Balliol College Tours

Balliol College
One of Oxford’s oldest colleges, Balliol College dates back to the 13th century, although the precise date is disputed. The architecture of this rambling college is predominantly from the 19th century, though parts of the Front Quadrangle are as old as the 15th century. It takes its name from its founder, John de Balliol.

The Basics
There is a small charge to enter Balliol College, which gets you access to the Victorian-era chapel, the gardens, and sometimes the dining hall. As Balliol is architecturally less spectacular than colleges such as Christ Church and lacks the literary connections of, say, Merton, it’s not an especially common destination for organized Oxford walking or cycling tours, most of which stop at the frontage rather than exploring within. Most travelers visit independently, while exploring central Oxford on bicycle or foot.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Balliol College is especially of interest to travelers with a curiosity about British politics.
  • Avoid looking through windows, especially during term: Students and academics live and work here.
  • There is wheelchair access to much of the ground level at Balliol College, but you will need to advise the porters ahead of time.

How to Get There
Balliol College is located in central Oxford, on the corner of Broad Street and St. Giles. Almost everyone explores Oxford on foot, or perhaps by bicycle, and it’s generally easiest to arrive by train or bus. Most London trains start from Paddington, while the popular Oxford Tube coach service stops at Victoria, Shepherd’s Bush, Notting Hill Gate, and Marble Arch. Drivers typically leave their vehicles in park-and-ride zones outside the city.

When to Get There
Balliol College is open to visitors from late morning until late afternoon, or dusk, whichever comes sooner, but closes occasionally for college events. Like other Oxford colleges, it can get very busy during the summer months, particularly on weekends. Plan to visit during shoulder seasons, and/or earlier in the day, for a better experience.

Balliol College Alumni
Balliol College has an impressive roster of alumni, particularly in the turbulent field of British politics. Authors including Graham Greene and Aldous Huxley studied here, along with three British prime ministers, the controversial politician Boris Johnson, and intellectuals such as Richard Dawkins, John Evelyn, and John Wycliffe.

Address: Oxford, United Kingdom OX1 3BJ, England
Admission: Varies
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Oxford, Stratford and the Cotswold Villages Day Trip from London

Escape the city for a sojourn in the British countryside on this full-day tour of Oxford, Stratford and the Cotswold Villages from London. Visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare and Ann Hathaway’s cottage in Stratford-Upon- Avon, then drive through the idyllic Cotswolds, stopping to snap photos of the thatched-roof cottages and historic villages along the way. Finally, enjoy a walking tour of Oxford and discover the ‘City of Dreaming Spires,’ home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world.
  • Duration: 12 hours
  • Duration: 12 hours
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Oxford Christian History Tour

While there are many walking tours available in Oxford we noticed that there were no tours emphasizing the Christian history of Oxford. This tour emphasizes the specifically Christian history of Oxford and includes stories about the Oxford Martyrs (Archbishop Cranmer, Bishop Latimer and Bishop Ridley), the Oxford Movement and Cardinal John Henry Newman, William Tyndale, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, King Henry VIII, and Queen Mary Tudor. But don't worry, this tour will also give you a fantastic introduction to the city and university and includes stories about C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, Harry Potter and much more! Meet us at the Martyr's Memorial in Oxford on the corner of St. Giles and Beaumont St. See you there!
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Duration: 2 hours
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Oxford University and City Tour!

This walking tour gives you an insider's view of Oxford University and the city. Your student guide will tell you what real student life is like within our historic university. Your tour will include plenty of history, but also stories and anecdotes to delight adults and children alike. You'll hear about the incredible history of the university, while also learning about a tortoise race, a duck hunt which takes place just once every hundred years, Harry Potter, Lewis Carrol, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and much, much more!Our group sizes on these tours are limited in order to ensure that everyone has the best possible experience with their student guide. This does mean, however, that space is limited. So book your tour as soon as possible.This tour covers all of central Oxford's major attractions and includes entry to one of our ancient colleges as well the oldest part of the historic Bodleian Library--The Divinity School, which also served as a Harry Potter film location.
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Duration: 2 hours
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Oxford City and University Walking Tour with College Visits

If you’re interested in Oxford’s rich history, look no further than this 1.5-hour walking tour for a comprehensive overview of the historic city. In a small group limited to 15, you’ll visit Bodleian Library and Christ Church College—home to Harry Potter filming locations—and learn about Oxford University alumni such as CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. Plus, receive a ILoveOxford Savings Card. This card is accepted by 50 local traders and will easily save you money all over town in cafes, shops, and restaurants.
  • Duration: 85 to 120 minutes
  • Duration: 85 to 120 minutes
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Private Oxford Bicycle Tour

The best way to see Oxford is on a bicycle on this private bicycle tour along the River Thames Path. In fact, bikes are the locals' favourite way to get around the city as the compact Oxford is not very car-friendly. The tour lasts for 3-4 hours, including a guided tour plus bike set up time and a refreshments stop. The route covers both the city's sights and stories with a college entrance fee and a relaxing cycle along the River Thames to Iffley or Binsey Village. To book this private tour, you must select at least 4 adult tickets, in order to book. Otherwise, we sell small group individually ticketed tours too, from £40 per person with minimum of only 2 persons to book those tours.
  • Duration: 3 to 4 hours
  • Duration: 3 to 4 hours
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