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Ashmolean Museum

Ashmolean Museum

Ashmolean Museum: Our most recommended tours and activities

From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

1. From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip

You head northwest out of London, passing through the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The picturesque countryside here has inspired the television shows Midsomer Murders and Vicar of Dibley. Your first stop is Oxford, where you have time to explore the precincts of the many colleges, climb to the vantage points to admire the skyline, or see the art and antiquities collections in the Ashmolean Museum. You stop in Burford, the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’. This is a small market town with enormous character and depth. The main street is lined with all those quaint properties that you’ve dreamt of owning. You have time here to take in the local charm and hospitality; and if you’re hungry, you can try a traditional English ‘Afternoon Tea’. Then, you make the short journey to Bibury. This place was described by William Morris as the prettiest village in England, and Henry Ford wanted to dismantle it and ship it back to the USA. You have time here to stroll to the famous and fairytale-like Arlington Row. After a full day exploring the city of Oxford and the villages of the Cotswolds, you embark on the comfortable return journey to London. This route may be reversed on some occasions.

Oxford: Official “Haunted Oxford” Ghost Tour

2. Oxford: Official “Haunted Oxford” Ghost Tour

Discover all the key haunted places in and around Oxford on a nighttime walking tour loosely based on the book 'Haunted Oxford' by local author Rob Walters, just one of the experienced and talented Guides. Experience the best way to 'see' Oxford’s ghosts on a route that takes you around the heart of central Oxford and its University. Meet your guide and get whisked away into the night, starting on the corner of Turl Street and Broad Street, which was once the city ditch and site of terrible murders and religious persecution. Learn about the history of Oxford and hear many splendidly spooky stories dating back to Danish Viking times. Walk past Oxford University, Radcliffe Square, and peer into the Old Schools Quadrangle - of Harry Potter fame. Admire the gorgeous and imposing architecture of Oxford and feel the history in the walls, which are well preserved and represent every period of architecture from Medieval through Classical to modern.  Look up at the Bridge of Sighs, so-called as it is reminiscent of the one at Venice which led prisoners to their doom. Wind down the ancient walled lane to New College, built in the late 1300s, and see its dark gates against the gloom.

Oxford: University Walking Tour with Christ Church Visit

3. Oxford: University Walking Tour with Christ Church Visit

You will begin in central Oxford, with a brief and engaging introduction which will lay the foundation for the vast periods of history to be covered! Then the tour will enter a college renowned for having the most beautiful lawns in Oxford along with an iconic dispute with its neighbour - resulting in a supposed theft of the College tortoise (Oxford Annual Tortoise Race explanation included!). Then the group will visit the Sheldonian Theatre, where students experience the most iconic ceremony at Oxford University. You can hear from your student guide how the experience was for them. Next you will enter a historic museum -complete with a chalkboard used by Einstein in Oxford - and visit the Weston Library, a great example of a hybrid historic and modern interior. This tour will then cover sites that none of our other tours do! Including Oriel College, Merton College and iconic literary giants from Oxford's history. You can get a photo under the Bridge of Sighs before gazing up at the first round library in England, where your Oxford student guide will give you rare insights into the labyrinth of underground tunnels students. Not to be forgotten, All Souls College. With entrance exams as complex as they are bizarre, this site will highlight how exclusive a College can be and how influential its members are. Heading down to the southern part of Oxford, we visit a hidden door depicting the most famous characters in C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. Before entering the largest College at Oxford, Home to Oscar Wilde and C. S. Lewis, and its own deer park. Explore the iconic grounds which have been home to Oxford’s most influential writers, complete with medieval cloisters. The tour will head over to the home of Tolkien, to discuss not only its literary importance, but it’s multi million pound kitchen, funded by the current Emperor of Japan! The tour will then go to Christ Church meadows - a stunning expanse of land incredibly rare in a medieval city. Here you will learn about its close connection to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland - along with its decision to be held to a different time zone than the rest of Oxford. Finally, the tour will enter one of the most lavish, and famous Colleges of all those at Oxford University; Christ Church. Famed for its literally links, and scenes used in the filming of Harry Potter; it is such an iconic site that many mistake it for representing the entire University. Wonder through the dining hall which inspired that used in Hogwarts, and see where some of the greatest philosophers, writers and royalty have studied. The guide will provide a comprehensive overview of its history, before you enter accompanied with a multimedia guide, to explore the College at your own pace. Please note - the structure on the day may differ.

