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University of Oxford Tours

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University of Oxford
The oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of Oxford is the main draw to the riverside town of Oxford. With a history dating back to the 11th century, the university’s many colleges offer a wealth of gorgeous historical architecture—not to mention settings for movies including the Harry Potter series.

The Basics
To get a handle on Oxford’s colorful history, it’s well worth discovering Oxford University with a guide, whether on an Oxford walking tour, an Oxford cycling tour, or a Harry Potter tour. Most find the city merits a full day, but time-pressed travelers may prefer to bundle Oxford into a combo tour. Some popular Oxford University tour packages include Oxford, the Cotswolds, and Stratford-upon-Avon; Oxford, Windsor Castle, and Stonehenge; and, of course, Oxford and Cambridge.

Rather than having a single unified campus, the University of Oxford is made up of a wealth of different colleges and buildings scattered around the city. While many individual entities, such as Christ Church College and the Bodleian Library, charge for admission, there’s no charge for exploring the city or to look at the architecture. Many travelers choose to experience the university simply by wandering around downtown Oxford.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The University of Oxford is a must for history buffs, architecture lovers, and photographers.
  • Students are usually in the city for just three 8-week terms, or less than half the year.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be on your feet a lot.
  • Avoid peering through windows, wandering into stairwells, etc. The colleges are institutions where students and their teachers live and work.
  • Oxford is a flat city, and the University of Oxford has reasonably good disabled access, but check provisions at each individual college or institution when planning your visit.

How to Get There
The University of Oxford is scattered around Oxford, with its epicenter at the heart of the city. Drivers will likely need to leave their vehicle in a park-and-ride outside the city, so it’s generally easiest to arrive by bus or train. Most London trains start from Paddington, while the popular Oxford Tube coach service stops at Shepherd’s Bush, Notting Hill Gate, Marble Arch, and Victoria.

When to Get There
Access to colleges, libraries, theaters, and the like is typically easiest outside of the University of Oxford’s three terms, which run from early October to early December, mid-January to early March, and late April to mid-June. While it’s nice to see the gardens and meadows in bloom, try to avoid visiting Oxford during the European tourist peak of late June, July, and August. September can be a good time to visit.

What to See at Oxford University
The University of Oxford is home to some stunning works of architecture. Christ Church College, a setting for many Harry Potter scenes, is ever-popular; the Bodleian Library, which opened in 1602, is a landmark; the Bridge of Sighs, a century-old skyway, is an Instagram essential; and the Sheldonian Theatre, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, is a signature.

Address: Oxford, England
Admission: Varies
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13 Tours and Activities to Experience University of Oxford

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Oxford University Walking Tour With University Alumni Guide

Oxford University Walking Tour With University Alumni Guide

star-5
Walk the halls of one of the world’s oldest and most famous universities on this walking tour of Oxford University. Get a glimpse of student life as you peek inside the famous Bodleian Library and see landmarks like the University Church of St. Mary, Radcliffe Camera, and Trinity College. Learn about the prestigious university’s famous alumni, hear fascinating stories and anecdotes about its history, and see on-campus locations used in the Harry Potter films.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$25.99
From
$25.99
Taking safety measures

Private Oxford Walking Tour With University Alumni Guide

Private Oxford Walking Tour With University Alumni Guide

star-5
Explore Oxford as you wish with your own guide on this private walking tour. Meet your guide in the heart of the history-steeped city and hear about its famous past and university as you explore the cobbled streets and squares. Use the flexible itinerary to tailor your sightseeing around your interests, visiting highlights such as the Bodleian Library, Christ Church College, and other landmarks as you please. Entrance fees at own expense.
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  • 2 hours
From
$113.31
per group
From
$113.31
per group

Uncomfortable Oxford Walking Tour

Uncomfortable Oxford Walking Tour

star-5
**IN-PERSON TOURS SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE** Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we have ceased in-person tours until further notice. Check out our online tour instead! Learn about the 'uncomfortable' side of Oxford! Our tours are run by students from the university, with the goal of creating more discussions about difficult histories. As historians, we have researched and designed content which encourages engagement with topics which are often uncomfortable to discuss. Participants learn about Oxford's approaches to global debates like: repatriation, reparations, decolonisation, class and gender barriers, and wealth disparity. Uncomfortable Oxford Tours are an intellectually engaging alternative to the general tours of the city. Join us!
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$20.01
per group
From
$20.01
per group

'Inspector Morse,' 'Lewis,' and 'Endeavour' Walking Tour of Oxford

'Inspector Morse,' 'Lewis,' and 'Endeavour' Walking Tour of Oxford

star-5
Follow in the footsteps of Inspector Morse, star of the British TV detective drama that was filmed on the streets of Oxford. With a guide, you’ll see the eminent university city through the eyes of Morse and his sidekick Lewis, visiting filming sites such as pubs and even one of the university colleges. Along the way you’ll learn all about the cast and crew who were involved in the much-loved productions of Inspector Morse, the Lewis spin-off series, and the Endeavour prequel—all filmed in the city.
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$25.34
From
$25.34
Taking safety measures

