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Carfax Tower

Carfax Tower

Carfax Tower: Our most recommended tours and activities

Oxford: Official University and City Walking Tour

1. 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's Literary Legends and Landmarks" A Self-Guided Tour

2. Oxford's Literary Legends and Landmarks" A Self-Guided Tour

From the Chronicles of Narnia and Alice in Wonderland to Lord of the Rings and His Dark Materials, what is it about Oxford that has inspired several fantasy fiction classics? On this walking tour, Hears stories about how Oxford itself nurtured the minds of these fantasy literature giants. See where the famous wordsmiths behind these titles lived, worked and played, and some of their favourite haunts. You’ll be amazed at the sheer breadth of talent and imagination that’s concentrated in one city. Starting in front of Carfax Tower, you’ll wander through the city centre and along the Board Walk, along the way you’ll hear about Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration behind Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. I’ll show you the locations where JK Rowling’s Harry Potter was filmed, with the University of Oxford adapted to become Hogwarts. We’ll step into the world of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, where you’ll follow in the footsteps of Will and Lyra and make your way around Radcliffe Square to the Bodleian Library. After wandering through different parts of the university, your tour reaches the end in front of the Eagle and Child pub, a popular hangout for the Inklings, an informal literary club in the early to mid-1900s. Whether you’re a fan of fantasy fiction, classic literature, a newcomer to Oxford, or just plain curious, this tour offers a fascinating glimpse into another world – that of the imagination!

Oxford: Town & Gown Walking Tour

3. Oxford: Town & Gown Walking Tour

Discover charming and historic Oxford, renowned for being home to the prestigious University of Oxford, one of the oldest universities in the world. The city boasts a wealth of stunning architecture, picturesque scenery, and fascinating cultural attractions, like the Bridge of Sighs and the Carfax Tower, that you will discover in our walking tours. Discover the iconic Christ Church College and Lincoln College and marvel at their stunning Gothic and Baroque architecture. Learn about the famous alumni that studied there. After the tour, download the Vox City app (included in your tour) to discover more of Oxford and its incredible history with curated audio-guided routes through the main quarters. Our walking tours main sights: Radcliffe Camera Bodleian Library The Tower of the Five Orders Bridge of Sights Hertfort College Clarendon Building University of Oxford The Wenston Library The Old Schools Quad The White Horse Carfax Tower Christ Church The Old Tom St. Aldates Tavern Oxford Town Hall Swindlestock Tavern High Street University Church of St. Mary the Virgin Bodleian Library Alice's Shop The Crown Covered Market St. Micheal at the North Gate Oxford Martyrs Cross The bear Inn The Wheatsheaf St. Aldates Tavern History of Science Museum Sheldonian Theatre Holywell Music Room New College All Souls College Our self-guided route's main sights: St. Margaret's Well Port Meadow Folly Bridge Oxford Castle and Prison Trill Mill Stream Nuffield College Martyrs Memorial Ashmolean Museum Jericho University Parks Rhodes House Headington Shark

Oxford: Stepping Through Oxford Walking Tour

4. Oxford: Stepping Through Oxford Walking Tour

Discover charming and historic Oxford, renowned for being home to the prestigious University of Oxford, one of the oldest universities in the world. The city boasts a wealth of stunning architecture, picturesque scenery, and fascinating cultural attractions, like the Bridge of Sighs and the Carfax Tower, that you will discover in our walking tours. Discover the iconic Christ Church College and Lincoln College and marvel at their stunning Gothic and Baroque architecture. Learn about the famous alumni that studied there. After the tour, download the Vox City app (included in your tour) to discover more of Oxford and its incredible history with curated audio-guided routes through the main quarters. Our walking tours main sights: Radcliffe Camera Bodleian Library The Tower of the Five Orders Bridge of Sights Hertfort College Clarendon Building University of Oxford The Wenston Library The Old Schools Quad The White Horse Carfax Tower Christ Church The Old Tom St. Aldates Tavern Oxford Town Hall Swindlestock Tavern High Street University Church of St. Mary the Virgin Bodleian Library Alice's Shop The Crown Covered Market St. Micheal at the North Gate Oxford Martyrs Cross The bear Inn The Wheatsheaf St. Aldates Tavern History of Science Museum Sheldonian Theatre Holywell Music Room New College All Souls College Our self-guided route's main sights: St. Margaret's Well Port Meadow Folly Bridge Oxford Castle and Prison Trill Mill Stream Nuffield College Martyrs Memorial Ashmolean Museum Jericho University Parks Rhodes House Headington Shark

