Welcome to Oxford


The university

Although there’s more to Oxford than Oxford University, the university is very much the city’s defining feature. Consistently ranked among the world’s most prestigious academic institutions, the university can trace its history back to the 11th century. Within 200 years, it had taken shape as a loose association of independent colleges, and that medieval institution remains recognisable to this day. Modern visitors flock to Oxford to explore those same colleges, housed for the most part in their original historic buildings, and to admire shared university resources such as the magnificent Bodleian Library and the world-class Ashmolean Museum.

Architecture

A gloriously mellow ensemble of golden-hued wonders, Oxford unquestionably ranks among England’s most beautiful cities. In fact, as you stroll through its historic and homogenous core, it can be hard to believe you’re in modern England at all. Certain specific buildings stand out, like the domed and glowing Radcliffe Camera, and you can admire masterpieces by such great architects as Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor. Really, though, the joy of visiting Oxford lies in the sheer cumulative splendour of college after century-old college, each playing its own permutation of Gothic chapels, secluded cloisters, and tranquil quadrangles.

Literary Oxford

City of dreaming spires, or city of inspiring dreamers? Oxford authors have an extraordinary record for producing epic works of fantasy, imbued with dreamy, otherworldly qualities. The city would still look familiar to former dons such as Lewis Carroll, author of Alice In Wonderland, and JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, responsible for The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia respectively. Wind in the Willows author Kenneth Grahame went to school in Oxford, while Philip Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials, revolves around alternative versions of the city. Even Dr Seuss (Theodore Geisel) was here, studying literature at Lincoln College.

Pubs

As befits a city of students and professors, Oxford is one of the last bastions of the great British pub. Irresistible old pubs dotted down its central lanes and alleyways include the charmingly convoluted Turf Tavern, the Bear Inn and the King’s Arms. Some double as literary landmarks, like the Lamb & Flag and the Eagle & Child, near neighbours and regular haunts of the ‘Inklings’, a group of writers that included CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. Yet more lie out in the surrounding countryside, reached by idyllic riverside walks, like The Perch, The Trout and the Isis Farmhouse.


Top experiences in Oxford

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Oxford activities

$106.68 Cultural & Theme Tours

Stratford-upon-Avon, Cotswolds, Oxford Tour from London

Meet your guide at Victoria Coach Station to begin your tour. Hop aboard your first-class, luxury coach and relax as you travel northwest, away from the hustle and bustle of England’s capital.Your first stop is the medieval Warwick Castle, whose magnificent towers and ramparts remain mostly intact. Travel back through 1,000 years of history as you cross the footbridge to a bygone world of banquets, battles and ceremony. Climb the winding staircase to the Princess Tower, or, if you're feeling brave, visit the spine-chilling dungeons where prisoners were tortured. You might wish to take a stroll through the castle's lovingly tended gardens, where archery, falconry and jousting take place in the summer months.Next, head to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of the famous playwright William Shakespeare. Visit Shakespeare's Tudor-era home, with its typical parlor, bedrooms, kitchen and buttery. After, enjoy some free time for lunch (own expense) at one of the many charming eateries.Then make your way to Oxford. Known as the ‘City of Dreaming Spires,’ Oxford is home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world. On arrival, step out of your coach and enjoy a walking tour of the city center with your guide.Plug into your state-of-the-art headset and listen to your guide clearly as you pass by the elegant, timeworn buildings and courtyard that have inspired generation of scholars, including Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea, Hugh Grant and Kate Beckinsale. See the Bodleian Library and Christ Church College, where Harry Potter scenes were filmed and where Albert Einstein studied.Next, enjoy a brief stop for refreshments (own expense) before hopping back inside your coach and traveling through the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, an area steeped in gentle English beauty, history and heritage. Look out the window to admire the thatched-roof cottages and charming inns.Your day trip then concludes back at Victoria Coach Station in the evening.

