Philip Pullman’s Oxford Official Tour

Due to COVID-19 none of the colleges are open to visitors but all can be seen from the outside.

Rediscover the world of His Dark Materials and explore the setting of the new The Book of Dust series with a walk around Philip Pullman’s Oxford, led by a professional Guide.

This 2 hour tour, endorsed by the author himself provides a fascinating insight into the stories and places that inspired his world-renowned books.

Group sizes for this tour are limited to 20 people for your safety, in accordance with the latest Government guidelines. Your specialist official Guide will be wearing a visor and will ensuring social distancing so that you can enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable walking tour.


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Description

This tour visits key locations from Lyra’s Oxford and La Belle Sauvage, including the Bodley’s Library, The Covered Market, Jordan College and the Pitt Rivers Museum. It will provide a fascinating insight into the stories and places that inspired the world-renowned book.

Further details on the key locations visited on Philip Pullman’s Oxford Tour:

  • Bodley’s Library: Bodley’s Library features prominently in His Dark Materials and also features in the new book La Belle Sauvage.
  • The Covered Market: the market is a favourite haunt for Lyra and friends in Northern Lights.
  • An Oxford College similar to Jordan College: where Lyra grows up. She climbs out of an attic window there in Northern Lights.
  • Pitt Rivers Museum: Lyra and Will find skulls here with holes in them in The Subtle Knife.
  • (All subject to availability)

Lyra’s stomping ground, and that of new character Malcolm, reaches beyond central Oxford.

If you’d like to extend the experience, other places which can be visited after your tour could include:

  • Botanic Gardens: In The Amber Spyglass, Lyra and Will promise to sit on the bench at the back of the Botanic Gardens for an hour at noon on Midsummer’s Day every year so that they may feel each other’s presence next to one another in their own worlds. See the actual bench!
  • Godstow Abbey: an abbey where the nuns look after the baby Lyra in La Belle Sauvage (You can read an extract from La Belle Sauvage on the Guardian website here).
  • Jericho: where Gyptians board boats in Northern Lights. It is also where the main character lives in La Belle Sauvage and where some of the action takes place.
  • The Trout Inn, Wolvercote: this real pub is where Malcolm lives with his parents, the landlords, in La Belle Sauvage.
  • Port Meadow: in Northern Lights, this is the site of the Horse Fair where the disappearance of a young boy ‘from a gyptian family she knew’ helps to trigger Lyra’s adventures. It’s referenced in the other His Dark Materials books and in La Belle Sauvage.

Central Oxford is fairly flat and walkable. For parking, we recommend the Park and Ride services.

Guide Dogs are welcome on all tours.

Meeting Point

All Oxford Official Walking Tours depart from outside the Cool Britannia Gift Shop on the corner of Turl St and Broad St (No.s 23-25 Broad St OX1 3AS).

Group size

Tickets are limited to 20 people to ensure that you have a pleasant experience and can ask your Guide questions as you walk around with them.

To book this as a Private Tour please email us with your preferred date and time, and number of people at officialtours@experienceoxfordshire.org or call us to discuss your requirements on 01865 686 442.