11 Best Oxford Walking Tours (local approved!)

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Ready to tour the gorgeous Oxford on an interesting walking tour?

You’ve come to the right place, as we’re going to explore the best 11 Oxford walking tours – all led by expert guides who want to share the beauty of this part of England and help you skip the tourist traps.

If you’re like, just cut to the chase already, then don’t worry.

The best Oxford walking tour is this Oxford Official University & City Tour.

It has about 455 amazing reviews, so there’s no going wrong.

Oxford, famously known as the City of Dreaming Spires, is one of the most beautiful, picturesque, and incredible parts of England that is famous for its university colleges, and is worth exploring!

If you want to see what your other options are, here are 10 more tours that are definitely worth your time.

So let’s get into the list of the best Oxford walking tours, so you can book it already!

PS – booking in advance is highly, highly recommended, so you don’t miss out.

Hey! Want more honest UK tips and planning advice? Click here to join my London and UK Travel Tips Facebook group, where I can answer more of your questions!

Easy Guide: Best Oxford Walking Tours

#1 PICK 🏆Oxford Official University & City Tour5 out of 5 Stars, 450+ reviews▶ Book Here!
#2 PICKPrivate Oxford Walking Tour with Alumni5 out of 5 stars, 100+ reviews▶ Book Here!
#3 PICKInspector Morse Oxford Walking Tour4.5 out of 5 stars, 100+ reviews▶ Book Here!

1.  Oxford Official University & City Tour: best Oxford walking tour

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 450+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Guided tour
  • College visit
  • Radcliffe Tower
  • Martyr’s Memorial

This tour is a great way to discover Oxford, just like famous former residents did – walk the streets just like CS Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien did and see the top landmarks of the city.

The walking tour starts in central Oxford and moves towards the university area where you get a chance to see the elegant colleges along with key attractions like Sheldonian Theatre and Bodleian Library

While you marvel at all the sites, your tour guide will tell you interesting facts and stories about Oxford’s history you might never have heard before.

Plus, you’ll get the opportunity to take in the evocative ambiance the city’s famous for.

Some exciting sights on this tour that you’ll get to see include Trinity College, Balliol College (known as the oldest Oxford college), Martyr’s Memorial and the monument on St Giles, and the Sheldonian theatre (the university’s ceremonial theatre).

Other stops include the iconic Radcliffe Camera, the Bodleian Library, and the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin. 

2. Private Oxford Walking Tour with University Alumni Guide

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 100+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Professional guide on one of the best Oxford walking tours
  • All handling charges, fees, and taxes
  • Customizable itinerary
  • University colleges & the Oxford Castle

Take charge of your tour and explore the city at your own pace with this private tour.

Start off by meeting your guide right in the center of the city and learn about its university and its past while exploring the cobbled streets.

Whether you want your tour to start in the morning or in the afternoon is up to you.

You can make your itinerary as flexible as you like and tailor it as you wish to include sights that interest you, but make sure you visit at least Christ Church College for its gardens, chapels, and quadrangles, and the Bodleian Library.

Of course, you can ask your guide to accommodate other landmarks, too, such as the colleges used to film the Harry Potter movies.

Whatever you want to see more of, your tour guide will thoroughly guide you with in-depth knowledge and offer enjoyable stories about all the sights.

3. Inspector Morse Oxford Small Group Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars, 100+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1.5 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Entry to St Johns, Balliol, Exeter College
  • Maximum 14 people
  • Entry to university locations
  • Invitation to solve a murder mystery

Now, this one’s an interesting tour, especially if you’re a fan of the fictional character Inspector Morse (and its spinoffs, Endeavour and Lewis).

This tour gives you a chance to check out all the filming locations of the TV stories and learn about how the detective show was made.

You start off in central Oxford and head over to the different filming locations while listening to your guide about the British detective, the spinoffs, and interesting facts about the city.

Then, head over to Oxford University to see what it’s like to be a student here, before ending the tour with an invitation to solve an exciting murder mystery at Morse’s favorite pub that’s often seen on the show.

Since this tour is only limited to 14 people, you’ll have a nice time and won’t have trouble hearing what the guide has to say.

The different landmarks you’ll get to see on this tour include the Radcliffe Camera, Bridge of Sighs, Exeter College, the Divinity School at the Bodleian Library, the Turf, and Hertford College.

