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Oxfordshire

Castle & palace tours

Our most recommended Oxfordshire Castle & Palace Tours

London: Full-Day Windsor, Stonehenge, and Oxford Tour

1. London: Full-Day Windsor, Stonehenge, and Oxford Tour

Enjoy a full day of English heritage visiting the exquisite Windsor Castle, captivating Stonehenge, and the beautiful university city of Oxford. On this day trip departing from London, you get the whistle-stop tour of these unique sites with interesting commentary from your guide along the way. Start your day at Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of HM King Charles III. Visit the magnificent State Apartments still used for state occasions and royal receptions (if option selected). Take some time to explore the castle grounds and the 14th century St. George's Chapel, where you can admire one of the most beautiful examples of medieval church architecture in England. Next, go to the standing stones of Stonehenge, still clouded in mystery as an amazing feat of human engineering. Explore the prehistoric stone circle and learn about the theories around its construction (if option selected). Continue to the university city of Oxford, known as "The City of Dreaming Spires." A seat of learning since 1249, it's an idyllic location to explore on a fascinating walking tour.

Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

2. Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

Blenheim Palace Blenheim Palace is a masterpiece of English Baroque architecture and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The stunning State Rooms are brimming with priceless works of art and magnificent tapestries. The Palace is still inhabited today by the Duke of Marlborough. The Gardens are set in over 754 hectares of land with an exquisite water garden. The Cotswolds In the Cotswolds you'll visit one the areas most beautiful villages, Bourton-on-the-Water. This is a must-see village, referred to as the 'Venice of the Cotswolds' due to the number of attractive bridges that cross the gently-flowing river at its center. Downton Abbey Village Visit the village of Bampton; the film setting for many of the famous landmarks featured in the popular Downton Abbey TV series. See the buildings that played the part of the home of Isobel Crawley, the Downton Cottage Hospital, the church and also the location for two fictional local pubs, The Grantham Arms and The Dog & Duck.

Oxford Castle and Prison: Guided Tour

3. Oxford Castle and Prison: Guided Tour

Step into 1,000 years of Oxford’s history with a costumed tour guide. 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. 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. 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. After your 50-minute tour, you will be led into the exhibition wing where you can explore at your own leisure.

Full-Day Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton Tour from London

4. Full-Day Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton Tour from London

Explore Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires, home to one of the world’s oldest universities. Admire the architectural highlights of the many colleges. Next on this 10-hour tour is a visit to Bampton, the setting for the exterior village scenes in Downton Abbey. See the church, the house of Matthew Crawley's mother, 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.

London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour

5. London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour

Depart London by luxury mini-coach on an 11-hour Downton Abbey tour. Stop at Yew Tree Farm (Cogges Manor Farm) to see filming sites used throughout the TV series. Continue to the Swan Inn at Swinbrook, location of one of the series' most controversial story lines. Next stop is in Shilton, a Cotswolds village inaccessible to larger coaches. See the old stone footbridge, duck pond and the old pump and well, before the short journey to Bampton (Downton village). Head to Highclere Castle, home to the Grantham family in the series. Enjoy the gardens before entering the castle. Take a guided tour of the castle’s opulent rooms. There will also be time to take in the Egyptian exhibition.

From London: Blenheim Palace & the Cotswolds with Lunch

6. From London: Blenheim Palace & the Cotswolds with Lunch

Discover the captivating Cotswolds! Enjoy views of breathtaking countryside, sleepy villages, and bustling market towns on this panoramic tour of one of England’s most beautiful regions. Bask in the beauty of Blenheim Palace! Early arrival at the Palace ensures an almost private visit of this fairy-tale country mansion. See the sumptuous State Rooms with their priceless treasures, stroll through sweeping landscaped gardens designed by Capability Brown, and grab a photo opportunity at the shimmering lake. Known as the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’, the picturesque village of Bourton–on–the–Water boasts of many traditional features of the Cotswolds. Take time to marvel at its elegant low bridges and stroll along the magnificent Main Street. Estimated arrival time back to London is around 6.30 pm.