From Bristol: Oxford & the Cotswolds Full-Day Guided Tour

4. From Bristol: Oxford & the Cotswolds Full-Day Guided Tour

Begin by meeting your guide in Bristol city center. Hop in the van and begin your adventure. Admire the beauty from outside your window. Be amazed at North Wessex Downs, an "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty", and watch as the impressive landscapes of grasslands and valleys pass you by. Make a stop in Oxford. Explore the precincts of the university's colleges, and listen as your guide tells you about the university's famous alumni. Follow your guide to impressive panoramic spots in the city and admire the skyline. See the art and antiquities collections in the Ashmolean Museum. Next, hop back in the van and make a stop in Burford, the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’. This small market town overflows with character. Admire the main street that is lined with quaint properties and take in the local charm and hospitality. If you get hungry, purchase a traditional ‘Afternoon Tea’. Make the short journey to Bibury, a place that William Morris thought the prettiest village in England. Stroll to the fairytale-like Arlington Row. Wander the length of the Coln River, and see if you can spot the trout swimming alongside you in the water. At the end of the day, head back to Bristol.

Oxford 3-Hour Private Walking Tour

5. Oxford 3-Hour Private Walking Tour

Take a private guided tour of the picturesque university city of Oxford. Enjoy a private walking tour of the city and its colleges and museums. Your 3-hour tour begins when your guide meets you at the agreed pick-up point, for example Oxford train station. The tour introduces the most famous colleges and describes college life, student traditions, famous literary, scientific, and political figures, and English history in Oxford. Follow the informative guide around the city as you visit the famous sights and learn about the history of Oxford. Get the most of out of your trip to Oxford on this tour – this tour can be scheduled to suit whatever requests and interests you have. This tour is ideal for small groups, language schools, or business organizations. The tour subject, pace, college entrances will all depend on your preferred circumstances. Take a private walking tour to visit some of Oxfords famed colleges and courtyards. You’ll also admire some of the many churches in this city that’s bursting with examples of magnificent architecture. See the famed Bodleian Library and the Ashmolean Museum. 

Oxford: Town & Gown and Universities Walking Tour

6. Oxford: Town & Gown and Universities Walking Tour

Discover charming and historic Oxford, renowned for being home to the prestigious University of Oxford, one of the oldest universities in the world. The city boasts a wealth of stunning architecture, picturesque scenery, and fascinating cultural attractions, like the Bridge of Sighs and the Carfax Tower, that you will discover in our walking tours. You have two different walking tours included in your ticket which can be joined either on the same day or on different days. Discover the iconic Bodleian Library and the Ashmolean Museum, the oldest public museum in the world. Hear the stories about the University of Oxford and its 38 colleges, marvel at their stunning Gothic and Baroque architecture and learn about the famous alumni who studied there. After the tour, download the Vox City app (included in your tour) to discover more of Oxford and its incredible history with curated audio-guided routes through the main quarters. Our walking tours main sights: Radcliffe Camera Bodleian Library The Tower of the Five Orders Bridge of Sights Hertfort College Clarendon Building University of Oxford The Wenston Library The Old Schools Quad The White Horse Carfax Tower Christ Church The Old Tom St. Aldates Tavern Oxford Town Hall Swindlestock Tavern High Street University Church of St. Mary the Virgin Bodleian Library Alice's Shop The Crown Covered Market St. Micheal at the North Gate Oxford Martyrs Cross The bear Inn The Wheatsheaf St. Aldates Tavern History of Science Museum Sheldonian Theatre Holywell Music Room New College All Souls College Our self-guided route's main sights: St. Margaret's Well Port Meadow Folly Bridge Oxford Castle and Prison Trill Mill Stream Nuffield College Martyrs Memorial Ashmolean Museum Jericho University Parks Rhodes House Headington Shark

