Bridge of Sighs, Oxford

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Bridge of Sighs, Oxford: Our most recommended tours and activities

Oxford: University and City Walking Tour

1. Oxford: University and City Walking Tour

Join a university-educated guide, with years of experience and local knowledge of Oxford City and colleges. See the dreamy spires of one of the oldest universities in the world on a guided walking tour. Go inside some of the city’s most historic colleges, such as New College, founded in 1379 and more recently seen in the Harry Potter films and television productions of Inspector Morse and Lewis. Visit Exeter College, founded in 1314, and another favorite on most tours. Stop by Hertford College, with its romantic façade and Bridge of Sighs, instantly recognizable from Brideshead Revisited. See the University Library and learn about the collegiate system unique to Oxford and Cambridge. Discover famous alumni who studied and taught at the university, including the infamous Dr Spooner, whose portraits hang in New College Dining Hall and whose name is given to the playful linguistic phenomenon of spoonerisms.

Oxford: Official University and City Walking Tour

2. Oxford: Official University and City Walking Tour

Explore Oxford, the city of Dreaming Spires, on a walking tour with an expert guide from the city’s tourism board. Be shown the city’s most famous sights, uncover its hidden history, and enjoy all the astonishing stories about Oxford's key characters- real and fictional. Meet your guide at the grand and very old Broad Street (once the city's ditch) let them know where you come from and any special Oxford interests you may have and they will do their best to incorporate those.  Go to Martyrs' Memorial, the scene of terrible religious retributions in medieval times, and on to the oldest tower at St Michael of the Northgate built in Saxon times. Then, make your way to the very heart of the University and the inspiration behind Harry Potter's Hogwarts School. Pass by the pubs where the Inklings used to meet to discuss their writing as well as the pubs where Inspector Morse was filmed and the most popular student drinking holes in days of old. Discover the city that is home to several of Britain's most famous literary characters - both fictional and real - such as JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, Philip Pullman, and Colin Dexter as well as some of their most famous creations like Lyra and Will, and Inspector Morse. Admire Oxford's stupendous architecture, gargoyles and grotesques, so wonderfully preserved from every historical period and style, and take a stroll through the breathtaking Radcliffe Square. Cross the whimsical Bridge of Sighs as it's fondly known, just like the ones in Venice and Cambridge. See the Bodleian Libraries from the outside in the splendid Old Schools Quadrangle. Learn about the city’s famous museums including the Museum of the History of Science, containing Einstein's blackboard, The Pitt Rivers, once home to shrunken heads, and the fabulous Ashmolean, which was one of the very first ever museums in the world. If time allows, walk as far as to the beautiful Christ Church Meadows, where punting happens and cattle graze; a truly pastoral and quintessential English scene.

Oxford: Official “Haunted Oxford” Ghost Tour

3. Oxford: Official “Haunted Oxford” Ghost Tour

Discover all the key haunted places in and around Oxford on a nighttime walking tour based on the book 'Haunted Oxford' led by the author himself, Rob Walters. Experience the best way to 'see' Oxford’s ghosts on a route that takes you around the heart of central Oxford and its University. Meet your guide and get whisked away into the night, starting on the corner of Turl Street and Broad Street, which was once the city ditch and site of terrible murders and religious persecution. Learn about the history of Oxford and hear many splendidly spooky stories dating back to Danish Viking times. Walk past Oxford University, Radcliffe Square, and peer into the Old Schools Quadrangle - of Harry Potter fame. Admire the gorgeous and imposing architecture of Oxford and feel the history in the walls, which are well preserved and represent every period of architecture from Medieval through Classical to modern.  Look up at the Bridge of Sighs, so-called as it is reminiscent of the one at Venice which led prisoners to their doom. Wind down the ancient walled lane to New College, built in the late 1300s, and see its dark gates against the gloom.

Oxford: Complete University Tour with optional Christ Church

4. Oxford: Complete University Tour with optional Christ Church

You will begin in central Oxford, with a brief and engaging introduction which will lay the foundation for the vast periods of history to be covered! Then the tour will enter a college renowned for having the most beautiful lawns in Oxford along with an iconic dispute with its neighbour - resulting in a supposed theft of the College tortoise (Oxford Annual Tortoise Race explanation included!). Then the group will visit the Sheldonian Theatre, where students experience the most iconic ceremony at Oxford University. You can hear from your student guide how the experience was for them. Next you will enter a historic museum -complete with a chalkboard used by Einstein in Oxford - and visit the Weston Library, a great example of a hybrid historic and modern interior. This tour will then cover sites that none of our other tours do! Including Rhodes House, the Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum. The latter is known to have one of the most exceptional collections in England, including Victorian shrunken heads. The tour stops for lunch at the Eagle and Child pub, a second home to J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis while they were members of the Inklings. After lunch, you can get a photo under the Bridge of Sighs before gazing up at the first round library in England, where your Oxford student guide will give you rare insights into the labyrinth of underground tunnels students. Not to be forgotten, All Souls College. With entrance exams as complex as they are bizarre, this site will highlight how exclusive a College can be and how influential its members are. Heading down to the southern part of Oxford, we visit a hidden door depicting the most famous characters in C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Before entering the largest College at Oxford, Home to Oscar Wilde and C. S. Lewis, and its own deer park. Explore the iconic grounds which have been home to Oxford’s most influential writers, complete with medieval cloisters. The tour will head over to Merton College, home of Tolkien, to discuss not only its literary importance, but it’s multi million pound kitchen, funded by the current Emperor of Japan! The tour will then go to Christ Church College, exploring the unique meadows - such a stunning expanse of land incredibly rare in a medieval city. Here you will learn about its close connection to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland - along with its decision to be held to a different time zone than the rest of Oxford. Those who have selected the option to enter Christ Church will then have their pre arranged tickets given to them, and they will be free to explore the college at their own pace. The guide will be at hand before entering to offer further advice and guidance. Please note - the structure on the day may differ.