Oxford, Stratford, Cotswolds & Warwick Castle Day-Tour

7. Oxford, Stratford, Cotswolds & Warwick Castle Day-Tour

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. Take in the famous 'dreaming spires' and see Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe. You'll 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. After visiting Oxford, you will leave the university city and return to London. 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. 

From London: Windsor, Oxford & Stonehenge Full-Day Trip

8. From London: Windsor, Oxford & Stonehenge Full-Day Trip

Embark on a full-day guided tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford from London. Take the scenic route through the lush English countryside in a comfortable air-conditioned bus. The first stop on this tour is Windsor Castle. With its sweeping landscaped gardens and turreted Round Tower, it is easy to see why the castle is the Queen’s favorite weekend residence. Enjoy a fascinating through-the-keyhole peek at the lavish State Apartments, home to priceless artworks by Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci. You can also visit Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and St George’s Chapel - the final resting place of the monarchs of old, including Henry VIII. The tour then moves on to spectacular Stonehenge. You will never forget your first glimpse of the monolithic rock formation rising up against the skyline of the Salisbury Plain. Theories abound as to Stonehenge’s mysterious origin. Was it intended as a religious temple? An astronomical clock? A Bronze Age burial ground? Make up your own mind as you explore this unique landmark. Your final stop of the day is the charming university town of Oxford. Here you will enjoy a walking tour with free leisure time. Stroll the captivating college courtyards and cobbled lanes of this historic university town. The tour will finish at approximately 07:15 PM in London.

From Oxford: Cotswold Explorer Full-Day Tour

9. 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).

London: Windsor, Oxford, and Stonehenge Tour

10. London: Windsor, Oxford, and Stonehenge Tour

Uncover the charms of picturesque Windsor, explore the academic centre of excellence that is Oxford, and marvel at ancient Stonehenge in its majestic grandeur on this full-day tour departing from London. Leave in the morning and drive to Windsor, a place awash with natural beauty. Discover the 17th-century historical monuments that line its cobbled streets. You can also choose the option to visit the home of Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s largest and oldest castle. Later, make your way to Stonehenge, its rocks rising up against the skyline on Salisbury Hill. Was this mysterious site a temple, a clock, or a burial ground? Decide for yourself as you explore the landmark that has had the world stumped for 5,000 years. Finally, head to Oxford for a walking tour. Follow in the footsteps of the city's famous students, from C.S. Lewis to Bill Clinton, as you stroll the captivating courtyards and cobbled lanes of this historic university town. Take in the famous "city of dreaming spires" and see the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe, on your visit. Be captivated by the narrow alleys and ancient squares of this naturally beautiful town.

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What people are saying about Oxfordshire

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 127 reviews

Lovely and quaint Cotswold villages, lunch was good (the portions were quite small though in my opinion), however it felt a bit rushed. I wish we would have had more time to enjoy Bourton-on-the-Water. There isn't much to see in Burford and it is perhaps not the prettiest of the Cotswold villages. Blenheim Palace was great and I had just enough time to see what I wanted to see there but I might have to go back some day. The guide was knowledgeable but not as charismatic or personable as the guy who did the Seven downs tour.

My husband, 2 year old, and I had an amazing experience on our full day tour of Windsor, Stonehenge, and Oxford. We spent a perfect amount of time in each place, we had Morton as a guide who was fantastic, and we left on time and had a good experience on the bus as well. I would highly recommend taking a tour with Golden Tours and would do so again if we find ourselves back in the UK!

Morton was a fantastic guide. Gave the perfect amount of information, was attentive, and even went above and beyond for other guests on the tour. The tour itself is long, but well worth it to have a sampling of other areas away from London. We could’ve used more time in Warwick to see the bird display or explore town, and more time in Oxford, but enjoyed the time we did have.

el tour fue totalmente excelente. tanto la guía como el conductor bien amables y atentos. en cada destino haces un tour guiado a pie y después tienes tiempo para recorrer por tu cuenta, no es mucho tiempo libre, pero puedes manejar el tiempo como gustes

I had Peter as our guide and Paulo as our driver and they were the best!! Loved all the history and how we got to explore each place. Really amazing tour, highly recommend!!