Oxford
Culture & History

Enter your dates to find available activities

Our most recommended Oxford 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 Castle and Prison: Guided Tour

2. Oxford Castle and Prison: Guided Tour

Discover 1,000 years of Oxford’s history - Oxford Castle & Prison is an award winning visitor attraction with a past stretching far beyond your imagination. 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. 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. Led by a costumed tour guide, the rich history of the castle and prison will be revealed as you 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. After your 50 minute tour, you will be led into the exhibition wing where you can explore at your own leisure.

Oxford: University and City Walking Tour

3. 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.

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.

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

5. 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.

From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

6. From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

Depart London and travel by a luxury Mercedes mini-coach to 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, then head towards the quaint Cotswolds villages to see traditional tiny cottages built from stone. Visit the village of Burford, the Gateway to the Cotswolds, and experience the small market town. Make the short journey to Bibury and stroll to the famous and fairytale-like Arlington Row.

London: Harry Potter Studio Tour and Oxford Day Trip

7. London: Harry Potter Studio Tour and Oxford Day Trip

Join a full-day bus trip from London which combines a trip to the Warner Bros Studio Tour 'The Making of Harry Potter' with a walking tour of Oxford University. Start your tour at the historic city of Oxford, home to England's oldest university. Enjoy a guided walking tour that takes you past famous college buildings, cloisters, quadrangles, and cobblestone squares. See the Bodleian Library, Radcliffe Camera, the Sheldonian Theatre, and selected colleges. Enjoy free time to explore all that Oxford has to offer at your own pace. Continue to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour and begin your magical experience at The Making of Harry Potter. Discover behind-the-scenes secrets and hear about the filmmaking techniques used to make the magic of the Harry Potter films. Visit the most recognizable set features from the films: the Great Hall, Dumbledore’s office, the Gryffindor common room, the Ministry of Magic, 4 Privet Drive, the Weasley kitchen, Hogwarts Express, and Diagon Alley. Board the original Hogwarts Express train and see a recreation of Platform 9-3/4. Explore the interior train carriage set that was featured during filming and take a selfie with a luggage trolley as it disappears through the brick wall.

From Oxford: Cotswolds Towns and Villages Small Group Tour

8. From Oxford: Cotswolds Towns and Villages Small Group Tour

Departing from the visitor information center on Broad Street, Oxford in the morning at 10:00 AM, head to the village of Great Tew. Continue to Stow-on-the-Wold to reach the highest town in the region and browse the honey-colored buildings and tiny tea rooms. Visit the pretty village of Lower Slaughter before going to Bourton-on-the-Water, known as the "Venice of the Cotswolds", where you will have time for lunch. After lunch discover the gateway to the Cotswolds in the village of Burford. Journey through the valley of the River Windrush and discover amazing villages such as Swinbrook and Asthall, along with the ruins of 15th-century Minster Lovell Hall. Departure will be late afternoon, returning to the visitor information center in Oxford by 5:00 PM.

From Oxford: Blenheim Palace Half-Day Guided Tour

9. From Oxford: Blenheim Palace Half-Day Guided Tour

Visit Blenheim Palace, the largest non-royal place in England, on a guided trip from Oxford with public transportation and entrance tickets included. Admire English Baroque architecture and delve into over 300 years of history in what has been a family home, mausoleum as well as a national monument. Start the tour from Oxford. Meet your guide and use public transportation to reach Woodstock, home to Blenheim Palace. Discover this World Heritage Site set within more than 2000 acres of parkland. Take a walk in the lush gardens, sprawling over more than 750 hectares, with an exquisite water garden along with formal gardens. Then, follow a tour of the grounds and learn about the aristocratic history of the Palace. Next, you can either enter the palace or head to the Churchill Destination Exhibit. Move onward from Blenheim Palace to Winston Churchill’s grave. With an introduction to the life of one of England’s most famous sons, a visit to his final resting place caps off a truly memorable trip.

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.

Frequently asked questions about Oxford Culture & History

What are other things to do than Culture & History that are worth visiting in Oxford?

The other unmissable things to do in Oxford are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Oxford

Want to discover all there is to do in Oxford? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Oxford

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,353 reviews

Really good walking tour of a few of oxfords colleges and the history of the city. Not a long walk, less than a mile but a guide filled up the 1hr 30min. tour with interesting facts and stats.

Elizabeth our guide was wonderful.She was amusing incitful and very knowledgeable.We enjoyed ourselves immensely and would recommend this tour to any follows of the Morse genre.

Elizabeth was a fantastic guide who was informative, interesting and funny at the same time.

Godfrey and Carina were amazing and made the day extremely fun!

Driver Sayed and tour guide Pablo were both excellent.