Lying less than 60 miles from London by road, the charming University city of Oxford makes for an ideal day trip from the capital.
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. For visitors to London, Oxford also offers the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of the Big Smoke, and is easily reachable by car, coach or train. We’ve picked out five of the best London to Oxford tours currently available.
Full-Day Windsor, Stonehenge, and Oxford Tour
Combine a walking tour of Oxford with visits to two other famous UK landmarks on this extended day tour. Departing early morning from London, you’ll start your day at Windsor Castle, one of the official residences of HM Queen Elizabeth II, where you’ll get to explore the magnificent State Apartments as well as the pristine castle grounds. Next, you’ll make the 1.5-hour journey west to the legendary standing stones of Stonehenge. After wandering around the prehistoric stone circle and learning about the theories behind its mysterious construction, you’ll continue onto idyllic Oxford, just over an hour north, for your fascinating tour on foot, before your return journey to London. From £65 per person.
Harry Potter Studio Tour & Oxford Day Tour from London
Immerse yourselves in the world of Harry Potter and explore the equally enchanting city of Oxford on this full-day excursion. Departing from London, you’ll be driven by coach to Oxford for a guided walk that takes you past University college buildings, cloisters, quadrangles, and cobblestone squares. You’ll also have the chance to enter notable city landmarks including the Bodleian Library before savouring some free time. Next you’ll journey east to Watford, home to the Warner Bros. Studios where much of the Harry Potter movies were filmed. Here you’ll join the official The Making of Harry Potter tour, discovering behind-the-scenes secrets and even boarding the original Hogwarts Express train. The tour price includes all transport, studio entrance and Oxford walking tour. From £119 per person.
Oxford and Cambridge Universities day tour from London
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 £65 per person.
Round Trip shopping transfer from London to Oxford Bicester Village
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 brands 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 £285 per group (max 4 people).
Downton Abbey and Oxford Tour from London Including Highclere Castle
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. From £140 per person.