Welcome to Oxford & the Cotswolds

Although the roads are busy in summer, it's easy to escape the tourist trail. The golden-hued Cotswolds work their finest magic when you find your own romantic hideaway. Splendid country houses lie tucked away throughout Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, while Windsor boasts the world’s largest castle. Further west, the Forest of Dean offers the promise of outdoor adventure.

While individual destinations can be seen on easy day trips from London, both Oxford and the Cotswolds deserve several leisurely days.

Top experiences in Oxford & the Cotswolds

Travel guides

Starting at $32.49

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Oxford & the Cotswolds activities

$19.67 Cultural & Theme Tours

Oxford University Walking Tour with Bodleian Library and Entry

This 2-hour Oxford University walking tour, starting in central Oxford at 2pm (departures at 11am and 2pm on weekends), is designed to show you the world behind the doors. Using Oxford University students as your guide, the walking tour unearths the drama behind this historic institution with a unique style. Small intimate groups enable the guides to concentrate on more diverse aspects of University life and you to ask more from them. Go inside one of oldest College of the University, as well as the Bodleian Library, experience a taste student life. Get an in-depth history of the University colleges, including All Souls College, Trinity College, Oriel College, Hertford College, Merton College, Radcliffe Camera, University Church of St Mary and many more University sights.Also get an equally in-depth history of the town. Learn about ceremonies at Oxford, famous graduates, and their little known experiences at Oxford, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland and also the famous "finishing story" which details how the most powerful Archbishop of Canterbury England has ever seen, came to be burnt at the stake in Oxford!

$20.34 Tours & Sightseeing

City Sightseeing Oxford Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Hop aboard your City Sightseeing open-air bus from any of the 20 routed stops that are conveniently situated around the city. Take a seat inside or on the open-air top deck, then sit back and relax as you ride through Oxford, home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world. With your 24or 48-hour ticket, choose to stay on the bus for the entire loop, or hop on and off at any of the stops to explore the city’s sights. As you travel, plug into the informative audio commentary and admire the timeworn, honey-colored buildings. Perhaps hop off at the New Road stop to visit Oxford Castle. Learn how the medieval Norman castle was mostly destroyed during the English Civil War, with the remaining buildings then being transformed in to a prison. After, maybe stop at Christ Church College, one of the largest colleges in the University of Oxford. Admire its grand façade then, if it’s open to the public at your time of visiting, head inside to discover its fascinating history. Learn about the many distinguished people who have studied here — including Albert Einstein and Lewis Carroll — and see the Great Hall, which has been featured in several of the Harry Potter movies. Next, perhaps visit Sheldonian Theatre, which was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in the 17th century. This historical venue serves as the university’s official ceremonial hall, but it is open to the public when not in use. Choose to visit independently or join in with a guided tour, then head inside to explore the main theater. Gaze up at the majestic ceiling that was painted during the reign of King Charles II. Then, explore the attic before taking in 360-degree panoramic views of Oxford from the Cupola. The full loop lasts around one hour, and buses arrive at each stop every 10-15 or 25-30 minutes, depending on the season.  The tour stops along the route are:  1. Railway 2. Park End Street 3. Bus Station 4. New Road 5. West Gate 6. Speedwell Street 7. Christ Church 8. Brasenose College 9. The Queen’s College 10. The Plain 11. St. Cross Road 12. South Parks Road 13. Sheldonian Theatre 14. Trinity College 15. Parks Road 16. Banbury Road 17. Woodstock Road 18. Browns Restaurant 19. Magdalen St. East 20. Randolph Road

$24.93 Cultural & Theme Tours

Inspector Morse, Lewis, and Endeavour Walking Tour of Oxford

Meet your fully qualified guide at Martyrs' Memorial on St Giles, central Oxford. You will spend comprehensive two hours together exploring the Oxford of Morse, Lewis and Endeavour.Each tour is unique and will not follow a set route or script in order to ensure that the best possible experience is enjoyed by all. The tour will visit inside one college (subject to availability) and other highlights will include the heart of Oxford University, many more colleges and a few pubs where the words "pint Lewis" were often spoken (from the outside).At the end of the tour your guide will provide suggestions for further visits independently.