Oxford: Original Uncomfortable Oxford™ Walking Tour

5. Oxford: Original Uncomfortable Oxford™ Walking Tour

The perfect introductory tour of Oxford, this tour engages with the politics of memory in the city and university. It covers histories of empire, inequality, and race, class, and gender discrimination, highlighting how these legacies have an enduring impact on our modern lives. *Tour Itinerary:* 1 - Carfax Tower 2 - Rhodes Statue 3 - All Souls College 4 - Weston Library 5 - Sheldonian Theatre 6 - Balliol College 7 - Faculty of History 8 - Bonn Square Please note that the itinerary can vary slightly depending on time and tour guide. ACCESSIBILITY: Wheelchair accessible, but please note some mildly uneven pavement and crowding in the city centre. Distance walked is less than 2km.

Oxford: City and University of Oxford Audio Guide

6. Oxford: City and University of Oxford Audio Guide

Matthew Arnold, a Victorian poet, once described Oxford as “the City of Dreaming Spires”. He was referring to the stunning architecture of the 39 colleges that make up the world famous University of Oxford. Join me on this leisurely walking tour around the beautiful city and I’ll tell you the stories behind the spires. This easy stroll takes you from Carfax Tower, around the historical city centre where the majority of the colleges are situated, to finish on Magdalen Street next to the Martyrs’ Memorial. Along the way, I’ll fill you in on some of the quaint traditions and ceremonies that still take place around the colleges today, like why Great Tom, the bell above the entrance to Christ Church College, chimes 101 times at 9.05pm. You’ll hear about the famous authors, politicians and poets that have contributed to Oxford’s history too, and I’ll show you the filming locations for numerous TV series such as Morse, Endeavour and Midsummer Murders. You’ll even follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter as you take in Christ Church and its own great hall. By the end of this tour, you’ll: • Discover why Oxford’s time is 5 minutes behind the rest of the country • Find out why Oxford students are forbidden from jumping into the River Cherwell • Learn about a riot that lasted three days and cost the lives of 93 people • See the college that has produced no less than 13 of this country’s Prime Ministers • Visit the spot where three senior members of the church were executed on the orders of Bloody Mary Give yourself 90-minutes or linger along the way as there are plenty of opportunities to stop for a drink, a light snack, or even a very civilised afternoon tea.

Oxford: Walking Tour and Carfax Tower Entry Ticket

7. Oxford: Walking Tour and Carfax Tower Entry Ticket

This pass includes two walking tours of the city and entry to the historic Carfax Tower. You will join a friendly guide for the Stepping into Oxford and Town & Gown walking tours. Your guide will take you to some of the cities most popular landmarks, from the Bridge of Sighs and Bodleian Library, to Oxford University and the Radcliffe Camera. Listen as your tour guide tells you all about this picturesque and historic city, lined with world-famous educational institutions and visitor attractions. Your pass also gives you entry to Carfax Tower. This iconic tower is the only remaining part of the former St Martin's Church, as the rest was demolished in 1896. Climb to the top of the 74-foot-tower and enjoy beautiful views over Oxford's skyline. Don't forget, your pass includes a complimentary sightseeing app, filled with self-guided walking tours, audio commentary and more!

