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Oxford Outdoor activities

Our most recommended Oxford Outdoor activities

City Sightseeing Oxford Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

1. 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 - Wadham College 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

From London: Day Trip to Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton

2. From London: Day Trip to Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton

Visit Oxford and top 'Downton Abbey' filming locations on this guided day trip from London. Start the day with a walking tour of Oxford and its famous university buildings. Continue to the Cotswolds’ village of Bampton. Visit the magnificent Highclere Castle with entry tickets included. Board your bus in London and set out on your tour. Journey in a comfortable bus as you head towards your first stop for the day, the city of Oxford. Here, embark on a guided walking tour of the city, home to one of the world’s oldest universities and packed with architectural highlights. Next up is a visit to Bampton, the filming location and setting for the exterior village scenes in Downton Abbey. See the church, the house of Matthew Crawley's mother, and homes transformed into the post office and various pubs. Head to Highclere Castle, the country seat of the Earls of Carnarvon. The tour of the Castle’s public rooms includes the magnificent main hall, the library, sitting rooms, and other rooms featured in Downton Abbey. Take home a copy of Lady Carnarvon's book as a souvenir of your visit.

From Oxford: Cotswold Explorer Full-Day Tour

3. From Oxford: Cotswold Explorer Full-Day Tour

Start your unforgettable Cotswold journey by boarding the minibus in Oxford. Then, set off on a scenic drive to the charming village of Minster Lovell. Enjoy seeing the pretty thatched houses and exploring the ruined 15th century Hall. Continue the route through the idyllic villages of Asthall and Swinbrook to Burford, the 'Gateway to the Cotswolds'. Make a stop here to give you time to stroll around the sloping High Street and browse in the quirky shops and cafes. Next, travel further on your panoramic drive through the old quarrying villages of Taynton and the Barringtons towards Bourton-on-the-Water, the 'Venice of the Cotswolds'. Take a walk along the quaint River Windrush crossed with delightful stone bridges. From Bourton-on-the-Water, follow the route through some enchanting Cotswold villages to Broadway with its golden stone houses. Find a pub or cafe for lunch in this village which inspired artists and writers, such as Frank Millet, J M Barrie, and William Morris. After lunch, visit the beautiful market town of Chipping Campden, with its old market hall and wool church. Then, explore Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest town in the Cotswolds. Here you can browse among the narrow footpaths and the antique shops and art galleries. Finally, return to Oxford via the bustling market town of Chipping Norton with a final brief photo stop in Woodstock, the site of Blenheim Palace (the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill).

Oxford: Afternoon Tea Sightseeing River Cruise

4. Oxford: Afternoon Tea Sightseeing River Cruise

Traveling down the University Regatta course, the boat passes Christ Church Meadows, the University College Boat Houses, and other landmarks on your way to Iffley lock. This is often a busy and vibrant section of the river where training rowing crews, punts, and pleasure boats jostle for river space in a wonderful display of Oxford at play. Passing through the lock at Iffley is an experience in itself. The river scenery and fascinating buildings combine to form a picture perfect location. Beyond Iffley you will travel into the tranquil water meadows that surround Oxford and there are abundant opportunities to spot wildlife amongst the green banks and overhanging willows. The boat turns for home at Rose Island, a favourite destination of Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell on their river journeys. Aboard the boat an indulgent afternoon tea is provided by the renowned riverside restaurant, the Folly. The traditional menu typically includes: a selection of finger sandwiches, homemade scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, a selection of cakes, tarts, or petit fours, and tea.

