Oxfordshire
Meet the Locals

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Our most recommended Oxfordshire Meet the Locals

Oxford: University and City Walking Tour

1. 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

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.

From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

3. 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.

From Oxford: Cotswold Explorer Full-Day Tour

4. 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).

From Oxford: Cotswolds Adventurer Tour

5. From Oxford: Cotswolds Adventurer Tour

Be introduced to some of the most enchanting villages in the Cotswolds on a full-day tour from Oxford. Head to the ancient town of Bampton, one of the oldest towns in England, known as the village in the TV series Downton Abbey. Stop to see the village church and library, where many scenes of this popular show were filmed. Continue to Kelmscott, once the summer home of the famous Arts and Crafts movement founder, William Morris. Afterwards you’ll visit Lechlade, an old market town on the River Thames. From there, your route takes you through pretty stone villages with a chance to stop and have a refreshment in a typical village shop. A short scenic drive takes you to Bibury to see its 17th-century cottages, beautiful river, and trout farm. Following the picturesque Coln Valley, drive through narrow country lanes and over rolling hills, before arriving in the quiet town of Winchcombe. Enjoy lunch in a rustic pub and browse the quirky shops. After lunch, a panoramic drive takes you past Sudeley Castle, the burial place of Catherine Parr, 6th wife of Henry VIII. Continue through pretty hamlets to Stow-on-the-Wold, to browse its quaint cafes and antiques shops. Return to Oxford via Woodstock, home to Blenheim Palace where Sir Winston Churchill was born.

From Oxford: Half-Day Cotswold Taster Tour

6. From Oxford: Half-Day Cotswold Taster Tour

Leave the medieval city of Oxford and head first to the pretty village of Minster Lovell. Walk through the village and see the pretty thatched cottages and River Windrush. Relax on a scenic drive that takes you through the idyllic hamlets of Asthall and Swinbrook to the old market town of Burford, the 'gateway to the Cotswolds'.  Enjoy time to browse in the sloping High Street of Burford, with its quirky shops and cafes. Continue through the old quarrying villages of Taynton and the Barringtons, where a panoramic drive takes you to Bourton-on-the-Water, often called the 'Venice of the Cotswolds'.  Wander along the banks of the quaint River Windrush with its old stone bridges or stop for a refreshment in one of the many cafes. Leaving Bourton-on-the-Water, you climb up to Stow Hill to Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds and a market town since the 12th century. Stow is known for its many antique shops and art galleries, as well as many other shops and cafes.  Don't forget to visit St Edward's Church with its old door which inspired the writer Tolkien. On your way back to Oxford pass by the market town of Chipping Norton and Woodstock, the site of Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Stop for a brief photo stop of the palace before your return to Oxford.

Oxford: Punting River Trip with Optional Walking Tour

7. Oxford: Punting River Trip with Optional Walking Tour

See Oxford from the river on this punting or rowing tour. Your guide will meet you and walk you along Broad street to the boat house. On route there, you will walk past some of the most famous sights of Oxford and learn about them from your guide.  Then, go out on the beautiful river for an hour. While on the river, you'll get lots of insight into Oxford student life and traditions. This is in fact how almost every Oxford university student celebrates their graduation.  Locals often take picnics or Pimms on the river, which is sold at the boat house. The boating activity is ideal for private groups couples and families as the boats only fit max 3 or 4 customers. You also have the option to book a private group or a public shared group walking tour which lasts 90-120 minutes to schedule either before or after the 1-hour boat trip.

From Oxford: Day Trip to The Cotswolds

8. From Oxford: Day Trip to The Cotswolds

This enchanting half-day tour begins with a drive to the pretty village of Minster Lovell. Enjoy walking through the village and seeing the charming thatched cottages. The route continues to the idyllic village of Bibury, once described by William Morris as the most beautiful village in England.  Delight in a walk along the River Coln and see the trout farm and the famous 17th-century weavers' cottages on Arlington Row. A panoramic drive takes you through the stunning Coln Valley, passing through enchanting stone hamlets, hidden valleys and breathtaking scenery, before arriving in the historic wool town of Northleach.  Visit the famous wool church with its imposing Perpendicular church tower, cross to the North Cotswolds and follow the course of the River Windrush through the beautiful villages of the Windrush Valley. The next stop is in the bustling town of Burford, known as the Gateway to the Cotswolds.

Oxford: 3-Hour Private Tour with Student Guide

9. Oxford: 3-Hour Private Tour with Student Guide

Embark on an extended 3-hour tour of the best Oxford has to offer with a local student guide. Go behind closed doors with an energetic and knowledgeable student guide who will help you to peel back the complex layers and mystique of this world-famous institution. First, visit one of the oldest colleges at Oxford University for a peek inside this restricted world of academia. Stroll the gardens, unearth the peculiar Oxford traditions, and see from a real student, how this elite educational institution operates. Then, head over to the Bodleian Library - a colossal site that houses over 13 million books. Enter the first purpose-built lecture room at Oxford, where you can admire some of the most ornate medieval architecture in Europe. Listen as your guide explains the early rituals and tests students underwent, how the British Parliament was held in the building by King Charles I and later King Charles II. Discover the library’s role in the most defining ceremony at Oxford and see the locations where multiple scenes of the Harry Potter movies were filmed. Along with these focal points, also cover the most famous landmarks in Oxford city and at Oxford University. Your private tour can be tailored to the specific locations or subjects you wish to cover. Just contact the operator in advance if you have anything specific in mind and they will do their best to incorporate anything that’s available to the public on the day (additional entrance fees may be required for such requests).

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

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Oxfordshire

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

Tom gave us a memorable tour which was full of historical and current detail about Oxford without being boring. He added some humour which made it relaxing and enjoyable. In fact, I wouldn't mind doing it all again! Well done Tom!

Great experience! It was interesting to see all these places and get to know the city. Our guide Iain was exquisite! Would repeat the tour just for him!

Excellent trip. Well organised and informative tour. Fantastic experience.

It was a very fun tour. I think it's a great way to explore the city.