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Oxfordshire

Culture & History

Our most recommended Oxfordshire Culture & History

Blenheim Palace Admission Ticket

1. Blenheim Palace Admission Ticket

Discover the home of the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Wonder at this masterpiece of 18th century Baroque architecture, which houses some of the finest antique collections in Europe. Take a tour of the State Rooms and admire the portraits, tapestries and exquisite furniture while learning about the 300-year history of this National Treasure. Visit the Churchill Exhibition and learn all about the life of the great Prime Minister, starting with his birth at Blenheim Palace in 1874. The exhibition features photographs, extracts from his diaries, artefacts and a number of other elements. Explore this World Heritage Site set amongst over 2000 acres of parkland landscaped by one of the UK’s most famous landscape architects, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Take a stroll up to the Grand Cascades or around the lake to admire some of the finest views in England. Discover the array of Formal Gardens, including the Rose Garden, Churchill Memorial Garden, Water Terraces and Secret Garden. A short miniature train ride away from the Palace is the Pleasure Gardens, which boasts a Giant Hedge Maze, Butterfly House, Lavender Garden, and an exhibition about how the Gardens have been used and maintained throughout the Palace’s history.

Oxford: University and City Walking Tour

2. 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.

Cambridge Uni Tour Led By Alumni w/ Optional Kings College

3. Cambridge Uni Tour Led By Alumni w/ Optional Kings College

Discover some of the most famous colleges in Cambridge. Learn more about student life at one of the world's most prestigious universities from a University of Cambridge graduate guide. Visit famous chapels and libraries and listen to fascinating anecdotes. See where Prince Charles, Sir Isaac Newton, and Stephen Hawking studied. Stroll from King's College on King's Parade and pass landmarks such as Trinity Hall College, Trinity College, and Corpus Christi College. Look inside Pembroke College and marvel at the vaulted ceiling of King's College Chapel. Admire The Senate House, Great St Mary’s Church, and The Eagle pub where Watson and Crick announced they had discovered the secret of life.

Oxford: Afternoon Tea Sightseeing River Cruise

4. Oxford: Afternoon Tea Sightseeing River Cruise

Traveling down the University Regatta course, the boat passes Christ Church Meadows, the University College Boat Houses, and other landmarks on your way to Iffley lock. This is often a busy and vibrant section of the river where training rowing crews, punts, and pleasure boats jostle for river space in a wonderful display of Oxford at play. Passing through the lock at Iffley is an experience in itself. The river scenery and fascinating buildings combine to form a picture perfect location. Beyond Iffley you will travel into the tranquil water meadows that surround Oxford and there are abundant opportunities to spot wildlife amongst the green banks and overhanging willows. The boat turns for home at Rose Island, a favourite destination of Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell on their river journeys. Aboard the boat an indulgent afternoon tea is provided by the renowned riverside restaurant, the Folly. The traditional menu typically includes: a selection of finger sandwiches, homemade scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, a selection of cakes, tarts, or petit fours, and tea.

From London: Full-Day Cotswolds Tour with Lunch

5. From London: Full-Day Cotswolds Tour with Lunch

Enjoy the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, and visit 4 of its loveliest villages – Burford, Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Stow-on-the-Wold. Travel through the Cotswolds, an area seemingly unchanged with the passing of time. See rolling landscapes, dry stone walls, quaint churches, and streams that tumble past tiny villages and charming hamlets. On this full-day excursion from London, you’ll begin your tour in Burford, where the magnificent High Street slopes down to the River Windrush. See the town’s small tea houses before heading south to picturesque Bibury for lunch. Dine in one of the prettiest villages in England. A 2-course meal awaits you in the heart of the Cotswolds at the Swan Hotel. The restaurant, overlooking the River Coln, is housed in a 17th-century former coach inn, and serves a popular range of traditional dishes, along with ales and fine wines. Explore Bourton-on-the-Water, one of the loveliest villages in the Cotswolds. Afterwards, you’ll travel to Stow-on-the-Wold, a small market town known for its annual fairs. Enjoy a guided walk through the town center before returning to London.