4. Oxford City and University Walking Small Group Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars, 90+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1.5 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Complimentary ILoveOxford map
  • Balliol, St Johns, or Exeter college for a walking tour of Oxford university
  • Filming locations for Harry Potter
  • Iconic Oxford sights like Radcliffe Camera and Bridge of Sighs

If you’re a history buff interested in the city’s rich history, this walking tour is the best option for you.

Thanks to your guide, you’ll get a comprehensive overview of the city.

And since the group is limited to a maximum of 15 people, you won’t have to worry about keeping up with your guide.

Part of your tour includes a visit to the Divinity School of the Bodleian Library, where the Harry Potter movies were filmed.

You’ll also get to visit one other college (Wadham College, Exeter College, Balliol College, etc.), depending on what’s open on that day.

While you take in the beauty of all the historical buildings, your tour guide will tell you interesting things about alumni from Oxford University, including J.R.R. Tolkien and CS Lewis.

Before the start of your tour, you’ll also get an ILoveOxford map that shows all the main sites. 

5. Private Walking Oxford Tour for the Discerning Traveler

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 30+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Private guide on this Oxford walking tour
  • Pickup and drop-off
  • Any time that suits your itinerary
  • Insider tips about the university and the city

This private walking tour is the best way to get insider information about Oxford’s history.

With your guide’s in-depth knowledge and informative narration, you’ll get to learn all about how the university has evolved over the years as well as its achievements.

But perhaps the best thing about this tour is that the itinerary is flexible since this is a completely private tour just for your party.

This also means you’ll get personalized attention, and you’ll get a lot of time to ask all the questions you have in mind.

Your tour starts at the Weston Library, which is part of the main research library at Oxford.

Or you can opt to be picked up at the Oxford Railway station or the Oxford City hotel.

From there, you explore downtown and a few famous university colleges and learn about their ambitions, achievements, foibles, and feuds.

6. 90 Minute Private Guided Walking Tour in Oxford

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars, 30+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1.5-2 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Wheelchair & stroller accessible
  • Personalized experience on one of the best walking tours in oxford
  • Information about onward transport and accommodation houses
  • Stories & insights you won’t find anywhere else

Oxford is famously known as the City of Dreaming Spires because of the dazzling architecture of all its university buildings, and what better way to explore it than this small, guided group tour?

Some of the key attractions you’ll get to see as part of this tour include the Bodleian Library, Radcliffe Camera, the Bridge of Sighs, Queen’s College, Christ Church College, and the Carfax Tower.

While you soak up the ambience and charm of the story, your guide will tell you all about the city’s rich history and insights and stories you’ll hardly ever discover on your own.

This group is best for first-time visitors who only have a limited time.

Plus, since the group size is limited to 10, you’ll have a much more personalized experience

7. Oxford Walk & Punt Tour with Optional Christ Church Entry Led By Alumni 

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 12+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1.5 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Insight into the application process for Oxford
  • University alumni guide
  • Chauffeured punting tour to add to the guided walking tours in Oxford
  • Historical tour & anecdotes

If you’re looking for something more than just a walking tour, check out this combination tour, which combines a walking tour with punting on the River Cherwell.

Yes, it’s as exciting and interesting as it sounds!

Start off your tour with an alumni guide who’ll tell you all about the student life and the storied university.

In addition to all the famous landmarks and colleges at the University of Oxford, you’ll also get insights into the Oxbridge application process and the student life there.

If you want, you can upgrade your tour to include the entrance fee for Christ Church College.

From there, you can enjoy a chauffeured 50-minute punting tour along the River Cherwell, where you’ll get to see various sites of popular literary inspiration. 

This tour is also limited to a small group, so you’ll get to enjoy a personalized experience.

8. Oxford City & University Walking Private Groups Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 9+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1.5 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Entry to one college on this Oxford city walking tour
  • Option to pay entry fees for other colleges
  • Stories about famous Oxford students like J.R.R Tolkien and CS Lewis
  • Personalized experience and undivided attention

Interested in knowing everything there is about the university city?

Take this private 2-hour tour that unveils the secrets of the famous and prestigious colleges in the city.

Out of the 38 colleges at Oxford University, this tour tries to cover as many as possible.  

In fact, we believe that this is the best introduction to Oxford that any first-time visitor can get.