Oxford: Costumed Ghost Tour with Special Guests

5. Oxford: Costumed Ghost Tour with Special Guests

Prepare for the unexpected and keep your wits about you as you undertake one of the most entertaining experiences in Oxford. Home to some of the most brutal murders in England's long history, Oxford is uniquely known as the epicenter of troubled souls, dark energy, and flesh-eating beasts. Venture through the dark alleyways and haunted squares of the town while enjoying mysterious tales of ghosts, horror. and sinister happenings. Learn about Oxford’s terrifying history with a combination of stories and dramatic performances by expertly trained actors who will play out the most barbaric and brutal punishments exacted during Oxford's Medieval and Civil War years. Be prepared for the surprise appearance of multiple wild beasts! After an exhilarating and entertaining wander around the city, finish up at one of the famous pubs in Oxford.

Oxford: Private City Tour & University Historical Highlights

6. Oxford: Private City Tour & University Historical Highlights

Meet your guide outside Oxford's famous Ashmolean Museum with its fine collections of art and artefacts and start your walking tour. Pass by the Martyr's Memorial, dedicated to the Oxford Martyrs, and sop in Broad Street, close to where the old city wall used to be. From here you begin to expand your knowledge about the history of the University.  Get a chance to visit a typical college of the university with its quaint quadrangles and see how the students live and work. Continue your tour and pass by the Sheldonian Theatre, the University's ceremonial hall and then head to the quaint Bridge of Sighs.  Enjoy some time for a photo in front of the bridge and before visiting the Old Schools Quadrangle of the Bodleian Library, where Harry Potter was filmed.  Stop at charming Radcliffe Square with its cobblestones and the splendid Radcliffe Camera. See several colleges in this area before the tour continues to Christ Church Meadows. Marvel at the location of Christ Church College, where Alice in Wonderland was inspired and Harry Potter was filmed.  Walk back towards the Carfax Crossroads, the very centre of the city and have a chance to window-shop as you walk through Oxford's Victorian Covered Market. Your tour finishes in the Cornmarket, giving you an opportunity to enjoy lunch in one of Oxford's pubs, cafes or restaurants or to explore the shops in the Covered Market or the modern Westgate Centre.

Oxford: 3 City Walking Tours Pass

7. 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.

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

8. 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.

Oxford: History of Medicine - An Oxford Walking Tour

9. Oxford: History of Medicine - An Oxford Walking Tour

Dissect the fascinating and uncomfortable history of health and medicine in the city of Oxford. Beginning in the mediaeval heart of Oxford, we walk participants through the history of health and medical research in the city. Both uncomfortable and fascinating, this tour asks questions about the lasting impact of disease and the way in which imperialism, conflict, and inequality have helped shape the development of modern medicine. Our tours are designed to be critically engaging activities that create discussion amongst participants and challenge them to analyse the diverse impacts of historical events. Using the built environment, we examine health geographies, resistance to public health policies, and the tensions inherent in medical progress. The tour is run by students from the University of Oxford and lasts for 1h45m. The group will walk no more than two miles, but please be aware that cobble stones and uneven pavement may restrict the accessibility of this event.

Other Sightseeing Options in Bridge of Sighs, Oxford

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What people are saying about Bridge of Sighs, Oxford

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 859 reviews

Fabulous day with Jamie!! Would highly recommend this tour to get the most out of your time in Oxford. We got lucky being the only people on the tour that day, so we had a private guide!! We covered loads of ground and Jamie was so knowledgeable about the history, people and traditions of the various colleges, some of which are hilariously funny. He answered all our questions, and we had lots. We opted afterwards to take the Christchurch tour. Unfortunately Jamie wasn’t permitted to join us for that part, but he gave us a talk about the college prior to entry and we had the audio guide once inside. This part adds about an hour to the tour.

Half of the price went into entry fees to several colleges - very very very worth it. In addition Stuart was an excellent guide, gave great historical info, answered questions with confidence and provided several anecdotes, and gave info on what to see and do outside of the scope of the tour. Stuff like "there's a great pub there", "you can visit this college after 2pm", "visit x spot for a great view" etc.. Definitely worth every pence. The walk itself covered an area of about 3-4 blocks, so not straining. Lots of Oxford is not friendly for movement disabled. Keep that in mind.

Really good walking tour of a few of oxfords colleges and the history of the city. Not a long walk, less than a mile but a guide filled up the 1hr 30min. tour with interesting facts and stats.

Great guide, very knowledgeable , but did it in a nice way. Happy to answer lots of other questions too. definitely recommend.

Louis was terrific. So knowledgeable and solicitous, with lots of interesting factoids about Oxford.