Add dates

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: Original Uncomfortable Oxford™ Walking Tour

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

3. 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: City and University of Oxford Audio Guide

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

5. 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: City, University & Pub Walking Tours

6. Oxford: City, University & Pub Walking Tours

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. Stepping Through Oxford walking tour includes: 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 Town and Gown walking tour includes: 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 Historical Pubs walking tour includes: 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 6 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 ...and many more!

Oxford: Town & Gown Walking Tour

7. Oxford: Town & Gown Walking Tour

Enjoy the quaint streets of Oxford as you are guided around this historic town. See the Bridge of Sighs, a skyway that connects 2 parts of Hertford College. Listen to the audio guide tell you the fascinating history of the town as you marvel at the Bodleian Library and other visitor attractions. Visit Carfax Tower, known for its bird's eye view of Oxford. Learn about Christ Church, a college of Oxford, which was founded in 1546. Continue to The Old Tom, a traditional pub with 3 centuries of history. Stop off at St Aldates Tavern, a Victorian pub famous for real ales and craft beers. Appreciate the beauty of listed buildings such as Oxford Town Hall. Learn about the St Scholastica Day riot at the site of the Swindlestock Tavern. Follow the curve of High Street as you pass many college buildings. Check out the University Church of St Mary the Virgin and its famous baroque porch.

Other Sightseeing Options in Carfax Tower

Want to discover all there is to do in Carfax Tower? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Carfax Tower

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 206 reviews

I did the tour with my three teenage daughters. Hannah our guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining and we enjoyed the tour very much, even though it was very cold and rainy (being the end of December). Highly recommend doing the tour and doing it in the morning, to get your bearings.

We had a great tour with Lucy who was very knowledgable. We wanted a taste of Oxford as a university city but also to get a feel for Oxford itself. This tour provided exactly that. Very enjoyable.

Nice tour of Oxford including access to Hartford college. Well presented and just right to get your bearings and to learn about the history of Oxford. Covered market a treat too.

Lucy was excellent! She was very knowledgeable on everything Oxford and gave fun stories and fun facts to keep everyone engaged during the whole tour. Would highly recommend!

Knowledgeable, a little humour and great sights. Get a real feel for the history of the city and some filming locations