$26.23 Cultural & Theme Tours

Harry Potter Filming Locations Tour in Oxford

You can either book option to visit New college (entry fee worth up to £6 per person included) or option to book into Christchurch (entry fee worth up to £10 per person included)  with visit to Divinity School film site £2 entry ticket included  too (where & when, Divinity School is open). Tour lasts 90-120 minutes.  Your guide dressed in Hogwarts gown outside Oxford Visitor Information Centre. Please arrive 5 minutes prior to departure time. Unless you have packed broomsticks, the tour will be conducted on foot and you will see or visit inside various Oxford locations including two of the three Harry Potter film sites (or only 1 film site, on dates where closures are published- so check dates below, before booking). On this tour, you will find out lots about the main Harry Potter actors & the producers and J.K Rowling's decisions how to bring the much loved stories onto the screen. You will learn about how various incidents shaped the success of the stories and films but will also be introduced to other legendary literary characters and writers who are associated with Oxford, such as Lewis Carroll, J.R.R Tolkien and CS Lewis. You may be also shown additional colleges but the Harry Potter film sites are New College cloister, Christchurch staircase & cloister & the Divinity School at the Bodleian Library. NB Notice about closures affecting the tour on the following dates:NOTICE:On any date that New college publishes a closure after you have already pre- booked the New college tour with us, then the tour will instead go to Christchurch but please note that we will request you on such dates to pay an additional £5 extra per person in cash at start of the tour, in order to cover our additional costs of at least £5 extra per person to take the tour to Christchurch instead of to New college. New college film site closures 2019 (but option to book tour to Christchurch on these dates): March 13, May 18, Oct 13. Plus closed for Xmas period about Dec 22 to Jan 2.  Christchurch is closed in 2019: on July 2nd, July 3rd, July 4th, Sep 20th, Dec 25 2019. Christchurch Dining hall only is closed on following dates (the tour will go ahead as the hall is NOT the film site anyway):  April 26, May 11, Oct 6, Oct 11th On following dates, dining hall is viewing from door: April 23, June 28, Sep 14, Oct 4 2019 Closures of Divinity School only:    March 2, March 9, May 4, May 11, July 13, July 23, July 26, July 27, Aug 2, Aug 3, Sep 14, Sep 27, Sep 28, Nov 1, Nov 2, Nov 9. Xmas dates TBC but approximately Dec 22nd- Jan 2nd.

$13.12 Transfers & Ground Transport

Windsor Castle to Hampton Court Palace Shuttle

Leaving Windsor Castle (visit at own expense), the medieval castle favored by reining monarchs since the 11th century you will take the short and direct Shuttle ride to Hampton Court Palace. Your journey follows the River Thames where passengers will see several notable sites.Soon after leaving Windsor you will be driven through Runnymede where the Magna Carta was signed by King John in 1215. This riverside meadow is recognized as one of the most important events in English history as it marked the road to individual freedom, parliamentary democracy and to the supremacy of law. Today the Magna Carta is commemorated by a monument donated by the American Bar Association. Alongside the Magna Carta monument stands the John F Kennedy memorial opened by the Queen in 1965.Approaching Hampton Court Palace you pass several Victorian reservoirs constructed to supply water to London and its surrounding suburbs, as well as passing the riverside home of David Garrick an 18th Century actor, playwright and theatrical producer. You also observe the Temple which he constructed to commemorate the genius of William Shakespeare. Finally you pass the former home of Sir Christopher Wren, the architect who is famously associated with the design of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.The Shuttle arrives immediately outside the main entrance to Hampton Court Palace approximately 30 minutes after leaving Windsor Castle. Visit to Hampton Court Palace at own expense. Hampton Court Palace has much to offer visitors; discover the magnificence of Henry VIII's favorite royal residence. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the bustling Base Court and marvel at the breath-taking grandeur of Henry's State Rooms. Tickle your taste buds in the vast Tudor kitchens, stroll through over 60 acres of enchanting gardens, lose yourself in the famous maze and appreciate the beauty of one of the greatest palaces on earth.East Molesey which is just a short walk over Hampton Court bridge on your way to the railway station which has an abundance of shops, restaurants and pubs which visitors may wish to visit before returning to their final destination later in the day at their own pace. Return to London by train from Hampton Court Station which is only a short walk across the bridge.

$15.75 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Oxford River Cruise Along the University Regatta Course

Choose your preferred departure time out of three different time slots offered and embark on this 50-minute sightseeing cruise along the beautiful River Thames. Starting from central Oxford, the cruise takes in a fascinating stretch of the river offering you an insight into the historic city's rich past and many landmarks. Cruising down the university regatta course towards quaint Iffley village you will pass ancient Folly Bridge, Christchurch College and Meadows and the university rowing houses.This is one of the busiest and most colorful stretches of the River Thames (the stretch locally known as The Isis). Rowing eights, punts, university boats and large pleasure cruisers come together in a lively display of all that the river has to offer.