One of Oxford’s oldest buildings (St George’s Tower dates from Saxon times) is brought vividly to life by well trained and knowledgeable costumed guides in this roller coaster ride through the city’s sometimes dark history. There’s a 900 year old crypt to explore, a claustrophobic Debtor’s Prison and plenty of themed special tours to raise the hairs on the back of your neck! Take a ghost walk if you dare, and select your guide from a list of historical figures including Geoffrey of Monmouth, the Empress Matilda and “Prisoner D100”. Oxford Castle Unlocked is open year round, excepting December 24-26 inclusive
City of dreaming spires, where international eggheads solve tricky problems and collect doctorates by the armful; home of Inspector Morse’s dark mysteries; and the oldest University City in Britain… Oxford’s reputation as the most cultured city in the UK is hard to argue with: and when you get under the city’s skin its intellectual atmosphere permeates everything. Yes, there’s plenty of real life going on behind the ancient walls of the city centre, but the sheer weight of braininess conquers all. Oxford is different.
Great places to visit in Oxford!
It’s the Bodleian Library, and the Eagle and Child pub (where J.R.R.Tolkien and C.S. Lewis used to discuss literature), and the imposing courtyards of the University colleges. It’s also the hippie-filled streets of Jericho, and the towpaths of the canal, and the hundreds of organic cafes and funky bars lining the roads in its Gothic sandstone districts. From Woodstock to the Bridge of Sighs, setting foot in Oxford is like wandering into another world.
Oxford Castle Unlocked
Harry Potter locations
There are dozens of Harry Potter locations in the city – mainly in University buildings. The Bodleian Library, Christ Church and New College have all been used to recreate the wizard’s university Hogwarts. In the Bodleian, both the Divinity Hall and the Duke Humphries Library have been used. The Cloisters in New College appeared in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Christ Church’s Great Hall was used as a model for the refectory in Hogwarts, and the college’s stairway and Cloisters have both appeared in scenes from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
The Botanic Garden is run by the University, both as a museum and a living collection. Taken together with Harcourt Arboretum, the Botanic Garden is a working University department dedicated to the study of plants. Right in the centre of the city, the Garden boasts one of the most diverse collections of plants for its size anywhere in the world. It routinely holds special events designed to educate visitors, or to teach gardening and related skills (such as plant illustration). The Garden is just off the High Street, and is next to the river Cherwell on its far side. Particularly recommended are the Glasshouses, which incorporate plants from all over the world. At night, when the Glasshouses are lit up, the Gardens are a spectacular place to be.