Oxfordshire
Educational Activities

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Our most recommended Oxfordshire Educational Activities

Oxford Castle and Prison: Guided Tour

1. 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: Afternoon Tea Sightseeing River Cruise

2. 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.

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

3. 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.

From London: Oxford & Cambridge Day Tour

4. From London: Oxford & Cambridge Day Tour

The tour begins in the captivating college town of Oxford. Here you can follow in the footsteps of Oxford University’s prestigious former students - from C.S Lewis to Bill Clinton - as you stroll the courtyards and cobbled lanes of this historic town. Marvel at the famous “dreaming spires” and visit the Bodleian Library - one of the oldest libraries in Europe. While you are in Oxford you cannot miss the opportunity to visit Christ Church. Not only is it one of the largest colleges at the university, it is also one of the major locations from the Harry Potter films. Marvel at the grandeur of the Great Hall, instantly recognizable to movie fans as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The tour then moves onto the elegant city of Cambridge. Home to the famous University of Cambridge, you will have the opportunity to explore the renowned Cavendish Laboratory, King’s College Chapel and the Cambridge University Library. You can also visit the oldest college that still exists - Peterhouse - which dates back to 1284. The tour will finish at approximately 19:00 in London.

From London: Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds Tour

5. From London: Oxford, Stratford, and Cotswolds Tour

Follow in the footsteps of Oxford’s famous students, from C.S. Lewis to Bill Clinton, as you stroll through the captivating college courtyards and cobbled lanes of this historic university town. Take in the famous city of dreaming spires and see the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe. Continue to Stratford-upon-Avon, the home town of legendary playwright William Shakespeare. Pay a visit to the place where the famous Bard was born, a quaint and unassuming half-timbered house. Enter the fascinating Shakespeare’s Birthplace and follow in the footsteps of the Bard to discover his childhood home.  Then, head to the Cotswolds. Drive through this charming blend of breathtaking natural beauty, bustling market towns, and sleepy villages.

From London: Full-Day Oxford, Windsor, and Eton Tour

6. From London: Full-Day Oxford, Windsor, and Eton Tour

Depart from London and first travel to the royal town of Windsor. Upon arrival, take a walking tour of the town and visit Windsor Castle, one of the Queen's official residences. Admire the beautiful architecture of the castle, which makes it one of the Queen's favorite weekend retreats.  Then, make your way to Eton, a short walk across the river Thames. Explore the small town and the famous Eton College, where prime ministers, world leaders, Nobel laureates, and generations of the aristocracy have been educated.  In the afternoon travel to the university town of Oxford, home to one of the most famous and oldest universities in the world. After a short guided tour, enjoy some free time to explore the city center, where you will find a wide variety of shops in the Westgate and Clarendon shopping centers and the old Victorian market. Use your time to visit some of the free museums such as the Ashmolean Museum, the oldest museum in the United Kingdom, or the University Museum of Natural History. Explore the Museum of the History of Science on Broad Street, which is the world's oldest surviving purpose-built museum building. After a few hours to discover the best of Oxford, return to London, arriving back in the city shortly after 7:00 PM.

Oxford and The Cotswolds: 3-Day Small-Group Tour

7. Oxford and The Cotswolds: 3-Day Small-Group Tour

Discover Shakespeare's England on a multiday tour that will take you through town and the countryside. Travel in a 5-star mini coach and stay overnight in comfortable guest houses. On the first day of your tour, visit the world heritage site of Blenheim Palace. Learn about the history, explore the gardens, or even take a ride on the estate’s very own miniature railway line. Following lunch, continue to the Rollright Standing Stones, an ancient complex of Neolithic and bronze age monuments that sit on the crest of the Cotswold Hills. This magnificent site marks the borderlands between the great counties of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. Round off the afternoon with a visit to the Hook Norton Brewery, and learn about the production of beer in one of the Cotswolds’ most beautiful areas and savor a lovingly produced local drink. Travel to Stratford Upon Avon which will be your base for the next two nights. On the second day, travel to Warwick Castle, one of England’s best-preserved medieval castles. Dating back to the time of William the Conqueror, Warwick Castle is often named as one of the best historic monuments in Britain. In the early afternoon, return to Stratford Upon Avon, the birthplace and home of the playwright William Shakespeare, where you will explore the places that shaped his life. Stay overnight in Stratford and soak up the ambiance of this historic and inspiring settlement. On the morning of your final day, leave Stratford Upon Avon on a journey to the Cotswolds, a huge area that covers five counties and offers a variety of unique landscapes and charming villages. The rolling hills, villages, and farms of this area give you a glimpse back in time to an England with a gentler pace of life.  Continue onto Bourton on the Water, nestling in the rolling Cotswolds hills. Known as "The Venice of the Cotswolds", explore this ancient village that has stood on this spot since Anglo Saxon times. Your final stop of the tour is in the City of Oxford, where you have time to explore the beautiful listed buildings, explore the precincts of the colleges, climb one of the vantage points to take in the skyline, or see the art and antique collections in the Ashmolean Museum. At day's end, return to London.

