University of Oxford
Architecture Tours

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Our most recommended University of Oxford Architecture Tours

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. See the dreamy spires of one of the oldest universities in the world on a guided 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.

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

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

Embark on a full-day guided tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford from London. Take the scenic route through the lush English countryside in a comfortable air-conditioned bus. 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 on to 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.

Oxford: Official University and City Walking Tour

3. 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.

Oxford: Harry Potter Tour with Divinity School Entry

4. 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. 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.

Oxford University: Group Walking Tour with University Alumni

5. Oxford University: Group Walking Tour with University Alumni

Walk through pivotal moments of in Oxford history in this tour of Oxford University. Follow your Alumni guide and hear stories about the campus and admire architectural masterpieces.  See the lamp-post which inspired the world of Narnia and the architecture which inspired the book His Dark Materials. Marvel at some of the world’s greatest examples of Gothic and Baroque architecture. Enter Bodleian Library, which is one of the oldest in Europe and go into Jesus College.  Discover Oxford from a graduate that has first-hand experience with going to and getting into this prestigious institution. Enjoy hearing about what students really get up to on this classic 90 minute tour.

Oxford: Private C.S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien Walking Tour

6. Oxford: Private C.S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien Walking Tour

Find out more about the Inklings, an informal literary discussion group associated with the University of Oxford, while getting an introduction to the city's history and university life. See inspiring sights related to C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien on a 2-2.5-hour tour of the sights where they worked and relaxed, including the pubs they enjoyed. At Magdalen, discover a beautiful medieval hall, chapel, and quadrangle as well as lovely gardens and a deer park. Walk in the footsteps of C.S. Lewis and his friends along the famous Addison's path where they strolled on many midsummer evenings to discuss their ideas. When open, peek inside Tolkien's Exeter College which hosts pre Raphaelite art and an exquisite garden too. As well as the colleges, your knowledgeable guide will take you on a route through the city of Oxford to take in many famous sights. Visit inside St. Mary's University Church where C.S. Lewis developed his ideas through sermons. Hear about the likes of Cardinal Newman who preached there too, and learn about the Oxford Martyrs — Latimer, Ridley, and Cranmer — from the time of 'Bloody Mary'. A pub/refereshment stop is optional on the tour. Many people who book this tour happen to be theology alumni but the guides are not necessarily themselves religious people.

Oxford University: Combo Walking & Punting Tour with Alumni

7. Oxford University: Combo Walking & Punting Tour with Alumni

See Oxford University through the eyes of Alumni and current students on this combo alumni-led campus walking tour and student-led punting trip. Get an authentic look at the colorful story of the oldest English-speaking university in the world.  Walking Tour Oxford is nothing without its students, and it’s the students who make this walking tour so special. Your guides will either be graduates or current students who combine their personal experiences of the city with their deep passion for its history, architecture, and stories. In just a 1.5-hour walk, follow your guide to discover pivotal moments of human history: from petty and outlandish rivalries to architectural masterpieces with confusing names. Inspiring, baffling, and downright outrageous: Oxford is a city full of stories waiting to be told. See the lamppost which inspired Narnia and the architecture that inspired His Dark Materials. Visit the meadows where Lewis Carroll first recounted the story of Alice in Wonderland. Marvel at some of the world’s greatest examples of Gothic and Baroque architecture. Hear all about what the students really get up to – from BOPS to secret societies to which all-night library permits outside snacks. Discover which college is the poshest and the oldest and which one has traditions designed only to mock the traditions of other colleges. As well as hearing it all from past and current students themselves, you’ll get to see inside colleges (entry included), with highlights including the Jesus College gardens. This is the real Oxford, experienced as a student, through busy streets and college grounds. Punting TourAfter your walking tour, enjoy a 30-minute student-led punting tour along the River Cherwell. As you set off south from the boathouse, you’ll be chauffeured past Oxford’s famous Botanic Gardens and Magdalen College School fields. Continue through Christ Church Meadows, where Lewis Carroll was teaching students in the mid-19-century when he wrote the famous Alice Through the Looking Glass and Alice in Wonderland. Pass St. Hilda’s College gardens and make your way back to the boathouse. You can ask questions throughout your trip and even have a free punting lesson upon request.

