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The Thames Valley Sights

Radcliffe Camera and Bodleian Library

  • Broad St. Map It
  • Oxford
  • Library/Archive

Updated 05/28/2014

Fodor's Review

A vast library, the domed Radcliffe Camera is Oxford's most spectacular building, built in 1737–49 by James Gibbs in Italian baroque style. It's usually surrounded by tourists with cameras trained at its golden-stone walls. The Camera contains part of the Bodleian Library's enormous collection, begun in 1602. Much like the Library of Congress in the United States, the Bodleian contains a copy of every book printed in Great Britain and grows by 5,000 items a week. Tours reveal the magnificent Duke Humfrey's Library, which was the original chained library and completed in 1488. (The ancient tomes are dusted once a decade.) Guides will show you the spots used for Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter films. Arrive early to secure tickets for the three to six daily tours. These are sold on a first-come, first-served basis (except for the extended tour on Wednesday and Saturday, which can be prebooked). Audio tours, the only tours open to kids under 11, don't require reservations. Call ahead to confirm tour times.

Sight Information


Broad St., Oxford, OX1 3BG, England

Map It



Sight Details:

  • Audio tour £2.50, minitour £5, standard tour £7, extended tours £13
  • Bodleian and Divinity School weekdays 9–5, Sat. 9–4:30, Sun. 11–5.

Updated 05/28/2014


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