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  1. United Kingdom
  2. Oxfordshire
  3. Oxford

Spirit of Oxford 2.5-Hour River Cruise

Product ID: 50194
The Spirit of Oxford Cruise explores the areas of Oxford 'off the beaten track' that lie at the heart of the city's unique charm.
About this activity
Duration: 2.5 hours
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

Select participants and date:



  • Relax aboard a 2.5-hour sightseeing tour
  • Pass through Osney Lock
  • Enjoy stunning scenery at Port Meadow
  • Take short stop at the historic Perch Inn
  • See Christ Church Meadow and college glimpses
  • Follow the river route that inspired Alice in Wonderland
Full description
Departing Folly Bridge in Oxford city center, the cruise travels upstream passing quaint residential suburbs before reaching Binsey and majestic Port Meadow. These areas of unexpected natural beauty have inspired the work of Oxford's best loved literary icons including Lewis Carroll, C S Lewis, Evelyn Waugh, and Gerard Manly Hopkins. These sights 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 stories of the land of Narnia.

As the boat returns to the city center the downstream route goes past iconic Oxford scenery including Christchurch Meadows and College, the University Regatta Course, the College Boat Houses, and Folly Island. During the cruise your skipper will offer a little of the history of these famous reaches of the river and will be happy to respond to any questions that you might have.
  • 2.5-hour cruise
What’s Not Included
  • Hotel pick-up
  • Food and drink
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

The cruise departs from the moorings at The Folly Restaurant, 1 Folly Bridge, Oxford, OX1 4JU.

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Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 34 reviews

Review summary

  • Service
    5 / 5
  • Organization
    4.9 / 5
  • Value for money
    4.7 / 5
  • Safety
    5 / 5
Sort by

Would have been excellent but as i had not ordered the picnic lunch i was made to feel a bit like a second class citizen! The best seats are definitely reserved for those that have booked lunch and the rest of us have to sit at the back of the boat. I was also 'told off' for boarding the boat too early and choosing my own seat! Otherwise it would have been perfect!

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August 12, 2019

A day of exploration ...seeing behind the scenes of The Thames.

We arrived at reception and made to feel really welcome. Coffee beside the Thames with the boats and the ducks was relaxing... We then met Nick, our skipper, who was enthusiastic and informative (apart from wild flowers...sorry Nick!) The boat was electric, so, quiet and unobtrusive and there was a lot to see along the river banks. The 2.5 hours flew by and we would highly recommend it ....

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July 13, 2019

My grandson and I had a great experience, highlights being Osney lock.

August 30, 2019

Organized by

Oxford River Cruises

Product ID: 50194