Private Oxford Walking Tour for the Discerning Traveler

Private Oxford Walking Tour for the Discerning Traveler

star-5
Get the inside scoop on Oxford's storied history on this private walking tour. Through your dedicated guide's informative narration, learn about the evolution of the university and all the achievements that have taken place there. Enjoy a flexible itinerary, personalized attention and plenty of time to ask questions, since this is a private tour for just you and your party.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$129.99
per group
From
$129.99
per group

Oxford Walking and Biking Tour

Oxford Walking and Biking Tour

star-4.5
Discover Oxford’s highlights on foot and two wheels on this walking and bicycle tour. Set out by foot to visit the Bodleian Library, Christ Church, and other colleges as you learn about their history and former luminaries. Then, ride a bike to see the Radcliffe Camera, Magdalen College, places linked to Oxford’s literary heritage, and other sights. Includes entrance fees and bike usage for the rest of the day post-tour.
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  • 3 hours
From
$56.66
From
$56.66

Oxford Bike Tour Including Full Day Bike Rental

Oxford Bike Tour Including Full Day Bike Rental

star-4.5
Explore Oxford’s historic town center and ivy-strewn university buildings on this bike tour. Cycle through the City of Dreaming Spires alongside a guide, and learn about the city’s history as you take in University of Oxford buildings where the likes of Oscar Wilde, J. R. R. Tolkien, and several British prime ministers have studied. This bike tour allows you to cover more ground than you would on a walking tour, as well as access pedestrianized areas inaccessible to tour buses.
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  • 2 hours
From
$35.41
From
$35.41

Oxford Family-Friendly Activities Half-Day Tour

Oxford Family-Friendly Activities Half-Day Tour

Visiting Oxford as a family but short on time? If so, this family-friendly tour captures the essence of the city, packing top sights and activities into a half-day. Join a Thames River cruise or cycle along the riverbanks, enjoy an ‘Alice in Wonderland’-themed picnic lunch or afternoon tea, take a walking tour oriented to children, and visit Christchurch College, a backdrop for many Harry Potter movies. Includes entrance fees and choice of departure times.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$133.33
From
$133.33
Taking safety measures

Public Afternoon Christ Church Harry Potter Film Sites Tour

Public Afternoon Christ Church Harry Potter Film Sites Tour

star-5
This is the essential tour for Harry Potter fans. Spend a day discovering the sites of Oxford associated with the Harry Potter movies. See Christ Church College which inspired the Great Hall of Hogwarts, and learn behind-the-scenes secrets about the Harry Potter actors, and J. K. Rowling.
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$64.98
From
$64.98
Taking safety measures

PUBLIC Morning Christ Church Harry Potter Film Site Tour

PUBLIC Morning Christ Church Harry Potter Film Site Tour

star-5
Fans of fantasy books won’t want to miss this 1.5-hour tour of Christ Church College, the setting and inspiration behind novels such as Alice and Wonderland and Harry Potter. By booking your ticket in advance, you’ll avoid the long lines outside of the prestigious Oxford University building, home to the Bodleian Library and adjoining Divinity School. Visit recognizable filming sites and learn about Lewis Carroll’s time at England’s oldest university.
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$64.98
From
$64.98
Taking safety measures

Walking Tour Combined with River Punting Rowing (2 hours plus)

Walking Tour Combined with River Punting Rowing (2 hours plus)

star-4.5
This fantastic combination tour allows you to see the highlights of Oxford from the land and the water on the same day. You’ll save hours shortlisting the city’s top sites by having a guide to show you around instead. The guided walking tour takes you past top city sites including Oxford University, Harry Potter filming locations, and Christ Church Meadow. A highlight of the tour is a boat trip, where you can choose to row yourself or have a chauffeur to punt for you.
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  • 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$100.00
Price varies by group size
From
$100.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien Walking Tour of Oxford

CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien Walking Tour of Oxford

star-5
All guides are fully qualified - members of The Institute of Tourist Guiding and The Oxford Guide of Tour Guides. Each tour is unique and will be adjusted to take into account any events or closures on the day. We visit inside a college.
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$41.60
From
$41.60
Taking safety measures

Uncomfortable Oxford - Online Tour

Uncomfortable Oxford - Online Tour

star-5
This digital tour transports you to the streets of Oxford from the comfort and safety of your own home. The lovely stone of Oxford colleges come alive in this online experience as you are led by one of our student guides through an interactive map of the city. Each 'stop' will raise conversations about Oxford's imperial history, slave wealth, diversity, and historical memory. Participants will be asked to view the landscape of the city with a critical eye, while learning many of the hidden histories that lie beneath its cobblestones. Stable internet connection required. The tour will require Zoom.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$13.00
From
$13.00

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience University of Oxford ?