Plus, since it’s a private tour, you’ll get not only your guide’s undivided attention but also a personalized experience.   

Be amazed by historical landmarks such as Christchurch and Bodleian Library, and marvel at the Oxford University buildings such as the Divinity School, Exeter College, and the New College just like past alumni like King Henry VIII, CS Lewis, Tony Blair, and J.R.R Tolkien did.

You’ll even get to hear some interesting stories about them! 

And don’t forget to check out the filming locations for Harry Potter and walk the halls where all the magic took place.

9. Oxford Private Pub and City Evening Walking Tour 

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 8+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2-4 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Professional guide on this Oxford tour that includes walking
  • Near public transportation
  • Group of 2-6 people
  • Pubs favored by alumni such as Bill Clinton

Nearly all the tours on this list have been about Oxford University colleges and the history of the city.

But if you’re looking for something different, this pub and city evening walking tour is your best bet.

With this evening walking tour, you get to see the different pubs around the city and illuminated landmarks that would make for great pictures for your Instagram!

As you go along with this tour, explore the twilit house and check out a couple of pubs, your knowledgeable local guide will indulge you in different urban legends, tales about the city’s past, and delightful stories about the antics of different students over the years.   

But what we love the most about this tour is that it doesn’t have a fixed route plan, but it introduces you to numerous famous sights and stops at a bunch of historic pubs that were favored by famous alumni like Bill Clinton.

And it is at these pubs that you can absorb and relax in the sociable atmosphere to have a unique experience.  

10. Oxford Walking Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars, 4+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 50 minutes – 1 hour | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Self-guided audio tour (audio tour provided by a historian or local)
  • Offline mode to download tours in advance in case you don’t have Wi-Fi
  • GPS map to enjoy sites without getting lost
  • Instagram hotspots for the perfect pictures

If you’d rather explore the city on your own without following a guide around, we suggest that you check out this self-guided audio tour that’s narrated by a local or a historian.

This tour takes you through not just iconic sights like the historic colleges, Radcliffe Square, the Sheldonian Theatre, the Bodleian Library, and the Bridge of Sighs, but also the perfect Instagram spots, so you get the best pictures of your tour without someone rushing you!

Plus, you’ll get to hear historical tales like the one about Protestant martyrs that were burnt at the stake and interesting stories such as the reason for Radcliffe Square’s unusual building.

The best part?

You don’t need an active internet connection to be able to take this tour.

You can just download it in advance and listen to it while walking around town, even if you don’t have Wi-Fi.  

11. Royal Windsor, Oxford & Cotswold Private Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 2+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 12 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Parking fees
  • Wi-Fi onboard
  • Private door-to-door tour

Get the ultimate English experience with this tour of the royal town of Windsor, which is home to the infamous Windsor Castle, Oxford, and Cotswolds, which is famous for its honey-hued stone cottages.

Of course, seeing these on your own without your own transportation, that, too, in just a day, is an impossible feat, but this door-to-door tour is perfect for the task.

The tour includes three different stops: Oxford, Eton College, and Windsor Castle, and a drive through the Cotswolds.

Since this is a private tour, the pace is entirely up to you.

Plus, there’s WI-Fi onboard to keep you connected and allow you to share your trip with others in real time without worrying about roaming charges.

The tour also includes a 2-way private transfer from your address of choice in London.   

Hey! Want to use our trusty guides to the best tours in other places across the UK? Check these out!

UK Travel Planning Guide: the FAQs

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Absolutely yes. Basic coverage is not expensive, and as a visitor you are NOT covered under the NHS. Compare policies and prices with Travel Insurance Master here, a big name in the travel insurance business, and cross that off your list.

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Yes, you do, otherwise you won’t be able to plug in your electronics/phone/lifelines. I recommend this one, which is all-in-one so you can use it in other countries.

🚗 What do I need to drive in the UK?

The first thing you need to check out if you’re planning on renting a car in the UK is this guide to driving in the UK for visitors – the roads, signs, and driving experience will likely not be what you’re used to and it’s essential to prepare yourself to stay safe and aware.

🛌 What’s the best way to book hotels in the UK?

For UK hotels, Booking is the best site as it offers free cancellation on many properties. If you want an apartment, I always recommend VRBO over AirBnb.

📳 Will my phone work in the UK?

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🚿 Can I drink the water in the UK?

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