Walking tours in Oxford


Aug 21st, 2012, 03:40 PM
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Walking tours in Oxford

Hi, Does anyone have an recommendations for good walking tours of Oxford?? I plan on taking the train reasonably early in the morning from London and spending the day and return that same day. In a perfect world I'd like to explore on my own in the morning, takes a 2-3 hour walking tour in the afternoon, have an early dinner and return to London that evening. Is that do-able? I am particularly interested in the Boudian (not sure of the spelling on that) and the ltierary figures of the area ( Lewis Carroll, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien , Shelly, WIlde ). Any great suggestions??

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Aug 21st, 2012, 07:32 PM
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If you mean the library it;s the Bodleian. You can certainly see the outside but I'm not sure the inside is open to tourists (I seem to recall hearing that you had to be a member - but you can certainly check.

Also, colleges are only open to the public at certain times - and certain parts. I would definitely check the details before heading there.

And will you be there at term time or during the holidays?
nytraveler is offline  
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Aug 21st, 2012, 09:18 PM
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The Tourist Information Centre offers several really good tours every day

janisj is online now  
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Aug 21st, 2012, 10:48 PM
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If you've got just eight hours and have a real interest in specific literary figures, you're a lot better off researching them beforehand, then following it up yourself than spending half your time on a general tour. Some of the key sites for CS Lewis and Tolkien are in the suburbs, and need to be planned into your overall journey: The Kilns, for example, are easiest to visit by getting the bus from London to Oxford, getting off at the Thorhill Park & Ride, walking to the site then getting a local bus into town.

Given the hundreds going on thousands of authors with local connections, it's very unlikely you'll really want to go on a tour of Harry Potter film sets or punt along the Cherwell. It's possible that the Tourist Information Centre has a walking guide to literary Oxford (these days, likely to give more space to Philip Pullman than Shelley, who unlike Tolkien, Lewis, Dodgson or even Colin Dexter, produced little of importance while in Oxford)), but there's an almost infinite amount of other printed and electronic guides around. Just google "oxford literary" and you'll see what I mean.

The Bodleian has a range of paid-for visits (, but it's essentially a scholar's library, and its tours are about its architecture, its ancient manuscript collections and its librarianship. However it has a frequently changing small, free, exhibition on a more literary theme in the foyer of its main building. The city's embryonic Story Museum ( has occasional literary exhibitions on its intended site.

Opening times, and where appropriate admission charges, for colleges (which change across the year, but not really between term and vacation) at

Generally, though, the best place in Britain for accessible ephemera connected with authors is the free exhibition at the British Library in London.
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Aug 21st, 2012, 11:30 PM
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I understand that London Walks ( have some walks in Oxford.
marg is offline  
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Aug 22nd, 2012, 09:45 AM
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Thank you everyone. If it makes any differance, I will be there the 2nd week of Sept.
Ecall is offline  
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Aug 22nd, 2012, 11:13 AM
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Here are a couple of "Tolkien's Oxford" links:

And this is a link to my trip report from 2007. We spent a good chunk of one day in Oxford looking for Tolkien sites. The Oxford information is dated June 18.

Lee Ann
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