Between its baroque chapel, extensive gardens, and historic buildings, Trinity is one of Oxford’s prettiest small colleges. Founded in 1555 by Sir Thomas Pope, it occupies a prime position in central Oxford, opposite the landmark Bodleian Library.
Highlights of Trinity College include 18th-century buildings designed by acclaimed architect Sir Christopher Wren, the first baroque-style college chapel, and more than five carefully maintained green spaces featuring lavender, roses, and tree groves. Gain admittance to the chapel, the gardens, and the dining hall for a small fee, or choose a small-group walking or biking tour to hear stories and historic anecdotes from your guide. Stop by the college on a hop-on hop-off bus tour, or visit independently as part of a stroll around downtown Oxford.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Trinity College is a must-see for history and architecture buffs.
- Students and teachers live and work at this active educational institution, so avoid exploring stairwells or looking through windows.
- Trinity College is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
How to Get There
Trinity College lies in the heart of downtown Oxford, opposite the Bodleian Library on Broad Street, and visitors typically explore on foot or by bicycle. Parking can be difficult, so it’s a good idea to arrive by public transportation or visit on a hop-on hop-off bus tour. Most London trains start from Paddington, while the popular Oxford Tube coach service stops at Notting Hill Gate, Shepherd’s Bush, Marble Arch, and Victoria. Drivers typically leave their vehicles in Park and Ride zones outside the city.
When to Get There
Trinity College closes occasionally for special events, though it’s typically open from late morning until noon, and then again in early afternoon. The dining hall closes for an extended lunch break. Visit in the morning to beat crowds, although in summer the college stays busy throughout the day.
The Different Trinity Colleges
One of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford, Trinity College was originally founded as a training house for Catholic priests in the 16th century. The name “Trinity” refers to a Christian concept of God as three identities: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There are different Trinity Colleges scattered around the British Isles, including in the cities of Cambridge, Oxford, and Dublin, Ireland.