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Merton College

Merton College: 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

Step inside Oxford University and explore the grounds on a guided walking tour. Admire the iconic architecture and learn about university life from your student guide. 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, the Radcliffe Camera, and the University Church of St. Mary. Get an equally in-depth history of 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: Christ Church Harry Potter Film Locations Tour

2. Oxford: Christ Church Harry Potter Film Locations Tour

Enjoy a walking tour introducing the making of Harry Potter in Oxford and an 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.  First, admire the views of Christ Church Meadows. Take in the borders of the rivers of Cherwell and Isis. Next, see longhorn cattle graze and the dreamy spires of Merton College and Corpus Christi. Then, see the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe. See Christ Church's cloisters and staircase that were used as inspiration for the Great Hall, or visit New College. Your tour will conclude at the Divinity School.

Oxford's Literary Legends and Landmarks" A Self-Guided Tour

3. Oxford's Literary Legends and Landmarks" A Self-Guided Tour

From the Chronicles of Narnia and Alice in Wonderland to Lord of the Rings and His Dark Materials, what is it about Oxford that has inspired several fantasy fiction classics? On this walking tour, Hears stories about how Oxford itself nurtured the minds of these fantasy literature giants. See where the famous wordsmiths behind these titles lived, worked and played, and some of their favourite haunts. You’ll be amazed at the sheer breadth of talent and imagination that’s concentrated in one city. Starting in front of Carfax Tower, you’ll wander through the city centre and along the Board Walk, along the way you’ll hear about Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration behind Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. I’ll show you the locations where JK Rowling’s Harry Potter was filmed, with the University of Oxford adapted to become Hogwarts. We’ll step into the world of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, where you’ll follow in the footsteps of Will and Lyra and make your way around Radcliffe Square to the Bodleian Library. After wandering through different parts of the university, your tour reaches the end in front of the Eagle and Child pub, a popular hangout for the Inklings, an informal literary club in the early to mid-1900s. Whether you’re a fan of fantasy fiction, classic literature, a newcomer to Oxford, or just plain curious, this tour offers a fascinating glimpse into another world – that of the imagination!

Oxford: Complete University Tour with optional Christ Church

4. Oxford: Complete University Tour with optional Christ Church

You will begin in central Oxford, with a brief and engaging introduction which will lay the foundation for the vast periods of history to be covered! Then the tour will enter a college renowned for having the most beautiful lawns in Oxford along with an iconic dispute with its neighbour - resulting in a supposed theft of the College tortoise (Oxford Annual Tortoise Race explanation included!). Then the group will visit the Sheldonian Theatre, where students experience the most iconic ceremony at Oxford University. You can hear from your student guide how the experience was for them. Next you will enter a historic museum -complete with a chalkboard used by Einstein in Oxford - and visit the Weston Library, a great example of a hybrid historic and modern interior. This tour will then cover sites that none of our other tours do! Including Rhodes House, the Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum. The latter is known to have one of the most exceptional collections in England, including Victorian shrunken heads. The tour stops for lunch at the Eagle and Child pub, a second home to J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis while they were members of the Inklings. After lunch, you can get a photo under the Bridge of Sighs before gazing up at the first round library in England, where your Oxford student guide will give you rare insights into the labyrinth of underground tunnels students. Not to be forgotten, All Souls College. With entrance exams as complex as they are bizarre, this site will highlight how exclusive a College can be and how influential its members are. Heading down to the southern part of Oxford, we visit a hidden door depicting the most famous characters in C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Before entering the largest College at Oxford, Home to Oscar Wilde and C. S. Lewis, and its own deer park. Explore the iconic grounds which have been home to Oxford’s most influential writers, complete with medieval cloisters. The tour will head over to Merton College, home of Tolkien, to discuss not only its literary importance, but it’s multi million pound kitchen, funded by the current Emperor of Japan! The tour will then go to Christ Church College, exploring the unique meadows - such a stunning expanse of land incredibly rare in a medieval city. Here you will learn about its close connection to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland - along with its decision to be held to a different time zone than the rest of Oxford. Those who have selected the option to enter Christ Church will then have their pre arranged tickets given to them, and they will be free to explore the college at their own pace. The guide will be at hand before entering to offer further advice and guidance. Please note - the structure on the day may differ.

Oxford Treasure Hunt: The Mystery of the Bullingdon Burglar

5. Oxford Treasure Hunt: The Mystery of the Bullingdon Burglar

The legendary Oxford mystery... unsolved for 50 years... until now. Start your adventure at the historic Chequers tavern, and embark on a quest to unravel Oxford's unsolved mystery of The Bullingdon Burglar! In 1972, Oxford’s annual Town Vs Gown cricket cup ended in disaster, when a mysterious burglar broke into the clubhouse and snatched the golden trophy… Was it an act of revenge? Nobody knew... But the villain left a trail of clues and this is where you come in. The pages of your Mystery Guide™ take you on an exciting puzzle adventure through the heart of historic Oxford, as you follow the maps, unlock the clues, and unravel the epic tale. Your challenge is to track down hidden objects, decode symbols, and uncover hidden messages, as you eliminate suspects and gradually unpick the crime. And an exciting twist awaits… Make it to the end and you'll be struck by an amazing ‘wow’ moment when the case is solved and the villain is revealed before your eyes! Simply grab your Mystery Guide™, head to the start, and set off at a time that suits you. Don’t let the villain get away... Your time to start is now!

Other Sightseeing Options in Merton College

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What people are saying about Merton College

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 107 reviews

Our Guide, Liberty was knowledgeable about the places we visited and kept us engaged and interested throughout the tour. Highly recommended.

Too large a group so hard for the guide to give attention to all, but the guide was very knowledgeable and friendly, sharing lots of stories

Enthusiastic guide who looks she has genuinely enjoyed her study in Oxford. A lot of insider stories. We had enjoyed our time.

The guide, Johannes, was excellent - entertaining, knowledgeable and managed us through the tough weather conditions superbly

The tour was great and our tour guide Peter was very informative, nice and funny!