Oxford
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Oxford Culture & History

Oxford: University and City Walking Tour

1. 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.

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Oxford City Twilight Ghost Tour

2. Oxford City Twilight Ghost Tour

Hold on tight for this 75-minute walking tour of Oxford with a difference. The relaxed evening walk explores many of Oxford's back streets and alleyways, in search of some of the city’s legendary spooks. Oxford has many different ghost stories, from tales of heretic bishops to soldiers shot at dawn during the English Civil War. Your guide will bring them all to life, to the extent that you might even believe some of them are true! Stroll around the oldest parts of the city, where the highest abundance of spectral activities are located. See ghostly sites such as the location where the bloody town versus gown riots began. Visit mysterious graveyards, see the mournful Bridge of Sighs, and follow in the footsteps of Dead Man's Walk.

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

3. 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 Queen Elizabeth II. 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.

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From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

4. From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

Depart London and travel by a luxury Mercedes mini-coach to 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, then head towards the quaint Cotswolds villages to see traditional tiny cottages built from stone. Visit the village of Burford, the Gateway to the Cotswolds, and experience the small market town. Stop at another Cotswold village before heading to Bibury, where you will stroll through the famous Arlington Row.

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Oxford: Harry Potter Tour with Divinity School Entry

5. 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. Thus, 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.

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Harry Potter Studio Tour & Oxford Day Tour from London

6. Harry Potter Studio Tour & Oxford Day Tour from London

Join this fantastic full-day excursion from London which combines a trip to the magical Warner Bros Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter with a trip to the historic city of Oxford. 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.

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Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds: Day Trip from London

7. Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds: Day Trip from London

Depart London on a full-day (10-hour) tour that takes you west to experience the beauty of the Cotswolds countryside, and Oxford and Stratford, England’s most romantic cities. Head to Stratford-upon-Avon in the Warwickshire countryside, and enjoy 2 hours in the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Your guide will provide suggestions on the best sites to see. Take a walk around the town center to see beautiful Tudor-style buildings and sites connected with the life of Shakespeare, including the Swan Theatre. Next, your drive will continue through the Cotswolds, as you enjoy views of the lovely landscape and stone villages. A designated area of outstanding natural beauty, this is the English countryside at its finest. Continue to Oxford to explore the most famous university city in the world. Take a walk among the college buildings and admire their dreamy spires. Your guide will recommend a walking route that covers the most famous sites, including the Bridge of Sighs and Christchurch Cathedral. Learn about Oxford’s connection with Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter. Find a great place for a meal (you guide will provide recommendations), or join local scholars and academics over a pint in the city’s most haunted pub. You'll be back in London by around 18.30 and you can use the London Underground to travel quickly to all areas of London.

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Oxford: Official University and City Walking Tour

8. 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.

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Morse, Lewis and Endeavour Walking Tour of Oxford

9. Morse, Lewis and Endeavour Walking Tour of Oxford

Go beyond the dreaming spires of Oxford and explore the university city from a different perspective. Follow in the footsteps of the TV series "Inspector Morse" and its spin-off shows "Lewis" and "Endeavour." Enter the fictional world of the author Colin Dexter and his famous detectives as you visit sites where scenes were filmed in the old city center. Start at the stone monument of the Martyrs' Memorial outside Balliol College, and continue to venues such as the luxury Randolph Hotel and the traditional White Horse pub. Venture down Broad Street, learn about the streets and other places familiar to fans of Morse, and get behind-the-scenes information about how the characters were developed.

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

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Oxford

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,353 reviews

Michiel was an excellent guide, and the tour was both interesting and amusing. Michiel combined just enough Harry Potter and JK Rowling knowledge, information, and trivia alongside some insightful facts about the city of Oxford, the University, architecture, and literature, all of which resulted in a fulfilling 90 min tour. Michiel also added a lot of dry whit to the experience. I would say if you are solely looking for Harry Potter movie insight then this isn’t the tour for you. But for an educational, interesting, funny and informative jaunt into the nature in which Oxford and the world of Harry Potter are intertwined then mischief managed!

Excellent tour. We really enjoyed learning the fascinating history and spooky stories behind some of Oxford’s oldest and most famous sites. Would highly recommend if you’re visiting Oxford and are looking for an alternative way to learn more about this beautiful city!

Darren was a great guide. comfortable journey to and fro, lot of incredible information about the places we visited. really well planned trip and great spots. would highly recommend this trip to all

We really enjoyed our tour around Oxford and also our tour guide Casper was an awesome guy with lots of knowledge about the history of Oxford city and the university.

The tour guide, Robert, was very informative and patient. Overall a pleasant trip, but it's better to plan your visit before arriving in Oxford.