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Oxford University Colleges

By Viator, July 2014

5 1 Reviews | Add your review

Few universities can boast such esteemed alumni as Oxford University. The generations of scholars include five kings, 26 prime ministers, 86 archbishops, seven saints and 40 Nobel Prize winners, alongside numerous household names. Cambridge graduates might disagree, but for many, Oxford is the university town, and as the oldest university in the English-speaking world, it’s hard to disagree. 

Unlike many American colleges, Oxford University is not situated on one central campus—instead, the modern-day city has sprung up around the university’s 38 colleges and the two are inseparable. With more than 100 buildings, some dating back as early as the 13th century, over 70 acres of parks and facilities that include museums, libraries, botanic gardens and chapels, it would take weeks to explore all of the Oxford University colleges. Not all colleges are open to the public, and those that are follow strict opening hours and may be closed without notice if needed by students, so the best way to take in the highlights is with a guided tour.

Christchurch College is one of the most famous, with its 16th-century buildings overlooked by Sir Christopher Wren’s Great Tom bell tower and the Great Hall featured as the lavish Hogwarts dining room in the Harry Potter movies. Nearby, the landmark Radcliffe Square is home to the historic Bodleian Libraries, the domed Radcliffe Camera and the Sheldonian Theatre, now used for university ceremonies, while just north is the castle-like New College, which despite its name, is more than 620 years old. 

East of the city center, Magdalen College boasts one of the most beautiful settings, with its woodland walks, deer park and cricket lawns all set along the banks of the Cherwell River. Additional highlights include the Merton College, where you’ll find some of the original university buildings dating back to 1264; All Souls College, with its looming gothic towers; the University of Oxford Botanic Gardens; and the world-renowned Ashmolean Museum.

Tours & Tickets

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Oxford, the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon Tour

Tour Oxford, the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon in one day, on a leisurely paced excursion with an expert local guide. After exploring the university city ...  Read more

Location: Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $189.08

Oxford City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 14 Reviews

Explore the beautiful university town of Oxford with this 24 hour ticket aboard an open-top double-decker bus. See all the main sights of Oxford as you hop-on ...  Read more

Location: Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 or 48 hours

From USD $22.24

Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford Custom Day Trip

4.5 star rating: Recommended 633 Reviews

Experience three of England’s trophy sights on this full-day trip to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford from London. Travel by air-conditioned coach to ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $85.80

Cambridge and Oxford Historic Colleges of Britain Day Trip

4 star rating: Recommended 48 Reviews

Begin the day traveling across the Chiltern Hills to Oxford, the "City of Dreaming Spires", whose hushed courtyards and elegant, dignified timeworn ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $133.47

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