Best Oxford tours from London

Take a day trip from London to Oxford to discover a city steeped in history, from its prestigious university and iconic architecture to vibrant food markets.
An old grand building surrounded by trees in christ church meadow in oxford.
Christ Church Meadow, Oxford. © Unsplash/Tetiana Shyshkina

Days out to Oxford from London

Journey to Oxford from London on a day trip that promises captivating history and exciting attractions.

Where is Oxford and how can I get there from London?

Oxford is located in the county of Oxfordshire, in England, about 50 miles (80km) northwest of London. You can travel there in around one and a half hours by car or by Oxford Tube Coach from Victoria, or an hour by train from London Paddington to Oxford.

What are the best things to do in Oxford?

Being one of England’s oldest towns, the city of Oxford is a treasure trove of world-class arts and culture, and is home to some of the country’s most exceptional historic attractions.

Explore the town

Few places in the UK boast such magnificent architecture as Oxford. Buildings that have stood for centuries to form the living museum that the city is today. Wander the grounds of the University of Oxford, admire the exterior of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (before exploring the collection within), and scale Oxford Castle for a beautiful view of the rooftops and spires from its tower.

A dinosaur exhibit in the centre of a hall in The Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Museums and galleries

Tick off a few of Oxford’s incredible museums during your visit. Aside from having picture-worthy ceilings and windows, the Pitt Museum is packed with interesting objects and exhibitions, along with an exciting programme of events for families. Like all great literature, The Story Museum will transport you to another world – journey through a fictional universe with The Portal, experience the mysterious indoor Whispering Wood and step into a story in the Enchanted Library. 

Two children dressed in brightly coloured clothes smell flowers on a sunny day at oxford Botanic Gardens & Arboretum

For those who love the outdoors, exploring the green oasis that is the 400-year-old Oxford Botanic Gardens & Arboretum is a must. Home to more than 5,000 types of plants from around the world, it's the perfect place to wander, or to explore the historic Walled Garden and discover a tropical rainforest and giant waterlilies in the glasshouses. 

Unmissable activities

Go punting down the river Thames to admire the iconic spires of Oxford from the water. Take a picnic lunch, which you can enjoy as you journey down the river – whether that’s a bite from a local deli or some delicious street food from the Covered Market. And don’t forget to stop by an old pub for a traditional pint of British ale or cider! 

A group of people go punting on a narrow boat down the river thames on a sunny day in Oxford.

Oxford is also a haven for Harry Potter fans, with many scenes being filmed in this magical city, including the Bodleian Library Divinity School and the Bodley staircase at Christ Church College.

What are the best day trips and tours to Oxford?

Discover day trips to Oxford below, including some taking in other destinations such as Stonehenge, Windsor and the Cotswolds. 

Day trip to Oxford by rail with open-top bus tour

The Radcliffe Camera, Oxford University. © Unsplash/Ben Seymour
Depart from central London by train, directly to Oxford, for a day of sightseeing in this historic town. After you've arrived, jump aboard a hop-on-hop-off bus and tick off the top landmarks, listening to the recorded commentary as you go between stops. With trains back to London running every 10 to 15 minutes, you can choose your own return time for maximum flexibility on the day.

Oxford Sightseeing Picnic River Cruise

Tuck into a tasty picnic as you cruise along the Thames in OXford. Image courtesy of Golden Tours.
Travel through the city, passing by iconic landmarks including Christchurch College and Meadows, University boathouses and Folly Bridge on an Oxford Sightseeing Picnic River Cruise. While you relax you can enjoy a selection of finger sandwiches, quiche or tart, scones with jam, clotted cream and strawberries and Elderflower presse. 

Oxford Sightseeing River Cruise

See the city of Oxford on a relaxing river cruise. Image courtesy of Golden Tours.
Travel along one of the River Thames' most fascinating routes, starting at the University Regatta COurse and heading towards idyllic Iffley Village. On this Oxford Sightseeing River Cruise your captain will share the history of this pretty yet lively stretch of water, referred to by the locals as the Isis. 

Afternoon Tea Sightseeing River Cruise in Oxford

See the rowers in action on a cruise along the Thames in Oxford. Image courtesy of Golden Tours.
Pair a scenic tour along the river in Oxford with a quintessentially British afternoon tea experience. On this memorable cruise you'll enjoy spotting iconic landmarks along this vibrant section of the river, passing rowing crews and punts. Tucking into a delightful selection of sweet and savoury treats as you go.