Oxford: Town & Gown and Universities Walking Tour

8. Oxford: Town & Gown and Universities Walking Tour

Discover charming and historic Oxford, renowned for being home to the prestigious University of Oxford, one of the oldest universities in the world. The city boasts a wealth of stunning architecture, picturesque scenery, and fascinating cultural attractions, like the Bridge of Sighs and the Carfax Tower, that you will discover in our walking tours. You have two different walking tours included in your ticket which can be joined either on the same day or on different days. Discover the iconic Bodleian Library and the Ashmolean Museum, the oldest public museum in the world. Hear the stories about the University of Oxford and its 38 colleges, marvel at their stunning Gothic and Baroque architecture and learn about the famous alumni who studied there. After the tour, download the Vox City app (included in your tour) to discover more of Oxford and its incredible history with curated audio-guided routes through the main quarters. Our walking tours main sights: Radcliffe Camera Bodleian Library The Tower of the Five Orders Bridge of Sights Hertfort College Clarendon Building University of Oxford The Wenston Library The Old Schools Quad The White Horse Carfax Tower Christ Church The Old Tom St. Aldates Tavern Oxford Town Hall Swindlestock Tavern High Street University Church of St. Mary the Virgin Bodleian Library Alice's Shop The Crown Covered Market St. Micheal at the North Gate Oxford Martyrs Cross The bear Inn The Wheatsheaf St. Aldates Tavern History of Science Museum Sheldonian Theatre Holywell Music Room New College All Souls College Our self-guided route's main sights: St. Margaret's Well Port Meadow Folly Bridge Oxford Castle and Prison Trill Mill Stream Nuffield College Martyrs Memorial Ashmolean Museum Jericho University Parks Rhodes House Headington Shark

From London: Stonehenge, Oxford, & Windsor Private Car Tour

9. From London: Stonehenge, Oxford, & Windsor Private Car Tour

England boasts a wonderful variety of attractions, among which the Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and the university city of Oxford are at the very top. Join this full-day excursion to visit these 3 remarkable historic sites with a Private Guide, who is a master storyteller. Discover amazing historical facts, anecdotes, and legends and fall in love with Britain! Choose the 11-hour option to visit the city of Windsor, Oxford and Stonehenge on a full-day private tour with private transportation direct from your accommodation in London. You will have the full attention of a 5-Star Guide who will customise the live commentary to your needs and interests. The first stop will be in Windsor where you can admire the facade of Windsor Castle, the weekend residence of Queen Elizabeth II. It is a great place to begin your journey through centuries of British history, traditions and royal heritage. Another highlight of this exclusive tour will be a visit to the UNESCO-inscribed Stonehenge, a prehistoric site surrounded by mystery. Explore the area with your Expert Guide to hear all the interesting facts and theories about the origin and purpose of this incredible stone structure. Finally, you will make a stop in Oxford for a walking tour of the world-famous university city. See the show-stopping college buildings of Oxford University, medieaval landmarks such as the Carfax Tower, and many churches like the University Church of St Mary the Virgin and the Christ Church Cathedral. Immerse yourself in the story of one of oldest and most prestigious university cities in the world! Choose the 12-hour option for skip-the-line tickets to Windsor Castle and enjoy a self-guided tour of the castle interior. It is one of the most visited attractions in England, but thanks to skip-the-line tickets you will not have to wait in the queue to enter. If you are interested in the royal way of life, then you have to step inside this 1,000-year-old royal residence! Discover what treasures are hidden inside, admire the design of the royal apartments, and see the tombs of British kings and queens at St George Chapel.

Oxford: Quirky self-guided smartphone heritage walks

10. Oxford: Quirky self-guided smartphone heritage walks

If you are Curious About Oxford, take one of our quirky self-guided walks, where you can explore the heart of Oxford. Not only will you visit the better-known places – we make sure you visit the unusual and intriguing ones too! Added to this we provide compelling stories about the history around you, whilst you have fun following our detailed directions, finding answers to our addictive clues and matching pictures to places along the way. You’ll discover "hidden treasures", whilst reading about the history of Oxford and the people and events that have shaped it – whether you’re familiar with Oxford or a first-time visitor, you will spot things you would not have otherwise noticed. Download the walks to your mobile device, then follow the directions and enjoy our self-guided heritage walks at your own pace and level of interest The walks are 1.5 miles and 1 mile respectively. Both walks are suitable for wheelchair and buggy users.

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What people are saying about Carfax Tower

Overall rating

4.8
(218 reviews)

Really informative, I would fully recommend a tour then you can go back to the best bits later. Lots of your favourite film locations visited.

Our guide Davey was lovely, knowledgeable and helpful. The 2hrs flew by! And it wasn’t as much walking as I expected. So much to see!

Excellent experience. the tour was very interesting and the guide was helpful and friendly. highly recommended!

Becca was an amazing guide and gave great information throughout the tour.

Brilliant - Chris the guide was awesome. He knows Oxford inside out.