Oxford, Stratford, Cotswolds & Warwick Castle Day-Tour

8. Oxford, Stratford, Cotswolds & Warwick Castle Day-Tour

Walking tour of Oxford Follow in the footsteps of Oxford's famous students, from C.S. Lewis to Bill Clinton, as you stroll the captivating college courtyards and cobbled lanes of this historic university town. Take in the famous 'dreaming spires' and see Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe. You'll be captivated by the unspoiled narrow alleys and ancient squares of this naturally beautiful town. Oxford is famous for being home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world – countless bright young things have wandered the town’s cobbled streets over the years! During this guided walking tour you will see the stunning University Church of St Mary the Virgin and furtively discover unspoiled narrow alleyways, ancient squares, and towering spires. Entry to the 13th century University Church of St Mary the Virgin. Soak in spectacular sights of the unique baroque design and architecture as you explore the center of the University of Oxford. This absolute gem is a must-visit on your trip to Oxford. After visiting Oxford, you will leave the university city and return to London. The Cotswolds Enjoy views of the breathtaking countryside, sleepy villages, and bustling market towns as you drive through the charming scenery of one of England's most beautiful regions. Stratford–upon–Avon  A unique market town, famous as the home of William Shakespeare, arguably the world's greatest writer. Visit the picturesque half-timber house where the legendary bard was born, and gain fascinating insights into his childhood. Shakespeare’s birthplace: See where the famous playwright grew up and spent his years as a married man. Warwick Castle  Be part of Britain’s greatest medieval experience deep in the heart of Warwick Castle. Immerse yourself in battle preparations and feel the weight of a medieval sword. Become a soldier – try on a battle helmet for size. Visit the spectacular State Rooms and feast your eyes on Victorian party preparations. 

From London: Day Trip to Harry Potter Studios and Oxford

9. From London: Day Trip to Harry Potter Studios and Oxford

Depart London and journey towards Warner Bros. Studio to take "The Making of Harry Potter" tour. Located in former aircraft hangars in the residential district of Leavesden, the unique attraction recreates the magic of Harry Potter and all your favorite characters. Board the original "Hogwarts Express" train at a recreation of Platform 9¾, and explore the inside of the train carriage featured in the films. Take a selfie with a luggage trolley as it disappears through the station's brick wall. The studio staff will reveal the behind-the-scenes secrets and unveil the intricate prosthetics and make-up that transformed actors into creatures in the blockbuster films. See sets from the original movies, and get a peek inside the college of Hogwarts during the 4-hour studio tour. Journey through attractions such as The Great Hall, Gryffindor Common, Hagrid's Hut, the Weasleys' kitchen, and the Ministry of Magic. Take a tour of the backlot and a special effects tour, see a model of Hogwarts Castle, and much more. Depart the Studios and journey to Oxford to explore the real college buildings, including the medieval Divinity School. Upon arrival in the university city founded in 1167, take a guided tour of the historical center and admire some of the most famous college buildings, cloisters, and quadrangles. Delve down alleyways and into chapels, look inside dining halls and across cobblestone squares under the shadows of the legendary "dreaming spires." Enter the hallowed heartland of academia, including the Bodleian Library, Radcliff Camera, Sheldonian Theatre, and other select colleges.

Oxford: Official “Haunted Oxford” Ghost Tour

10. Oxford: Official “Haunted Oxford” Ghost Tour

Discover all the key haunted places in and around Oxford on a nighttime walking tour based on the book 'Haunted Oxford' led by the author himself, Rob Walters. Experience the best way to 'see' Oxford’s ghosts on a route that takes you around the heart of central Oxford and its University. Meet your guide and get whisked away into the night, starting on the corner of Turl Street and Broad Street, which was once the city ditch and site of terrible murders and religious persecution. Learn about the history of Oxford and hear many splendidly spooky stories dating back to Danish Viking times. Walk past Oxford University, Radcliffe Square, and peer into the Old Schools Quadrangle - of Harry Potter fame. Admire the gorgeous and imposing architecture of Oxford and feel the history in the walls, which are well preserved and represent every period of architecture from Medieval through Classical to modern.  Look up at the Bridge of Sighs, so-called as it is reminiscent of the one at Venice which led prisoners to their doom. Wind down the ancient walled lane to New College, built in the late 1300s, and see its dark gates against the gloom.

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What people are saying about University of Oxford

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 820 reviews

Our tour was incredibly informative and fun! Hannah (our guide) did a wonderful job interweaving rich historical facts and traditions along with interesting contemporary trivia. I felt that by the end of the tour we had really covered an amazing breadth of information, and we got to admire many of the most impressive areas up close. Most of the colleges were closed to tours due to exams, but nevertheless our guide made the most of it and showed us all she could. She also gave us some great tips afterward for where to eat! The tour was 100% worth it, and I would gladly recommend it to anyone wishing to admire both the beauty and legacy of Oxford.

We had a phenomenal experience with Peter at Oxford. My daughter, a ferocious and passionate fan of Harry Potter had a blast. His knowledge of the sites and the extra stories made the tour really special. We also appreciated the quick stop for a shake at Mo mo’s that was a must for a hot weather, it made three kids very happy! Appreciate the experience and will definitely recommend for any family who wants to spend a fun couple of hours in Oxford and want to make it an unforgettable experience!!

Wonderful day trip. Bruce (fabulous guide) and Steve (fabulous bus driver) made the entire day enjoyable. Lots of people so wait times were a bit frustrating but not the fault of the tour company. Only Stonehenge was comfortably people free. But still a good number of people although it’s easier to spread our once you get to the stones. Well worth your $$ investment and time.

Jim was a professional and knowledgable guide. He took us off the beaten track to places we wouldn’t have found on our own. A delightful insight into Oxford college life.

We thoroughly enjoyed this tour! We were sad when it was over! It was such a great way to see the city and hear the history of some of the buildings and areas.