$79.67 Cultural & Theme Tours

Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford Custom Day Trip

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Stonehenge, Amesbury, Wiltshire, EnglandStep back 5,000 years in time to prehistoric Britain as our guide helps bring the history of this fascinating monument to life. Who built Stonehenge? Why was it built? Discover the answer to these questions and the monument’s fascinating link to the Summer and Winter solstice. Come face-to-face with a 5,500-year-old man and visit the world-class exhibition centre, with 250 ancient objects on display. (If option selected.)Duration: 1 hourStop At: University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England'The City of Dreaming Spires' is known for its distinctive architecture and holds the unique accolade of having examples of every architectural period going as far back as Saxon times. Wander its quaint cobbled streets on a walking tour of the city with our expert tour guide, who will bring the history and charm of this ancient city to life.Duration: 1 hourPass By: Bodleian Library, Oxford, Oxfordshire, EnglandThe Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford, and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. With over 12 million items, it is the second-largest library in Britain after the British Library.Pass By: Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, Oxfordshire, EnglandThe Sheldonian Theatre, located in Oxford, England, was built from 1664 to 1669 after a design by Christopher Wren for the University of Oxford. The building is named after Gilbert Sheldon, chancellor of the University at the time and the project's main financial backer.Stop At: Windsor Castle, Windsor, Windsor and Maidenhead, Berkshire, EnglandOur first stop is Windsor Castle, the ancestral home of the British Royal family for more than 900 years and the largest, continuously occupied castle in Europe. Marvel at the splendour of the State Apartments, the grandest apartments in England, where paintings by Van Dyck and Rubens hang from the walls and the ceilings are painted with elaborate, magnificent murals.Step inside St George’s Chapel, where HRH Prince Harry married Ms Meghan Markle and the tombs of prominent previous monarchs are located, including Henry VIII and Charles I. Don’t miss a colourful display of typical British pageantry that takes place every morning at the Changing the Guard ceremony, where the handover of duties between guards to the Queen takes place. If Her Majesty is in Windsor during your visit, you may be lucky enough to see the Royal Standard flying on the flagpole of the Round Tower. (If option selected.)Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesStop At: St. George's Chapel, Windsor, Windsor and Maidenhead, Berkshire, EnglandSt George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in England, is a chapel designed in the high-medieval Gothic style. It is both a Royal Peculiar, a church under the direct jurisdiction of the monarch, and the Chapel of the Order of the Garter. Seating approximately 800,[1] it is located in the Lower Ward of the castle. (If option selected.)Duration: 15 minutesPass By: Evan Evans Tours, London, EnglandEvan Evans Tours is the oldest and largest sightseeing company in London and has been accompanying visitors on city tours and out-of-town excursions since 1930. Evan Evans Tours is owned by The Travel Corporation of 25 highly successful travel and tourism companies including Trafalgar Tours, Insight Vacations, Contiki Holidays and Red Carnation Hotels. The Travel Corporation is committed to maintaining the highest standards of quality and guest service and this this follows for each individual brand.

$160.43 Cultural & Theme Tours

Downton Abbey, Oxford, and Highclere Castle from London

ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire, EnglandA walking tour of this beautiful city, home to universities since 1196.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Highclere Castle, Newbury, Berkshire, EnglandVisit the central location from the TV series Downton Abbey. Home to Lord and Lady Carnarvon and recieve a signed copy of Lady Carnarvon's book. Duration: 2 hoursStop At: St Mary's Church, Bampton, Oxfordshire, EnglandVisit the Old Grammar School Building and St Mary's Church both used as locations in the TV seriesDuration: 1 hour

$120.32 Day Trips & Excursions

Oxford, Warwick Castle, Stratford-upon-Avon Tour from London

After a pickup from Victoria Coach Station, travel by coach to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare: one of the greatest writers in the English language. Take a private tour of Shakespeare's Schoolroom before it opens to the public, and enjoy a school lesson included with your tour. Then, enjoy some free time to explore the market town that’s home to the theaters of the famous Royal Shakespeare Company. A river winds its way through the town past Holy Trinity church, where Shakespeare is buried. There are half-wooden buildings which date back to Shakespeare's time, including the cottage of Anne Hathaway, who he married in 1582. After exploring, enjoy lunch in one of the town’s many cafes or restaurants (own expense).Continue from Stratford-upon-Avon to Warwick, home to Warwick Castle. With a history dating back over 1,000 years, the castle will take you to an era of banquets, battles and royal splendor. After entering, your guide will leave you to explore independently. Listen to an introduction to the historical site from Warwick Castle’s history team, and then explore the site at leisure. See the waxwork displays from Madame Tussauds that are showcased at the castle, and see and hear of the Earl of Warwick's preparations for battle. Then, perhaps take a look at the ghostly dungeons where prisoners were tortured.Then travel to Oxford, a city that boasts one of the world's greatest and oldest universities as well as some of the finest architecture in Europe. See it all on a walking tour, and learn all about the colleges themselves, with their ivy-clad stone walls that protect the beautiful chapels, halls and libraries.Then, simply meet your guide back on board your coach to travel back to central London.

$214.71 Cultural & Theme Tours

2-Day Cotswolds, Bath and Oxford Small-Group Tour from London

ItineraryDay 1: London - Avebury - Lacock Village - BathStop At: Avebury Stone Circle, Avebury, Wiltshire, EnglandMarvel at the largest standing stone circles in the world.Duration: 45 minutesStop At: Lacock Abbey, Lacock, Wiltshire, EnglandWander the streets of this village, maintained and owned by the National Trust.Duration: 45 minutesStop At: The Roman Baths, Bath, Somerset, EnglandLuxuriate in the warm tones of the local honey-coloured stone, used in much of the architecture here, such as the famed bath houses.Duration: 2 hours 30 minutesStop At: Cirencester Park, Cirencester, Cotswolds, EnglandGet to the heart of the Cotswolds in this ancient Roman market townDuration: 5 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Stay one night in Cirencester (on some rare dates, accommodation may be in other locations, such as Bath or Cheltenham).Day 2: Bibury - Stow on the Wold - Burford (optional) - Oxford - LondonStop At: Bibury Trout Farm, Bibury, Cotswolds, EnglandA delightful village with the renowned 16th century cottages of Arlington Row.Duration: 40 minutesStop At: Stow-on-the-Wold Market Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cotswolds, EnglandSite of one of the last battles of the English Civil War, the highest market town in the Cotswolds boasts a colourful history.Duration: 1 hourStop At: University of OxfordOxford is an internationally regarded university and a prominent shooting location for the Harry Potter film franchise.Duration: 3 hoursStop At: Bampton Heritage & Visitor Centre, Bampton, Devon, EnglandA significant setting for the TV series Downton Abbey, this pleasantly striking village provides an excellent range of photo opportunities.Duration: 10 minutesNo meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.

$20.24 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!