From London: Full-Day Cotswolds Small-Group Tour

6. From London: Full-Day Cotswolds Small-Group Tour

Spend a day exploring the quintessentially British countryside of the Cotswolds, an area known for its green landscapes, charming villages, and honey-colored stone cottages. Enjoy the highlights of the Cotswolds, as well as some of the quieter, less seen areas of countryside. The first stop will be the small town of Burford. It's one of England’s most unchanged medieval towns and many buildings are over 500 years old. Its church is one of the most historic in the region. Visit the church, stroll along the attractive high street, and explore the town while you're here. The next stop is Bibury, often described as the 'prettiest village in all of England. Wander along the river and see the Arlington Row, a set of weaver's cottages that are now one of the symbols of the Cotswolds. There will be plenty of time to explore the village, an unmissable Cotswolds location. Head on to the picturesque town of Bourton-on-the-water. Affectionately known as ‘the Venice of the Cotswolds’, it's a popular destination for visitors. Take ample time to stroll by the river and its small bridges, admire the stone cottages and there will also be time to have some lunch.  The final stop is Stow-on-the-Wold, a jumble of inns and antique shops situated around the ancient market square. Stow has been a center of trade in the Cotswolds for centuries and was the location of the last battle of the English Civil War in 1646. It's also the location of ‘England’s oldest pub’.  Afterward, the tour returns to the meeting point.

Full-Day Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton Tour from London

7. Full-Day Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton Tour from London

Explore Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires, home to one of the world’s oldest universities. Admire the architectural highlights of the many colleges. Next on this 10-hour tour is a visit to Bampton, the setting for the exterior village scenes in Downton Abbey. See the church, the house of Matthew Crawley's mother, homes transformed into the post office and various pubs. Head to Highclere Castle, the country seat of the Earls of Carnarvon. The tour of the Castle’s public rooms includes the magnificent main hall, the library, sitting rooms and other rooms featured in Downton Abbey. Take home a copy of Lady Carnarvon's book as a souvenir of your visit.

London: Full-Day Windsor, Stonehenge, and Oxford Tour

8. London: Full-Day Windsor, Stonehenge, and Oxford Tour

Enjoy a full day of English heritage visiting the exquisite Windsor Castle, captivating Stonehenge, and the beautiful university city of Oxford. On this day trip departing from London, you get the whistle-stop tour of these unique sites with interesting commentary from your guide along the way. Start your day at Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of HM Queen Elizabeth II. Visit the magnificent State Apartments still used for state occasions and royal receptions (if option selected). Take some time to explore the castle grounds and the 14th century St. George's Chapel, where you can admire one of the most beautiful examples of medieval church architecture in England. Next, go to the standing stones of Stonehenge, still clouded in mystery as an amazing feat of human engineering. Explore the prehistoric stone circle and learn about the theories around its construction (if option selected). Continue to the university city of Oxford, known as "The City of Dreaming Spires." A seat of learning since 1249, it's an idyllic location to explore on a fascinating walking tour.

Oxford: Morse/Lewis and Endeavour Walking Tour

9. Oxford: Morse/Lewis and Endeavour Walking Tour

Meet your qualified green (or blue) badge guide at Martyrs Memorial on St Giles for a 2-hour walking tour of Oxford with emphasis on the filming of Morse/Lewis and Endeavour. Your guide will give a brief introduction to the city and the university, and from here you will head off through the very heart of Oxford to explore locations associated with the filming. You will see many of the colleges (from the outside), as well as The Bodleian Library, Old Schools Quadrangle, The Weston Library and The Radcliffe Camera.  Other sites will include The Bridge of Sighs and many of the pubs where the words ‘pint Morse’ were often spoken! Each tour is different, a script is not followed, and the best route will be chosen on the day to give you the very best experience.

Oxford: Official University and City Walking Tour

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Oxfordshire

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 89 reviews

This tour was excellent and informative. I could make the most of our day at Oxford thanks to this tour. Some feedback on this - The meeting point was very vague on both occasions and was a struggle to find. There were too many such walking groups around and we could not identify ours for a longish time. Perhaps instead of a generic postbox provide a proper shop name as the meeting. the walk from the ending point of the walking tour to punting point was too long and unmarked. You should end the tour close to the punting tour maybe ta the botanical garden. or the guide should take us to the punting place. we had to ask two people for directions despite asking for the name of the boat hire. We did not know the name from the guide till i asked.

It was a fantastic tour! The day tour was a surprise for my parents birthday, and they were thrileld. We really enjoyed discovering the british countryside with the excitement to see Downton Abbey real life places. The Castle was beautiful, and it really felt like jumping into the tv show. A wonderful guide was taking care of us, sharing interesting information and also giving us time to explore by ourselves, and enjoy the quiet. Bus was very comfortable, schedule was kept on time. Deeply recommended.

So much fun - our guide Josie was energetic and engaging, and had interesting stories to tell us, all while taking us on a lovely walk around Oxford and its different colleges. The punting was easy to find as well thanks to Josie's simple directions, and was a very relaxing way to spend some time on the water.

My husband and I really enjoyed the tour. Stratford, Cotswolds and Oxford are lovely and definitely worth visiting. The tour was informative and well organized. Great value for money. We highly recommend it.

Hannah was extremely well informed about Oxford and the places we visited. She was easy to understand and to listen to. Excellent tour guide.