Oxfordshire
Literary Activities

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Our most recommended Oxfordshire Literary Activities

Oxford: Official University and City Walking Tour

1. 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.

London: Harry Potter Studio Tour and Oxford Day Trip

2. 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.

Oxford: Harry Potter Tour with Divinity School Entry

3. Oxford: Harry Potter Tour with Divinity School Entry

Follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and other characters from the Harry Potter movies. J.K. Rowling applied to study at Oxford University and so she was familiar with Oxford. When they were producing the films, Rowling walked the producers around Oxford, pointing out various sights which they could use, such as the statue that looks like 'Nearly Headless Nick', and Turf Tavern Lane, which looks like Knockturn Alley. This tour showcases where the Harry Potter movies were filmed in Oxford. It includes entry to 1 film site only via the Divinity School, where they filmed the classroom, dance, and infirmary scenes. You will be passing the city's famous sights and colleges from the outside. You will also be provided with lots of insights about the actors, the producers and about JK Rowling's inspirations. As you walk around, you will take part in a Harry Potter quiz to test your knowledge of the books and films. The guide will also describe how student life in Oxford compares with Hogwarts.

Oxford: Harry Potter Walking Tour Including Christ Church

4. Oxford: Harry Potter Walking Tour Including Christ Church

Meet your Oxford University student guide in central Oxford and head for the Hogwarts' Infirmary, set in one of the halls of the famous Bodleian Library. Imagine the infirmary’s beds in place here, and admire the richly sculpted beasts and biblical carvings that appeared in many of the Harry Potter movies. Next, explore one or two of Oxford’s oldest colleges, delving into the rooms and cloisters that featured as Hogwarts’ gloomy interior. See other filming locations and hear trivia about the characters and movie productions. Test your knowledge of all things Harry Potter with our custom quiz. Along the way, hear about Oxford’s influence in famous children’s literature, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to The Hobbit. Finish with a tour of Christ Church (founded 1524) whose hall was an inspiration and not the actual Dining Hall at Hogwarts. This part of the tour will be a self-guided one with a multimedia guide.

From London: Windsor, Oxford & Stonehenge Full-Day Trip

5. From London: Windsor, Oxford & Stonehenge Full-Day Trip

The first stop on this tour is Windsor Castle. With its sweeping landscaped gardens and turreted Round Tower, it is easy to see why the castle is the Queen’s favorite weekend residence. Enjoy a fascinating through-the-keyhole peek at the lavish State Apartments, home to priceless artworks by Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci. You can also visit Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and St George’s Chapel - the final resting place of the monarchs of old, including Henry VIII. The tour then moves onto spectacular Stonehenge. You will never forget your first glimpse of the monolithic rock formation rising up against the skyline of the Salisbury Plain. Theories abound as to Stonehenge’s mysterious origin? Was it intended as a religious temple? An astronomical clock? A Bronze Age burial ground? Make up your own mind as you explore this unique landmark. Your final stop of the day is the charming university town of Oxford. Here you will enjoy a walking tour with free leisure time. Stroll the captivating college courtyards and cobbled lanes of this historic university town. The tour will finish at approximately 07:15 PM in London.

From Oxford: Cotswold Explorer Full-Day Tour

6. From Oxford: Cotswold Explorer Full-Day Tour

Start your unforgettable Cotswold journey by boarding the minibus in Oxford. Then, set off on a scenic drive to the charming village of Minster Lovell. Enjoy seeing the pretty thatched houses and exploring the ruined 15th century Hall. Continue the route through the idyllic villages of Asthall and Swinbrook to Burford, the 'Gateway to the Cotswolds'. Make a stop here to give you time to stroll around the sloping High Street and browse in the quirky shops and cafes. Next, travel further on your panoramic drive through the old quarrying villages of Taynton and the Barringtons towards Bourton-on-the-Water, the 'Venice of the Cotswolds'. Take a walk along the quaint River Windrush crossed with delightful stone bridges. From Bourton-on-the-Water, follow the route through some enchanting Cotswold villages to Broadway with its golden stone houses. Find a pub or cafe for lunch in this village which inspired artists and writers, such as Frank Millet, J M Barrie, and William Morris. After lunch, visit the beautiful market town of Chipping Campden, with its old market hall and wool church. Then, explore Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds. Here you can browse among the narrow footpaths and the antique shops and art galleries. Finally, return to Oxford via the bustling market town of Chipping Norton with a final brief photo stop in Woodstock, the site of Blenheim Palace (the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill).