Oxford: Scenic Sightseeing Cruise with Gourmet Picnic

5. Oxford: Scenic Sightseeing Cruise with Gourmet Picnic

This cruise travels through the city past famous landmarks including Christchurch College and Meadows, the University boathouses and regatta course, the Head of the River and Folly Bridge . From the river passenegers take in a side of Oxford's heritage rarely seen by visitors to the city. Quaint Osney Island, well-loved allotments and gardens and majestic and ancient Port Meadow are off the tourist trail but represent some of Oxford's most beautiful and intriguing scenery. Port Meadow, a vast area of common land, has remained little changed since prehistoric times and supports plants and bird-life in abundance. At the top of Port Meadow is Godstow. Godstow was the ultimate destination of Alice Liddell and Lewis Carroll when they followed an identical route to this trip while composing 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'. It is also the site of Trout Island, an inspiration for another of Oxfords literary icons, C S Lewis, and his stories of the land of Narnia. Your picnic lunch is provided by riverside restaurant, The Folly, and typically includes: • An selection of finger sandwiches • Homemade quiche or tart of the day • Homemade scones with strawberry jam, clotted cream and fresh strawberries  • Elderflower presse Served in a traditional picnic basket with napkins, crockery and glasses (to be returned to the crew at the end of the cruise). Drinks to take aboard can be purchased at the departure point.

London: Oxford, Stratford, Cotswolds, and Warwick Day Trip

6. London: Oxford, Stratford, Cotswolds, and Warwick Day Trip

Make the most of your time in England with a day trip to the English countryside. Enjoy a walking tour of Oxford city and university including entry to the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, witness the scenery of the Cotswolds, enter Warwick Castle, and visit the birthplace of Shakespeare. Walking tour of Oxford Follow in the footsteps of Oxford's famous students, from C.S. Lewis to Bill Clinton, as you stroll the captivating college courtyards and cobbled lanes of this historic university town, on this guided day trip by bus from London. Take in the famous 'dreaming spires' and see the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe. Be captivated by the unspoiled narrow alleys and ancient squares of this naturally beautiful town. Oxford is famous for being home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world – countless bright young things have wandered the town’s cobbled streets over the years! During this guided walking tour you will see the stunning University Church of St Mary the Virgin and furtively discover unspoiled narrow alleyways, ancient squares, and towering spires. Entry to the 13th-century University Church of St Mary the Virgin. Soak in spectacular sights of the unique baroque design and architecture as you explore the center of the University of Oxford. This absolute gem is a must-visit on your trip to Oxford. The Cotswolds Enjoy views of the breathtaking countryside, sleepy villages, and bustling market towns as you drive through the charming scenery of one of England's most beautiful regions. Stratford–upon–Avon  A unique market town, famous as the home of William Shakespeare, arguably the world's greatest writer. Visit the picturesque half-timber house where the legendary bard was born, and gain fascinating insights into his childhood. Shakespeare’s birthplace: See where the famous playwright grew up and spent his years as a married man. Warwick Castle  Be part of Britain’s greatest medieval experience deep in the heart of Warwick Castle. Immerse yourself in battle preparations and feel the weight of a medieval sword. Become a soldier – try on a battle helmet for size. Visit the spectacular State Rooms and feast your eyes on Victorian party preparations. 

Oxford Uni: Walk & Punt Tour w/ Optional Christ Church Entry

7. Oxford Uni: Walk & Punt Tour w/ Optional Christ Church Entry

See Oxford University through the eyes of Alumni and current students on this combo alumni-led campus walking tour and student-led punting trip. Get an authentic look at the colorful story of the oldest English-speaking university in the world.  Walking Tour Oxford is nothing without its students, and it’s the students who make this walking tour so special. Your guides will either be graduates or current students who combine their personal experiences of the city with their deep passion for its history, architecture, and stories. In just a 1.5-hour walk, follow your guide to discover pivotal moments of human history: from petty and outlandish rivalries to architectural masterpieces with confusing names. Inspiring, baffling, and downright outrageous: Oxford is a city full of stories waiting to be told. See the lamppost which inspired Narnia and the architecture that inspired His Dark Materials. Visit the meadows where Lewis Carroll first recounted the story of Alice in Wonderland. Marvel at some of the world’s greatest examples of Gothic and Baroque architecture. Hear all about what the students really get up to – from BOPS to secret societies to which all-night library permits outside snacks. Discover which college is the poshest and the oldest and which one has traditions designed only to mock the traditions of other colleges. As well as hearing it all from past and current students themselves, you’ll get to see inside colleges (entry included), with highlights including the Jesus College gardens. This is the real Oxford, experienced as a student, through busy streets and college grounds. Punting TourAfter your walking tour, enjoy a 30-minute student-led punting tour along the River Cherwell. As you set off south from the boathouse, you’ll be chauffeured past Oxford’s famous Botanic Gardens and Magdalen College School fields. Continue through Christ Church Meadows, where Lewis Carroll was teaching students in the mid-19-century when he wrote the famous Alice Through the Looking Glass and Alice in Wonderland. Pass St. Hilda’s College gardens and make your way back to the boathouse. You can ask questions throughout your trip and even have a free punting lesson upon request.