Oxford: Harry Potter Walking Tour

8. Oxford: Harry Potter Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in the Harry Potter universe as you visit the movie's filming locations in Oxford. Visit Christ Church, the Divinity School, and other fan favorites as you learn interesting facts about the movie and J.K. Rowling. See the stairs that Hogwarts freshmen climb into the Great Hall. Discover which room was the inspiration for the Great Hall at Hogwarts. Check out the spot where Alastor Moody turns into a ferret for Draco Malfoy. Let your guide take you into this beloved fictional universe as you explore the sights of Oxford on this guided Harry Potter walking tour.

Oxford Day Trip from London: City Tour, Colleges & Lunch

9. Oxford Day Trip from London: City Tour, Colleges & Lunch

Travel back in time on this Private Day Trip Tour into one of the world's most academic and intellectual cities. Get away from busy London and tour Oxford with a private local guide. Admire not only the city's medieval architectural beauty and its river and natural environment, but also its traditional English cuisine. Learn about the history of Oxford Castle, an ancient castle over 1,000 years old, famous for having once been a prison. Visit the only 12th-century tower still standing in the city. Take the opportunity to enter the History of Sciences Museum to see the famous blackboard that Einstein once used during a lecture at some Oxford University, and which still preserves its formulas. Relax and enjoy a delicious British lunch with a typical English beer in a traditional 14th-century tavern. Enjoy the best views of this university city by climbing to the top of the 13th-century tower of the University Church of St Mary. See the most prestigious colleges in the world, from Balliol College (the oldest in Oxford) to the most important college in the city: Christ Church College. Enter and breathe the university and intellectual air of Oxford. Get to know its beautiful Gothic building and discover how its students live. Enjoy Oxford in-depth, with its History, its Culture, Gastronomy, Colleges, and local’s lifestyle in this amazing Private Day Tour.

Oxford: Pre-Raphaelite Walking Tour with Exeter College

10. Oxford: Pre-Raphaelite Walking Tour with Exeter College

Discover the history of Oxford, the collegiate system, and the famous alumni who studied and taught at the university. There are 38 colleges at Oxford University, but the tour will be focused on Exeter College, which continues to welcome students of the fine arts nowadays. Learn from your local guide interesting facts about Pre-Raphaelite artists. The group sought a return to the abundant detail, intense colors, and complex compositions of Quattrocento Italian art. Also, discover the history of two artists that were part of this movement, William Morris and Edward Burne Jones. Finally, visit Exeter College with its chapel and the Magi tapestry. A passageway from the Front Quadrangle leads through to the college's Fellows' Garden. Enjoy the best views of Oxford and spot Radcliffe Square, including All Souls College and the Radcliffe Camera.

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What people are saying about Oxfordshire

I really enjoyed Alasdair's tour of Oxford focused on the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood. Although the tour is in its pilot phase and the surge in Omicron meant that Exeter College was closed, Alasdair found other interesting places to visit that made the tour truly memorable. His enthusiasm and knowledge for all things Oxford are very impressive! Anyone with a passion for or curiosity about art, history or literature should definitely take this tour.

My wife and I just did the tour and Alasdair was a great guide... very knowledgeable and entertaining! Loved the tour and would love to bring my kids back someday to do it once they are older. The downside is that not all the colleges are open to tour (Tolkein's college is not) so that was unfortunate but it does not dissuade me from recommending the tour. Highly recommend.

it was really enjoyable, relaxing 90 minutes. It was the first time I had the afternoon tea served aboard and love it, enjoyed the weather, beautifully green landscapes along river sides and short stories about Oxford from the tour guide

Very enjoyable sail along the river with an entertaining guide and nice music.Food was delicious and loved the small group experience,highly recommend.

Lovely afternoon activity. Delicious food from Folly restaurant. Knowledgeable guide. Great fun to deal with the locks on the way down the Thames.