Visiting Oxford University

Stepping into the hallowed halls of Oxford University is to enter a realm where centuries of academic excellence, architectural grandeur, and intellectual curiosity converge. As one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world, Oxford beckons visitors with its timeless charm and a palpable sense of history.

Explore the most incredible colleges, museums and halls of Oxford University. Plan your visit to the city and its University, and find ideas for walks and tours.

A Quick Oxford University Timeline

1096-1248

1200s

1642-1651

1854

2000s – Present

Foundation of Oxford University

The University of Oxford is established during the 12th century. While the exact founding date is unclear, teaching existed by 1096, and the university received its charter in 1248.

Academic Growth

Oxford University experiences significant growth during the 13th century. Founding of notable colleges like University College (1249) and Balliol College (1263) contributes to its development.

Civil War Impact

Oxford becomes a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War. The city faces conflict and sieges during this tumultuous period.

University Reform

The Oxford University Act of 1854 brings about significant reforms in governance and curriculum, shaping the university’s structure in the 19th century.

Modern Developments

Oxford remains a global academic powerhouse in the 21st century thanks to research breakthroughs, technological advancements, and a commitment to excellence.

Oxford University Colleges

Oxford’s unique structure comprises a collection of colleges, each with its own distinct personality and history. From the storied halls of Christ Church to the intimate charm of Magdalen, exploring these collegiate enclaves offers a glimpse into the daily lives of scholars past and present. Many colleges welcome visitors to stroll through their gardens, chapels, and dining halls.

Oxford University - Balliol College. Image courtesy of Billy Wilson.

Balliol College

Balliol College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford and one of its oldest. It was founded around 1263.

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Oxford University - St Edmund Hall. Image courtesy of Simon Q.

St Edmund Hall

St Edmund Hall (or Teddy Hall) is a constituent college of the University of Oxford and claims to be “the oldest surviving academic society”.

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Oxford University - Jesus College. Image courtesy of Billy Wilson.

Jesus College

Jesus College is in the centre of the city of Oxford, on a site between Turl Street, Ship Street, Cornmarket Street and Market Street.

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Oxford University College

University College

University College (colloquially known as “Univ”) is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in England and possibly the oldest.

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Oxford University Libraries

Oxford University - Gladstone Link.

Gladstone Link

The Gladstone Link is an underground library connecting the Bodleian Library with the Radcliffe Camera. It opened to readers on 5 July 2011.

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A view of Oxford Radcliffe Camera

Radcliffe Camera

Radcliffe Camera is a neo-classical style building inside Oxford University, built from 1737 to 1749 for the Radcliffe Science Library.

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Bodleian Library - Entrance. Image courtesy of Billy Wilson.

Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library is one of Oxford’s most famous landmarks. Among the oldest in Europe, it’s easy to visit and incredible to see.

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Oxford Permanent Private Halls

Oxford University - Champion Hall. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Campion Hall

There are six Permanent Private Halls at the University of Oxford in England. Campion Hall is run by the Society of Jesus.

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Museums & Art Galleries

Antiques on High - Oxford Museums, Art Galleries and Antiques Shops

Antiques on High

Antiques on High is an antiques and art shop from Oxford founded in 1997 and open seven days a week. It has won several awards.

Aidan Meller Gallery - Oxford Museums and Art Galleries

Aidan Meller Gallery

Aidan Meller Gallery is one of Oxford’s longest-established specialist art galleries. They showcase modern, contemporary and old masters.

Historical Places

Oxford's Carfax Tower

Carfax Tower

Carfax Tower, in Oxford, is a 23-meter-high bell tower that used to belong to a 12th-century church. Here’s how to visit it (and why!).

24-26 Cornmarket Street. Image courtesy of Chuca Cimas.

24-26 Cornmarket Street, Oxford

24-26 Cornmarket Street, Oxford is a timber-framed building built in the late 14th century. It belonged to a wine merchant and was an inn.

Things to Do in Oxford

Oxford Hotels: The Randolph Hotel. How to Visit, When to Stay

The Randolph Hotel

The Randolph Hotel, situated in the heart of Oxford, stands as a distinguished landmark of the city, attracting guests from around the world.

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Barefoot Jericho - Cakes in Oxford

Barefoot Jericho

Barefoot offers homemade cakes, pastries and bread, delicious coffee for eat-in or takeaway in the neighbourhood of Jericho, in Oxford.

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Shops to See in Oxford: The Cake Shop - Cakes for Any Occasion

The Cake Shop

The Cake Shop offers ready-made designs and bespoke masterpieces and has been trading since 1986 in Oxford’s Covered Market.

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