From Bristol: 2-Day Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford & Cotswolds

7. From Bristol: 2-Day Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford & Cotswolds

Day 1 Departing Bristol, your journey begins with a scenic drive through what is considered the birthplace of British tourism and the birthplace of the industrial revolution. We’re talking about Wye Valley, of course, which is dubbed an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You’ll love the views of this region as we head towards Tintern Abbey on the banks of River Wye. There’s some fascinating history behind this now-roofless national icon which was founded in 1131. Afterwards you make your way to the market town of Ross-on-Wye where you have free time to explore and grab a bite to eat. Then it’s time to head to Broadway. No, we’re not talking about seeing a stage production, we’re talking about the picturesque village in the Cotswolds. This is a great time for a spot of shopping, or simply wander and enjoy the town before heading to Stratford-upon-Avon, your base for the night. You arrive in the birthplace of Shakespeare in the mid-afternoon so there’s still some time to explore and sort yourself out for dinner. You’re spoilt for choice in Stratford-upon-Avon. Perhaps you’ll explore the Schoolroom and Guildhall, where Shakespeare was first inspired by literature and theatre. Or perhaps you’ll visit his childhood home and hear tales of his family life. Day 2 You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a movie today. Your first destination is considered one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the UK. Wander around the picturesque village of Chipping Campden before heading to Bourton-on-the-Water. Quite a literal name, as this village boasts the beautiful River Windrush running through it, and is known as the Venice of the Cotswolds. You continue onto Oxford, your main stop for the day. Famously known for its university, the city of Oxford has an interesting history and plenty of things to do and see. You can learn about some of it at the Ashmolean Museum, Britain’s oldest public museum. If museums aren’t your thing, there’s always Oxford Castle & Prison, a tour of some of the colleges around town, and even several Harry Potter locations to spot. Enjoy a relaxing drive back through some of England’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the perfect way to end your day as you head to Bristol where your tour ends in the early evening.

From Bath: Cotswolds and Oxford Full-Day Guided Tour

8. From Bath: Cotswolds and Oxford Full-Day Guided Tour

Begin by meeting your guide in Bath's Terrace Walk. Hop in the van and begin your adventure. Admire the beauty from outside your window. Be amazed at North Wessex Downs, an "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty", and watch as the impressive landscapes of grasslands and valleys pass you by. Arrive in Oxford. Explore the precincts of the university's colleges, and listen as your guide tells you about the university's famous alumni. Follow your guide to impressive panoramic spots in the city and admire the skyline. See the art and antiquities collections in the Ashmolean Museum. Next, hop back in the van and make a stop in Burford, the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’. This small market town overflows with character. Admire the main street that is lined with quaint properties and take in the local charm and hospitality. If you get hungry, purchase a traditional ‘Afternoon Tea’. Make the short journey to Bibury, a place that William Morris thought the prettiest village in England. Stroll to the fairytale-like Arlington Row. Wander the length of the Coln River, and see if you can spot the trout swimming alongside you in the water. At the end of the day, head back to Bath.