From Oxford: Cotswolds Towns and Villages Small Group Tour

8. From Oxford: Cotswolds Towns and Villages Small Group Tour

Discover quaint villages, tiny tea rooms, and 15th-century ruins on a day trip to the Cotswolds from Oxford. Explore Stow-on-the-Wold, Burford, Bourton-on-the-Water, and more unusually named places. Admire the scenery as you drive through the pretty countryside to picturesque villages. Departing from outside Oxford Railway Station in the morning at 10:00 AM, head to the village of Great Tew. Continue to Stow-on-the-Wold to reach the highest town in the region and browse the honey-colored buildings and tiny tea rooms. Visit the pretty village of Lower Slaughter before going to Bourton-on-the-Water, known as the "Venice of the Cotswolds", where you will have time for lunch. After lunch, discover the gateway to the Cotswolds in the village of Burford. Journey through the valley of the River Windrush and discover amazing villages such as Swinbrook along with the ruins of 15th-century Minster Lovell Hall. Departure will be late afternoon, returning to Oxford Railway Station by 5:00 PM

Oxford City Twilight Ghost Tour

9. Oxford City Twilight Ghost Tour

Hold on tight for this 75-minute walking tour of Oxford with a difference. The relaxed evening walk explores many of Oxford's back streets and alleyways, in search of some of the city’s legendary spooks. Oxford has many different ghost stories, from tales of heretic bishops to soldiers shot at dawn during the English Civil War. Your guide will bring them all to life, to the extent that you might even believe some of them are true! Stroll around the oldest parts of the city, where the highest abundance of spectral activities are located. See ghostly sites such as the location where the bloody town versus gown riots began. Visit mysterious graveyards, see the mournful Bridge of Sighs, and follow in the footsteps of Dead Man's Walk.

Oxford: River Thames Sightseeing Cruise

10. Oxford: River Thames Sightseeing Cruise

Cruise along the glorious River Thames on a short but scenic boat ride departing from the quaint Folly Bridge and heading toward the charming Iffley Lock. Admire your beautiful surroundings, made up of lush trees and cozy brick cottages, immersing you in the lovely old-town vibe of Oxford. Board your boat to begin your journey, throughout which your skipper will point out all the major sites and answer any questions you may wish to ask. Marvel at the views of Christ Church meadows, college boathouses, and a mix of wildlife and countryside, whilst enjoying your time on board. You will either ride a stunning traditional-style vessel or a more modern cruiser. Either way, rest assured you'll have a spacious boat to sit back and relax on.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Oxford

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What people are saying about Oxford

We had the delight of a private tour as the other couple booked didn’t show up. Our ‘private’ tour was therefore excellent! The guide did a great job of showing us around some main attractions and also hidden back alleys and secret spots. Was great to hear some history of Oxford in such a humorous and engaging way.

It was a great experience: A very convenient van. A very knowledgeable and professional tour guide. Amazing sceneries and places. A great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.

Magnus was a brilliant guide, very knowledgeable and witty also, which for us made it even more enjoyable. I would definitely book again. Thank you Magnus.

It’s really nice trip and we went such a wonderful places. I highly recommend it

Best bang for your buck! Sandra the guide was knowledgeable and kind.