Once described by the poet Matthew Arnold as the “City of Dreaming Spires”, Oxford is an architecture lover’s delight. Its medieval centre is home to one of the world’s most prestigious seats of learning, whose 38 colleges comprise a myriad of beautiful buildings that captivate all who visit.
With London less than 60 miles away, many visitors to the capital make the short trip to Oxford during their stay. Below, we’ve picked out five of the best London to Oxford tours currently available.
FROM £79 PER PERSON
This fantastic 2-day tour takes you into the heart of the idyllic Cotswolds before moving on to the historic cities of Bath and Oxford. Accompanied the whole way by a friendly and knowledgeable driver keen to regale you with tales of lore, your journey starts at London Victoria from where you’ll be transported via a luxury 16-seat Mercedes mini-coach to the Neolithic henge monument of Avebury. After exploring some of the Cotswold’s most charming villages you’ll move on to Bath where you’ll get the chance to sample its renowned Roman spring and bathhouses. Your final stop-off will be in Oxford, famous for being a centre of academic excellence for over 900 years. You’ll have plenty of time to wander around and enjoy the city’s beautiful architecture before your return trip to London, equipped with great memories and a camera full of photos, we are sure.
FROM £271 PER PERSON
Nestled on the outskirts of Oxford, this popular open-air luxury village-style shopping complex makes for a fantastic day out. You’ll be transported here from London in the comfort of a chauffeur driven private vehicle. Once you arrive, you’ll get plenty of time to browse the array of goods on display, including clothing by leading fashion bands and a huge choice of food outlets serving up locally sourced produce. When you’ve indulged in all the retail therapy you can handle, pack up the car with your shopping bags, hop back onboard and enjoy a leisurely return trip to London.
FROM £92 PER PERSON
If you’ve only got a day to spare, but are keen to visit one of Britain’s two most famous seats of learning, then there’s no need to choose between them, as this tour takes you to both. You’ll depart London on a comfy, air-conditioned coach and will soon find yourself traversing the English countryside. You can even don high-tech headphones as you go along, with a narrator regaling you with stories about the history of the historical cities you are about to visit. Your first stop will be Oxford where you’ll get to explore the honey-stoned college buildings of this famous city. After absorbing all that Oxford has to offer, you’ll return to your coach before venturing east through rolling countryside to Cambridge, prettily situated on the Cam River. You’ll get plenty of free time to wander around its myriad delights before returning to London.
FROM £146 PER PERSON
This 2-day small group tour combines a taste of rural England with the city heritage of Bath and Oxford. Your first stop after leaving bustling London behind will be the bucolic delights of the Cotswolds, where you’ll get to see the Avebury Ring stone circles and old-world village of Lacock. Next, you’ll be transported to the historic city of Bath, famous for its Roman Bathhouses and striking architecture. An overnight stay in a comfortable 3-star hotel will be enjoyed here before exploring more of the Cotswolds the following morning, including the scenic town of Bibury, Stow-on-the Wold and Bampton. Last but not least, you’ll visit Oxford where you can discover its charming college courtyards and winding alleys before your return trip to London.
FROM £134 PER PERSON
Combine a visit to Oxford with a look around some of the filming locations for popular TV period drama ‘Downton Abbey’ on this fully accompanied day trip. You’ll depart from London by coach and travel to historic Oxford, located around 1.5 hours away. As you travel, your guide will entertain you with stories about the world-famous University of Oxford whose ivy-strewn buildings you’ll visit during a comprehensive city walking tour. You’ll get to enjoy free time to sightsee independently and perhaps avail yourselves of some refreshments at a local pub, or indulge in some shopping. Return to your coach and journey to pretty Bampton village in Oxfordshire, which features in Downton Abbey as Downton village. Finally, continue south to Hampshire, where the grand Highclere Castle awaits you, another recognisable landmark from the TV drama. Explore the castle before enjoying a relaxed return to London.