Oxford: Harry Potter Tour with New College & Divinity School

7. Oxford: Harry Potter Tour with New College & Divinity School

Enter the magical world of Harry Potter, visit the filming locations of New College and Divinity School, and learn interesting facts and trivia from your guide during this Oxford tour experience. Get transported to the beloved fiction universe that surrounds Oxford. Escape into the Harry Potter universe as you visit their filming locations in Oxford along with an expert guide. Walk by the New College cloisters and see where Malfoy was turned into a ferret by Mad-Eye Moody in 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.' Visit the Divinity School, the oldest building at the university, and the place used as Hogwarts' hospital wing in several Harry Potter movies. Remember the scene where Harry has to stay overnight to regrow his bones after Professor Lockhart removes them all? That was filmed right here. On any dates when the New College cloister (the actual film site) is closed, the tour will run but not include access to the cloister. Additionally, on any dates when Divinity School is closed, you'll visit an additional college instead (not a film site).

From London: Oxford, Stratford, Cotswolds & Warwick Castle

8. From London: Oxford, Stratford, Cotswolds & Warwick Castle

Walking tour of Oxford Follow in the footsteps of Oxford’s famous students, from C.S. Lewis to Bill Clinton, as you stroll 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 – on your visit. You’ll be captivated by the unspoilt narrow alleys and ancient squares of this naturally beautiful town. Enjoy a walking tour and free time. Stratford-Upon-Avon A market town with a difference, Stratford-upon-Avon is the famous home of arguably the world's greatest writer, William Shakespeare. Delve into the charms of this bustling market town at your leisure. Cotswolds We will drive through the Cotswolds, a charming blend of breathtaking natural beauty, bustling market towns and sleepy villages. Warwick Castle Be part of Britain’s Greatest Medieval Experience! Deep in the heart of Warwick Castle, the Great Hall becomes a hive of activity! Immerse yourself in battle preparations and feel the weight of a medieval sword. Enjoy a walking tour and explore this lovely town with its host of attractive buildings.

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

9. 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.

Oxford: Inspector Morse Lewis Endeavour Small Group Tour

10. Oxford: Inspector Morse Lewis Endeavour Small Group Tour

This tour promises to show you many of the sights visited by Inspectors Morse, Lewis, and Endeavour on the hit TV show, which has been filmed in approximately 100 locations in Oxford. If you book a private group tour only, £3 per person entry inside the Divinity School at the Bodleian Library is included. This tour is aimed at fans of Inspector Morse, Lewis, Endeavour but if your 'better half' is not a big fan, don't worry as you will be introduced to some general insights about the University of Oxford and the history and traditions of each college you visit. You will thus gain an insight into Oxford city and university heritage too. You will look in-depth at John Dexter's characters and in particular reveal insights into his vision for his characters. With the small group size enjoy a much more personalized tour than a larger group could offer.

Frequently asked questions about Oxfordshire Literary Activities

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What people are saying about Oxfordshire

The tour was very informative. Matthew, our guide, was very knowledgeable and generous with his time -- the tour went over time as he had so much to tell and share. I would totally recommend this tour as it gives a detailed introduction to the history of the city.

An absolutely worthwhile trip: enough time in the studio, interesting information about Oxford (2nd part) and a competent and helpful guide. And the entire process was uncomplicated and quick. Gladly again at any time!

Sally is an excellent guide. With her vast knowledge and her extreme patience and understanding of our mobility problems were very much appreciated by us elderly members of our tour.

Wonderful experience, with attention to the smallest details The timing was right and the guide (Valentina) was very good and nice

We loved the tour! Our guide Alastair is a wizard with children ❤️