancient Folly Bridge, Christchurch College and Meadows, the university rowing houses, and Iffley Lock. The waterways next to you contain rowers, punt boats, and pleasure cruisers, and are equally interesting to watch. During the cruise, your captain will share some history of the river and gladly answer any questions. Your cruising vessel will be one from a fleet of many Edwardian-style river launches. These boats combine the elegant lines and teak interiors of the early 1900s with environmentally-friendly zero-emission technology of today.

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.

City Sightseeing Oxford Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

5. City Sightseeing Oxford Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Home to the oldest University in Britain, Oxford is an architectural marvel. You'll get fantastic views of its honey colored buildings as well as tantalizing glimpses of the hushed courtyards of its many Colleges. Visit the International award winning Oxford Castle Heritage area and you'll travel by the Ashmolean, the Sheldonian, the historic Carfax junction - see this and more on the City Sightseeing tour of Oxford. Your Tour Itinerary Stop 1 - Railway Station Stop 2 - Park End Street Stop 3 - Bus Station Stop 4 - New Road Stop 5 - West Gate  Stop 6 - Speedwell Street Stop 7 - Christ Church Stop 8 - Brasenose College Stop 9 - The Queens College Stop 10 - The Plain Stop 11 - St. Cross Road Stop 12 - South Parks Road Stop 13 - Sheldonian Theatre Stop 14 - Trinity College Stop 15 - Parks Road Stop 16 - Banbury Road Stop 17 - Woodstock Road Stop 18 - Browns Restaurant Stop 19 - Magdalen Street East Stop 20 - Randolph Hotel

Oxford: Harry Potter Tour with Divinity School Entry

6. Oxford: Harry Potter Tour with Divinity School Entry

Follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and other characters from the Harry Potter movies. J.K. Rowling applied to study at Oxford University and so she was familiar with Oxford. When they were producing the films, Rowling walked the producers around Oxford, pointing out various sights which they could use, such as the statue that looks like 'Nearly Headless Nick', and Turf Tavern Lane, which looks like Knockturn Alley. This tour showcases where the Harry Potter movies were filmed in Oxford. It includes entry to 1 film site only via the Divinity School, where they filmed the classroom, dance, and infirmary scenes. You will be passing the city's famous sights and colleges from the outside. You will also be provided with lots of insights about the actors, the producers and about JK Rowling's inspirations. As you walk around, you will take part in a Harry Potter quiz to test your knowledge of the books and films. The guide will also describe how student life in Oxford compares with Hogwarts.

Oxford: Harry Potter Walking Tour Including Christ Church

7. Oxford: Harry Potter Walking Tour Including Christ Church

Meet your Oxford University student guide in central Oxford and head for the Hogwarts' Infirmary, set in one of the halls of the famous Bodleian Library. Imagine the infirmary’s beds in place here, and admire the richly sculpted beasts and biblical carvings that appeared in many of the Harry Potter movies. Next, explore one or two of Oxford’s oldest colleges, delving into the rooms and cloisters that featured as Hogwarts’ gloomy interior. See other filming locations and hear trivia about the characters and movie productions. Test your knowledge of all things Harry Potter with our custom quiz. Along the way, hear about Oxford’s influence in famous children’s literature, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to The Hobbit. Finish with a tour of Christ Church (founded 1524) whose hall was an inspiration and not the actual Dining Hall at Hogwarts. This part of the tour will be a self-guided one with a multimedia guide.

London: Harry Potter Studio Tour and Oxford Day Trip

8. London: Harry Potter Studio Tour and Oxford Day Trip

Join a full-day bus trip from London which combines a trip to the Warner Bros Studio Tour 'The Making of Harry Potter' with a walking tour of Oxford University. Start your tour at the historic city of Oxford, home to England's oldest university. Enjoy a guided walking tour that takes you past famous college buildings, cloisters, quadrangles, and cobblestone squares. See the Bodleian Library, Radcliffe Camera, the Sheldonian Theatre, and selected colleges. Enjoy free time to explore all that Oxford has to offer at your own pace. Continue to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour and begin your magical experience at The Making of Harry Potter. Discover behind-the-scenes secrets and hear about the filmmaking techniques used to make the magic of the Harry Potter films. Visit the most recognizable set features from the films: the Great Hall, Dumbledore’s office, the Gryffindor common room, the Ministry of Magic, 4 Privet Drive, the Weasley kitchen, Hogwarts Express, and Diagon Alley. Board the original Hogwarts Express train and see a recreation of Platform 9-3/4. Explore the interior train carriage set that was featured during filming and take a selfie with a luggage trolley as it disappears through the brick wall.

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

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

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 onto 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.

Oxford: Christ Church Harry Potter Film Locations Tour

10. Oxford: Christ Church Harry Potter Film Locations Tour

Enjoy a 2-hour walking tour introducing the making of Harry Potter in Oxford and a 1-hour entry ticket and audio guided tour inside Christ Church College. See and hear about both Harry Potter and Lewis Carroll’s legendary characters, such as Alice and the Mad Hatter. Book in advance to beat the queues at Christ Church, Oxford's most popular tourist attraction. Admire views onto Christ Church Meadows on the borders of the rivers Cherwell and Isis. See longhorn cattle graze and the dreamy spires of Merton College and Corpus Christi. Access permitting, you will also see inside another Harry Potter film site, the Divinity School at the famous Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe. On any dates when Christ Church may be closed, you can instead visit inside of New College instead, another great Hogwarts film site. On this tour, you will visit 2 of the 3 film sites (where and when access is permitted). While you may visit Divinity School, you will not visit inside the medieval library as it is not open to private guides.  On Saturday mornings, Christ Church Hall is rarely open but the tour runs anyway as the hall is not the actual film site. The film sites were the cloisters and staircase but the hall is one of three Oxford colleges which Warner Bros asked to film at and thus is an inspiration for the Great Hall.

Other Sightseeing Options in University of Oxford

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What people are saying about University of Oxford

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 4,845 reviews

The tour was very informative. Matthew, our guide, was very knowledgeable and generous with his time -- the tour went over time as he had so much to tell and share. I would totally recommend this tour as it gives a detailed introduction to the history of the city.

Tom gave us a memorable tour which was full of historical and current detail about Oxford without being boring. He added some humour which made it relaxing and enjoyable. In fact, I wouldn't mind doing it all again! Well done Tom!

Sally is an excellent guide. With her vast knowledge and her extreme patience and understanding of our mobility problems were very much appreciated by us elderly members of our tour.

The guide (Alice) was super knowledgeable and passionate. Loved this tour!

We loved the tour! Our guide Alastair is a wizard with children ❤️