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Exploring the Oxford University Colleges

Exploring the Oxford University Colleges

From kings and prime ministers to archbishops, saints, and Nobel Prize winners, the list of Oxford University alumni is as diverse as it is extensive. Here are a few of the famed university colleges to check out during your visit to Oxford.

Christ Church College

Christ Church is widely considered the most famous of Oxford University’s colleges. Highlights here include the 16th-century buildings overlooked by Sir Christopher Wren’s Great Tom bell tower and the Great Hall, which featured as the lavish Hogwarts dining room in theHarry Potter movies.

New College

The castle-like New College was founded in 1379, and its full name is the Warden and Scholars of St. Mary’s College of Winchester in Oxford—little surprise the name has been shortened over the years. One of Oxford University’s wealthiest colleges, New College ranks among the most academically successful in the world. One must-see nearby attraction is Oxford’s famous Bridge of Sighs.

St. John’s College

Sir Thomas White founded St. John’s College in 1555. It takes pride of place on St. Giles in central Oxford, and the majority of the college buildings are arranged around bustling squares.

Magdalen College

Nestled on the banks of the River Cherwell to the east of the city center, with a deer park within its extensive grounds, Magdalen College boasts one of the most beautiful settings of all Oxford University’s 38 colleges. Woodland walking routes pass cricket lawns and deer hides, with sweeping views over the pretty Cherwell River.

Merton College

Merton College dates back to the late 13th century, when the bishop Walter de Merton donated funds to establish a center of learning. One of the most famous alumni is acclaimed poet and playwright T. S. Eliot, who studied at Harvard, then Merton College. No visit here is complete without a walk through the gardens, which feature a 17th-century mulberry tree and a pretty summerhouse overlooking the lawns.

All Souls College

With its looming gothic towers, All Souls College is perhaps the most visually striking Oxford colleges. Henry VI of England founded All Souls in 1438, and to this day the college remains one of the university’s wealthiest. One highlight is the beautiful Codrington Library, a Grade I–listed building—meaning, given the official status as an English or Welsh building of exceptional interest—housing over 180,000 items.

Wadham College

Founded in 1610 and situated near the Ashmolean Museum in the heart of the city, Wadham College’s buildings range from Gothic to contemporary. Highlights include the Holywell Music Room and the attractive Wadham Gardens.

Lincoln College

The College of the Blessed Mary and All Saints, Lincoln—better known simply as Lincoln College—dates back to 1427, when the then-Bishop of Lincoln founded it. Famous alumni include author John le Carré and 18th-century physician John Radcliffe, after whom Oxford landmarks including the Radcliffe Camera, the Radcliffe Infirmary, and the Radcliffe Observatory are named.

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4 Tours and Activities | All Oxford Tours

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Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford Day Trip from London

Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford Day Trip from London

star-4
See three of England’s architectural treasures on a full-day trip to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford from London. First, check out Windsor Castle, second home to the Queen of England, and opt to upgrade with a guided tour of the castle’s opulent interior. Next, head to Stonehenge to uncover the mystery behind this UNESCO-listed site, and then explore the canals of Oxford on a complimentary walking tour of the city. Upgrade to include entrance fees, or enjoy the flexibility of deciding on the day which attractions you'd like to visit.
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  • 11 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$88.21
From
$88.21
Taking safety measures

Oxford and Cambridge Universities day tour from London

Oxford and Cambridge Universities day tour from London

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Keen to visit Oxford or Cambridge? Then explore both age-old university cities in in one day on this illuminating trip from London. With an expert guide, take a walking tour around the historical colleges of Oxford, famous as the ‘city of dreaming spires.’ Admire hushed courtyards and showpieces including the Bodleian Library, and hear about past scholars such as Bill Clinton. Continue to the university city of Cambridge on the Cam River and take a stroll around its finest college buildings, including the splendid King’s College and Bridge of Sighs.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$88.21
From
$88.21
Taking safety measures

Oxford, the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon Day Trip from Oxford including Shakespeare's Birthplace

Oxford, the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon Day Trip from Oxford including Shakespeare's Birthplace

star-4.5
Discover the quintessential charm of the English countryside on a full-day excursion to Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds from Oxford. With a knowledgeable guide, travel to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, to discover the rich historical heritage of the area. Stop at Anne Hathaway’s quaint cottage and then discover a selection of charming villages in the Cotswold’s region. Conclude your day with a comprehensive walking tour of Oxford and marvel at the architectural grandeur of the historical university city.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$202.21
From
$202.21
Taking safety measures

City Sightseeing Oxford Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

City Sightseeing Oxford Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

star-4
Experience one of the world’s greatest university cities on this hop-on hop-off Oxford bus tour. With a 24- or 48-hour pass, design a personalized itinerary with several possible stops including the University of Oxford buildings (some featured in the 'Harry Potter' films), Oxford Castle, and Bodleian Library, one of the world’s oldest public libraries. Enjoy unobstructed views from the open-top viewing deck and fun onboard commentary as you savor this elegant city.
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  • 40 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$22.39
From
$22.39
Taking safety measures