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Oxford

Museums & Exhibitions

Our most recommended Oxford Museums & Exhibitions

Oxford Castle and Prison: Guided Tour

1. Oxford Castle and Prison: Guided Tour

Step into 1,000 years of Oxford’s history with a costumed tour guide. Climb the Saxon St. George’s Tower, descend deep underground into the 900-year-old Crypt, explore the Victorian Prison D-Wing and Debtors' Tower, and scale the Mound of the 11th-century Motte-and-Bailey castle. Built in 1071 and only closed in 1996, Oxford Castle & Prison is a site with so many fascinating tales to tell. From the modern day stretching all the way back to the barbaric medieval era. The site has links to the birth of education in Oxford, the famous legends of King Arthur, the valiant escape of Empress Matilda and the infamous modern-day cases of murderers and criminals. For hundreds of years, the site has held both famous and infamous residents, serving time as a religious site, a home for royalty, and a center of justice as the county jail. After your 50-minute tour, you will be led into the exhibition wing where you can explore at your own leisure.

From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

2. From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

Embark on a full-day guided trip to Oxford and Cotswolds from London. See the historic Oxford University, explore the Cotswolds villages, and admire the lush English countryside. Depart London and travel by a luxury Mercedes minibus and 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 before making your way to the quaint Cotswolds villages to see traditional tiny cottages built from stone. Arrive at the village of Burford, the Gateway to the Cotswolds, and lose yourself in this bustling market town. Make the short journey to Bibury and stroll to the famous and fairytale-like Arlington Row. Admire these 14th-century cottages and gain an insight into the history from your guide. After, enjoy the scenic ride back to London.

Oxford: Oxford and Empire Walking Tour – by Oxford Students

3. Oxford: Oxford and Empire Walking Tour – by Oxford Students

The Oxford and Empire Walking Tour focuses on the University as an institution that produced knowledge, qualifications, and networks, which found their more durable expression on a global scale. ‘Oxford and Empire’ starts at the Natural History Museum, highlighting the close links between the development of knowledge about the natural world and the early explorations voyages, the start of a documentation of the natural world on European terms. This rise of the sciences within the University courses coincided with the development and rise of the high imperial period in Britain. The Great Evolution Debate took place at the Natural History Museum, and its legacy loomed large with the creation of the Pitt Rivers Museum in a back building shortly after, to host the university’s anthropological collections in a typography which reflected fast developing social Darwinists’ beliefs in a hierarchy of civilisations. The tour thereafter takes us to the Rhodes house, interrogating the origins and legacies of a scholarship made of white men from the colonies, and further questions the imperial origins of a series of faculties in Oxford, such as Geography, Plant Science, and International Development. Ultimately, it is a tour that aims to highlight the complex and reciprocal relationship between Oxford and the Empire, and how it endures through the University's global appeal to this day.

Frequently asked questions about Oxford Museums & Exhibitions

What are other things to do than Museums & Exhibitions that are worth visiting in Oxford?

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Which Oxford Museums & Exhibitions are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

These Oxford Museums & Exhibitions are taking additional COVID-19 precautions:

Other Sightseeing Options in Oxford

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What people are saying about Oxford

Our van driver, Jennifer, did a great job telling us about a variety of British historical facts along the way. You then see two Cotswolds towns and Oxford on your own. They provided us with a nice walking tour handout for Oxford. Would have been nice to see insider of one of the colleges, but we knew that wasn't included. I would highly recommend including this in a London vacation - it felt great to see the countryside and get out of the city.

Colin our guide was fantastic - knowledgeable, engaging, amusing - and was great with highlighting times to meet, loo opportunities etc. Locations picked for the Cotswolds were great as still captured the charm and beauty you come to see but not teeming with tourists. Do recommend!

The guide, who is also the driver of the van, was talking all the way about the important things in London, he knows a lot. The time in each place was adequate.

Great experience trying out the cream tea which was recommended by our tour guide Samuel. English countryside is beautiful.

Beautiful countryside …glad we were able to visit!