Oxford Castle

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Oxford Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

Oxford Castle and Prison: Guided Tour

1. Oxford Castle and Prison: Guided Tour

Discover 1,000 years of Oxford’s history - Oxford Castle & Prison is an award winning visitor attraction with a past stretching far beyond your imagination. For hundreds of years, the site has held both famous and infamous residents, serving time as a religious site, a home for royalty, and a center of justice as the County Jail. Built in 1071 and only closed in 1996, Oxford Castle & Prison is a site with so many fascinating tales to tell. From the modern day stretching all the way back to the barbaric medieval era. The site has links to the birth of education in Oxford, the famous legends of King Arthur, the valiant escape of Empress Matilda and the infamous modern-day cases of murderers and criminals. Led by a costumed tour guide, the rich history of the castle and prison will be revealed as you climb the Saxon St. George’s Tower, descend deep underground into the 900-year-old Crypt, explore the Victorian Prison D-Wing and Debtors' Tower, and scale the Mound of the 11th century Motte-and-Bailey castle. After your 50 minute tour, you will be led into the exhibition wing where you can explore at your own leisure.

City Sightseeing Oxford Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

2. City Sightseeing Oxford Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Home to the oldest University in Britain, Oxford is an architectural marvel. You'll get fantastic views of its honey colored buildings as well as tantalizing glimpses of the hushed courtyards of its many Colleges. Visit the International award winning Oxford Castle Heritage area and you'll travel by the Ashmolean, the Sheldonian, the historic Carfax junction - see this and more on the City Sightseeing tour of Oxford. Your Tour Itinerary Stop 1 - Railway Station Stop 2 - Park End Street Stop 3 - Bus Station Stop 4 - New Road Stop 5 - West Gate  Stop 6 - Speedwell Street Stop 7 - Christ Church Stop 8 - Brasenose College Stop 9 - The Queens College Stop 10 - The Plain Stop 11 - St. Cross Road Stop 12 - South Parks Road Stop 13 - Sheldonian Theatre Stop 14 - Trinity College Stop 15 - Parks Road Stop 16 - Banbury Road Stop 17 - Woodstock Road Stop 18 - Browns Restaurant Stop 19 - Magdalen Street East Stop 20 - Randolph Hotel

Oxford: 3 City Walking Tours Pass

3. Oxford: 3 City Walking Tours Pass

Join and leave the circuits as you please. Be escorted by local experts who are on hand to meet you throughout the day. Use the app to track your nearest guide and begin to discover countless visitor hotspots, including the University of Oxford, Radcliffe Camera, Carfax Tower, and Oxford Castle. Enjoy fascinating storytelling from your guide as you immerse yourself in Oxford’s quaint and charming streets. Best-known for housing one of the world’s most prestigious universities, the city also has exciting stories to tell surrounding history and literature, with plenty of visitor attractions to explore. Hop off your guided tour and self-guide whenever you wish. Benefit from multilingual audio commentary and recommended walking itineraries, pinpointing your favorite sights. Discover photo hotspots, all offline, day or night. When you're ready, hop back on a guided tour, and continue your sightseeing adventure.

From London: Full-Day Oxford, Windsor, and Eton Tour

4. From London: Full-Day Oxford, Windsor, and Eton Tour

Depart from London and first travel to the royal town of Windsor. Upon arrival, take a walking tour of the town and visit Windsor Castle, one of the Queen's official residences. Admire the beautiful architecture of the castle, which makes it one of the Queen's favorite weekend retreats.  Then, make your way to Eton, a short walk across the river Thames. Explore the small town and the famous Eton College, where prime ministers, world leaders, Nobel laureates, and generations of the aristocracy have been educated.  In the afternoon travel to the university town of Oxford, home to one of the most famous and oldest universities in the world. After a short guided tour, enjoy some free time to explore the city center, where you will find a wide variety of shops in the Westgate and Clarendon shopping centers and the old Victorian market. Use your time to visit some of the free museums such as the Ashmolean Museum, the oldest museum in the United Kingdom, or the University Museum of Natural History. Explore the Museum of the History of Science on Broad Street, which is the world's oldest surviving purpose-built museum building. After a few hours to discover the best of Oxford, return to London, arriving back in the city shortly after 7:00 PM.

Oxford Day Trip from London: City Tour, Colleges & Lunch

5. Oxford Day Trip from London: City Tour, Colleges & Lunch

Travel back in time on this Private Day Trip Tour into one of the world's most academic and intellectual cities. Get away from busy London and tour Oxford with a private local guide. Admire not only the city's medieval architectural beauty and its river and natural environment, but also its traditional English cuisine. Learn about the history of Oxford Castle, an ancient castle over 1,000 years old, famous for having once been a prison. Visit the only 12th-century tower still standing in the city. Take the opportunity to enter the History of Sciences Museum to see the famous blackboard that Einstein once used during a lecture at some Oxford University, and which still preserves its formulas. Relax and enjoy a delicious British lunch with a typical English beer in a traditional 14th-century tavern. Enjoy the best views of this university city by climbing to the top of the 13th-century tower of the University Church of St Mary. See the most prestigious colleges in the world, from Balliol College (the oldest in Oxford) to the most important college in the city: Christ Church College. Enter and breathe the university and intellectual air of Oxford. Get to know its beautiful Gothic building and discover how its students live. Enjoy Oxford in-depth, with its History, its Culture, Gastronomy, Colleges, and local’s lifestyle in this amazing Private Day Tour.

From Brighton: Full Day Oxford, Windsor & Eton Tour

6. From Brighton: Full Day Oxford, Windsor & Eton Tour

Join a student-friendly tour to Oxford, Windsor, and Eton. Visit Windsor and Eton in the morning before traveling to Oxford at lunchtime, where you'll spend the afternoon. Set off from Brighton, and make your first stop in the historic town of Windsor where you will go on a guided walking tour full of interesting facts and stories. Later, set off for Oxford, also known as the "City of Dreaming Spires." Upon arrival, take a guided walking tour through the center of the town to orientate yourself. Then, enjoy some free time to discover a wide range of shops in the Westgate and Clarendon shopping centers and the old Victorian covered market. Alternatively, visit some of the free museums, the Ashmolean Museum, or Oxford Castle. After this, head over to Oxford University, one of the most famous and oldest learning institutions in the world. For over 800 years, it has been a home to royalty and scholars, although people are known to have lived in the area for thousands of years. Its beautiful architecture, museums, and young student population make the city a wonderful place to visit at any time of year. Even though Oxford is a very cosmopolitan city, it is dominated by its ancient university, with each college having its own sense of identity. With its mix of ancient and modern, there is plenty for you to do and see.

Other Sightseeing Options in Oxford Castle

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What people are saying about Oxford Castle

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 278 reviews

really great bus tour went on it ,twice and learned so much ,great to get on and off when you liked ,and chris was great who did our walking tour with learned so much .great value for the money well worth it x

Buses were prompt, clean and the headphones worked. Information provided on the tour was interesting and good stops throughout the tour. Staff were friendly and helpful

Oxford open top bus tour very informative with flexibility of hopping on and off as you made your wary around. I would definitely do again.

Easy to book a ticket, simple to find your way around using the bus map.

An excellent look at Oxford City with an interesting commentary.