Oxford Evening Sightseeing River Cruise with a Cocktail

Take an evening sightseeing cruise paired with delightful cocktails in Oxford. Image courtesy of Golden Tours.
As you make your way down Oxford University's regata course on the Thames, you'll enjoy a tasty cocktail. This evening cruise promises an relaxing journey along the river as you do a spot of sightseeing from the comfort of your seat while sipping on a delicious tipple. 

Day trip to Oxford by rail only

Wander the charming streets of Oxford on a day trip from London. © Unsplash/Peter Musk
Explore the city of Oxford at your leisure with an open return rail ticket. Head to London the Golden Tours Visitor Centre Baker Street, where a representative will be waiting to greet you with your tickets. Your ticket includes an optional stop at Bicester Village to do a spot of shopping before continuing on to Oxford.

Hop-on hop-off Oxford bus tour

The Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford. © Unsplash/Ray Harrington
Discover iconic sights in Oxford on a hop-on-hop-off tour bus. See the impressive universities that have inspired many famous figures and film plots, from philosophers and actors, to beloved books and hit films. Explore the many boutique shops, enjoy a delicious meal in an award-winning restaurant or watch a show at The Sheldonian Theatre.

Oxford and Cambridge tour

King's College in Cambridge, England. ©Chris Boland/Unsplash.
Combine two iconic UK cities, often referred to as 'Oxbridge', on a day trip from London. Begin the day in Oxford, exploring the picturesque college courtyards and the many spires that cover the city from the castle tower. Then, enjoy a visit to Cambridgewhere beautiful bridges, the spectacular King's College Chapel and famous artworks from painters such as Rubens, await. 
Prices from £79.00 Book now

Windsor Castle, Oxford and Stonehenge tour

Windsor Castle. © Shutterstock.
On this day trip, you'll tick off three incredible UK sights. Seek out historic treasures and royal artefacts at Windsor Castle, solve the mystery of the impressive Stonehenge, and stroll through the cobbled lanes on a guided walking tour of the city of Oxford. Duration: 11 hours
Prices from £79.00 Book now

Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Cotswolds and Warwick Castle tour

Live arena jousting show at Warwick Castle. Image courtesy of Golden Tours.
On this day trip from London, you'll start the day with a guided tour of the historic University of Oxford. Next, head to the charming villages of the Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon, famous as the birthplace of Shakespeare. The last stop is Warwick Castle, where you can see bird of prey shows, sword-fighting workshops and jousting tournaments. Duration: 10 hours and 30 minutes
Prices from £79.00 Book now

Oxford and Lacock tour

Take a stroll through the village of Lacock and discover the beautiful Lacock Abbey. Image courtesy of Golden Tours.
On this Oxford and Lacock day trip you'll explore two beautiful yet contrasting UK destinations. Beginning in the picturesque town of Lacock, enjoy a short walking tour as you admire the pebbled streets and quaint tinder-framed cottages. Next, head to the historic city of Oxford to learn of its fascinating history. Duration: 10 hours and 30 minutes

Oxford, Cotswolds and Stratford-upon-Avon with traditional Christmas lunch

University of Oxford buildings. Image courtesy of VisitBritain
Treat yourself to a magical Christmas Day trip combing Oxford, the Cotswolds and Stratford-Upon-Avon with a traditional Christmas lunch. Visit the historic university town, explore bustling market towns and sleepy villages, and tuck into a delicious three-course meal on this exceptional day trip from London. Duration: 10 hours and 30 minutes

Windsor, Oxford and Avebury's Stone Circle with traditional Christmas lunch

Windsor Castle in winter. Image courtesy of Golden Tours.
Discover a royal town, a university city and an ancient stone circle on this fabulous Christmas Day tour from London. Explore Windsor and Oxford on foot with guided walking tours, see the mysterious stones at Avebury and round off the perfect day with a traditional Christmas lunch in a British pub. Duration: 10 hours

Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle on Boxing Day

Warwick Castle. Image courtesy of Golden Tours.
Enjoy a special treat this Boxing Day with a day trip to three iconic locations. Visit Oxford, where you can set foot inside Christ Church College as part of a walking tour. Then, travel through charming villages in the Cotswolds before exploring Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon. End the day by being transported back to medieval times with entry to Warwick Castle. Duration: 10 hours and 30 minutes