University of Oxford
To get a handle on Oxford’s colorful history, it’s well worth discovering Oxford University with a guide, whether on an Oxford walking tour, an Oxford cycling tour, or aHarry Potter tour. Most find the city merits a full day, but time-pressed travelers may prefer to bundle Oxford into a combo tour. Some popular Oxford University tour packages include Oxford, the Cotswolds, and Stratford-upon-Avon; Oxford, Windsor Castle, and Stonehenge; and, of course, Oxford and Cambridge.
Rather than having a single unified campus, the University of Oxford is made up of a wealth of different colleges and buildings scattered around the city. While many individual entities, such as Christ Church College and the Bodleian Library, charge for admission, there’s no charge for exploring the city or to look at the architecture. Many travelers choose to experience the university simply by wandering around downtown Oxford.
Recent reviews from experiences in Oxford
Things to Know Before You Go
The University of Oxford is a must for history buffs, architecture lovers, and photographers.
Students are usually in the city for just three 8-week terms, or less than half the year.
Wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be on your feet a lot.
Avoid peering through windows, wandering into stairwells, etc. The colleges are institutions where students and their teachers live and work.
Oxford is a flat city, and the University of Oxford has reasonably good disabled access, but check provisions at each individual college or institution when planning your visit.
How to Get There
The University of Oxford is scattered around Oxford, with its epicenter at the heart of the city. Drivers will likely need to leave their vehicle in a park-and-ride outside the city, so it’s generally easiest to arrive by bus or train. Most London trains start from Paddington, while the popular Oxford Tube coach service stops at Shepherd’s Bush, Notting Hill Gate, Marble Arch, and Victoria.
When to Get There
Access to colleges, libraries, theaters, and the like is typically easiest outside of the University of Oxford’s three terms, which run from early October to early December, mid-January to early March, and late April to mid-June. While it’s nice to see the gardens and meadows in bloom, try to avoid visiting Oxford during the European tourist peak of late June, July, and August. September can be a good time to visit.
What to See at Oxford University
The University of Oxford is home to some stunning works of architecture. Christ Church College, a setting for manyHarry Potter scenes, is ever-popular; the Bodleian Library, which opened in 1602, is a landmark; the Bridge of Sighs, a century-old skyway, is an Instagram essential; and the Sheldonian Theatre, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, is a signature.