This 2 hour tour offers an excellent opportunity to explore this City famous for its Dreaming Spires, beautiful meadows and age old University traditions. It is a great introduction to how the town and historic colleges were originally founded, many centuries ago, and to how the University works today.
What you will see
On your tour, as well as seeing some of the oldest colleges and most famous University buildings from the outside – including the Radcliffe Camera, Bodleian Library and Old Schools Quadrangle – your Guide will take you on a visit to one of Oxford’s world famous colleges to see its quadrangles, chapel and beautiful gardens. In addition, your tour should include a visit to the Divinity School, part of the Bodleian which is not to be missed with its beautiful carved stone-vaulted ceilings and connections to Harry Potter.
All entrance fees included
The entrance fees for these visits are included in the price of the tour (the college choice is subject to availability on the day – all colleges are places of work and study and on certain important days in the life of the University, such as Open Days, Degree Days and Exam days all the colleges reserve the right to close as they are in use). On Degree days, when the Divinity School is closed as it is in use for Graduation Ceremonies (29 and 30 September) you can look out for graduating students in their gowns and mortar boards!
What you will learn
With your expert Guide showing you around the ancient colleges and cobbled streets, you will be entertained on the way with anecdotes about the many famous characters and academics who have walked down these lanes in times gone by. Even if you are already familiar with Oxford, there’s likely to be something new to learn about this City on your tour. You will hear about what student life is like today, as well as what it was like centuries ago when the colleges were first founded.
Your friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic Guide will be highly trained and professional and will be wearing a Blue or Green Badge awarded by the Institute of Tourist Guiding. Your Guide will also be a member of the Oxford Guild of Tour Guides. They will be happy to help with any questions and also to advise on what else you might like to see as part of your stay in Oxford.
Sandra Bingham, President of the Oxford Guild of Tour Guides says:
“I really enjoy showing people around glorious Oxford on a walking tour and my favourite building is the 15th century Divinity School. I never fail to be impressed by the stunning Gothic architecture and the stone carvings on the ceiling. The history and numbers of people who have walked across the flagstones on the way to receiving their degrees leaves you with a sense of awe and inspiration for learning. I wish my classrooms had been like this.”
You can buy tickets in person on the day at the Visitor Information Centre but because sometimes tickets sell out quickly, we suggest booking in advance which you can also do either by phone 01865 686 441 or online. (If you think you might be delayed, please book for a later tour as we are unable to contact the guide once the tour has departed).
Tickets are limited to 19 to ensure that you have a pleasant experience and can ask your Guide questions as you walk round with them.
Your 2 hour tour will cover 1.5 – 2 miles walking (stopping every so often to admire the architecture and learn about the quirky university traditions) and not travelling further than a 10/15 minute walk away from the City centre and Visitor Information Centre.
Children under 16 are welcome on this tour but must be accompanied by at least 1 adult per two children. Children under 5 go free but tickets must be booked for them (as college count everyone and have strict limits on numbers). Pushchairs may need to be left (at the owner’s own risk) outside the Porters Lodge.
The City centre is very flat and walkable – however, some of the most ancient colleges do have steps. If you have any mobility difficulties, please let us know in advance by phone on 01865 686 441 or email email@example.com before you book, so that we can arrange with the guide ahead of the tour how to best accommodate you.
While we do our very best to include a visit inside the Divinity School and a College, sometimes on important days for the University such as Degree Days and Exam days, this is not possible as these buildings are in use. On these days 21 22 and 28 29 July you can look out for students in their gowns and mortar boards
We recommend the Park and Ride service. The nearest site will be signposted on your entry route to Oxford and the buses leave regularly. Please allow at least 20 minutes for the journey into the City Centre and ask for the stop nearest to the Visitor Information Centre in Broad St. For more parking information please see https://www.oxford.gov.uk/parking.
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