3Day Tour:LDN Oxford Warwick Cotswolds Stratford-Upon-Avon

9. 3Day Tour:LDN Oxford Warwick Cotswolds Stratford-Upon-Avon

Day 1: Oxford, Warwick, and Stratford-upon-Avon Start your journey from Paddington at 8.30am in our luxury 16-seat Mercedes midi-coach. Explore historic Oxford, visit iconic university colleges, the Bodleian Library, and Radcliffe Camera. Continue exploring Oxford with visits to the Ashmolean Museum or the Pitt Rivers Museum. Wander through the Botanic Garden if time allows. Lunch in Oxford before departing for Warwick at 2 pm. Arrive in Warwick and explore Warwick Castle in the late afternoon. Travel to Stratford-upon-Avon, check into accommodation, and enjoy dinner in the historic town center. Day 2: Stratford-upon-Avon Explore Stratford-upon-Avon at your own pace, including the birthplace of William Shakespeare, with our free entry pass granting access to key attractions. Visit Shakespeare's Birthplace, and learn about his early life and house history. Head to Shakespeare's New Place, his family home during later years, with beautiful gardens and contemporary sculptures. Take a coffee break at a local café, enjoying the town's charming atmosphere. Visit the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, exploring its history and exhibitions. Have lunch in the town center at a local restaurant or pub, sampling British or international cuisine. Explore the Guild Chapel, an impressive medieval building with stained glass windows and connections to Shakespeare. Discover Shakespeare's Schoolroom & Guildhall, the school where Shakespeare studied as a child, and explore the unique Guildhall architecture. Visit Anne Hathaway's Cottage, the picturesque childhood home of Shakespeare's wife, with a thatched cottage and gardens. Explore Holy Trinity Church, Shakespeare's burial place, and its riverside location. Take a relaxing River Avon cruise with scenic views of the town and surrounding countryside. Dine at a riverside restaurant with an evening atmosphere and optional live music. Consider optional evening entertainment like a performance at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre or a local play. Day 3: Cotswold Adventure Embark on a Cotswold adventure from Stratford-Upon-Avon at 9 AM. Experience panoramic views at Dover’s Hill, unveiling the Cotswolds' quirky traditions. Explore the historic town of Chipping Campden, dating back to the 14th-17th centuries, with its unique maps guiding you to must-see gems. Discover the hidden gem of Snowshill, a tiny hillside village with charm and allure. Immerse yourself in the rich history of Stow-on-the-Wold, a lively market town with independent shops and the legendary ‘Tolkien door’. Witness the iconic 'Arlington Row' in Bibury, often hailed as "the prettiest village in England." Venture to Bourton-on-the-Water, a fairy-tale village with Cotswold stone bridges over the River Windrush. Return to London, with drop-off around 7 PM.

Oxford: Pre-Raphaelite Walking Tour with Exeter College

10. Oxford: Pre-Raphaelite Walking Tour with Exeter College

Discover the history of Oxford, the collegiate system, and the famous alumni who studied and taught at the university. There are 38 colleges at Oxford University, but the tour will be focused on Exeter College, which continues to welcome students of the fine arts nowadays. Learn from your local guide interesting facts about Pre-Raphaelite artists. The group sought a return to the abundant detail, intense colors, and complex compositions of Quattrocento Italian art. Also, discover the history of two artists that were part of this movement, William Morris and Edward Burne Jones. This tour includes special access not normally open to the public otherwise, to see inside the Victorian library at the Oxford Union. This venue is where our famous artists created Arthurian legend frescoes, when they were amateurs. Finally, as and when open, we will visit Exeter College with its chapel and the Magi tapestry. A passageway from the Front Quadrangle leads through to the college's Fellows' Garden. Enjoy the best views of Oxford and spot Radcliffe Square, including All Souls College and the Radcliffe Camera. Notice: if Exeter college is closed, I will forewarn you before the tour. However, there are alternative venues we could replace entry to a college of the university of Oxford, such as Keble college.

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What people are saying about Ashmolean Museum

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 601 reviews

We had a great tour with Francisco. He was able to answer all of our questions and shared all kinds of interesting facts about Cambridge, as well as the colleges and the university. We also enjoyed the punting on the Cam as part of our tour.

My guide, Alisdair, was extremely knowledgeable, personable, and punctual. He took me to spots I would not have otherwise seen. His knowledge of the Pre Raphaelites is extensive but he does not overwhelm. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour.

A fantastic way to explore Oxford! Our local guide, Ben, was informative and entertaining. His accurate recall of historic facts and dates and general knowledge on all things Oxford was impressive! Highly recommended.

I would recommend this tour to others and would recommend doing it at night time as the atmosphere is more authentic and fun like you are expecting something to happen

Michael, our tour guide, was EXCELLENT! He was very knowledgeable, professional, and friendly. We enjoyed the walking tour of Oxford with him.