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Martyrs Memorial

Martyrs Memorial: Our most recommended tours and activities

Oxford: Official University and City Walking Tour

1. Oxford: Official University and City Walking Tour

Explore Oxford, the city of Dreaming Spires, on a walking tour with an expert guide from the city’s tourism board. Be shown the city’s most famous sights, uncover its hidden history, and enjoy all the astonishing stories about Oxford's key characters- real and fictional. Meet your guide at the grand and very old Broad Street (once the city's ditch) let them know where you come from and any special Oxford interests you may have and they will do their best to incorporate those.  Go to Martyrs' Memorial, the scene of terrible religious retributions in medieval times, and on to the oldest tower at St Michael of the Northgate built in Saxon times. Then, make your way to the very heart of the University and the inspiration behind Harry Potter's Hogwarts School. Pass by the pubs where the Inklings used to meet to discuss their writing as well as the pubs where Inspector Morse was filmed and the most popular student drinking holes in days of old. Discover the city that is home to several of Britain's most famous literary characters - both fictional and real - such as JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, Philip Pullman, and Colin Dexter as well as some of their most famous creations like Lyra and Will, and Inspector Morse. Admire Oxford's stupendous architecture, gargoyles and grotesques, so wonderfully preserved from every historical period and style, and take a stroll through the breathtaking Radcliffe Square. Cross the whimsical Bridge of Sighs as it's fondly known, just like the ones in Venice and Cambridge. See the Bodleian Libraries from the outside in the splendid Old Schools Quadrangle. Learn about the city’s famous museums including the Museum of the History of Science, containing Einstein's blackboard, The Pitt Rivers, once home to shrunken heads, and the fabulous Ashmolean, which was one of the very first ever museums in the world. If time allows, walk as far as to the beautiful Christ Church Meadows, where punting happens and cattle graze; a truly pastoral and quintessential English scene.

Morse, Lewis and Endeavour Walking Tour of Oxford

2. Morse, Lewis and Endeavour Walking Tour of Oxford

Go beyond the dreaming spires of Oxford and explore the university city from a different perspective. Follow in the footsteps of the TV series "Inspector Morse" and its spin-off shows "Lewis" and "Endeavour." Enter the fictional world of the author Colin Dexter and his famous detectives as you visit sites where scenes were filmed in the old city center. Start at the stone monument of the Martyrs' Memorial outside Balliol College, and continue to venues such as the luxury Randolph Hotel and the traditional White Horse pub. Venture down Broad Street, learn about the streets and other places familiar to fans of Morse, and get behind-the-scenes information about how the characters were developed.

Oxford: Morse/Lewis and Endeavour Walking Tour

3. Oxford: Morse/Lewis and Endeavour Walking Tour

Meet your qualified green (or blue) badge guide at Martyrs Memorial on St Giles for a 2-hour walking tour of Oxford with emphasis on the filming of Morse/Lewis and Endeavour. Your guide will give a brief introduction to the city and the university, and from here you will head off through the very heart of Oxford to explore locations associated with the filming. You will see many of the colleges (from the outside), as well as The Bodleian Library, Old Schools Quadrangle, The Weston Library and The Radcliffe Camera.  Other sites will include The Bridge of Sighs and many of the pubs where the words ‘pint Morse’ were often spoken! Each tour is different, a script is not followed, and the best route will be chosen on the day to give you the very best experience.

Oxford: Official “Haunted Oxford” Ghost Tour

4. 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

5. 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.

Oxford: City and University of Oxford Audio Guide

6. Oxford: City and University of Oxford Audio Guide

Matthew Arnold, a Victorian poet, once described Oxford as “the City of Dreaming Spires”. He was referring to the stunning architecture of the 39 colleges that make up the world famous University of Oxford. Join me on this leisurely walking tour around the beautiful city and I’ll tell you the stories behind the spires. This easy stroll takes you from Carfax Tower, around the historical city centre where the majority of the colleges are situated, to finish on Magdalen Street next to the Martyrs’ Memorial. Along the way, I’ll fill you in on some of the quaint traditions and ceremonies that still take place around the colleges today, like why Great Tom, the bell above the entrance to Christ Church College, chimes 101 times at 9.05pm. You’ll hear about the famous authors, politicians and poets that have contributed to Oxford’s history too, and I’ll show you the filming locations for numerous TV series such as Morse, Endeavour and Midsummer Murders. You’ll even follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter as you take in Christ Church and its own great hall. By the end of this tour, you’ll: • Discover why Oxford’s time is 5 minutes behind the rest of the country • Find out why Oxford students are forbidden from jumping into the River Cherwell • Learn about a riot that lasted three days and cost the lives of 93 people • See the college that has produced no less than 13 of this country’s Prime Ministers • Visit the spot where three senior members of the church were executed on the orders of Bloody Mary Give yourself 90-minutes or linger along the way as there are plenty of opportunities to stop for a drink, a light snack, or even a very civilised afternoon tea.

New: Oxford Costumed Ghost Tour In-Character

7. New: Oxford Costumed Ghost Tour In-Character

Prepare for the unexpected and keep your wits about you as you undertake one of the most entertaining experiences in Oxford. Home to some of the most brutal murders in England's long history, Oxford is uniquely known as the epicenter of troubled souls, dark energy, and flesh-eating beasts. Venture through the dark alleyways and haunted squares of the town while enjoying mysterious tales of ghosts, horror. and sinister happenings. Learn about Oxford’s terrifying history with a combination of stories and dramatic performances by expertly trained actors who will play out the most barbaric and brutal punishments exacted during Oxford's Medieval and Civil War years. Be prepared for the surprise appearance of multiple wild beasts! After an exhilarating and entertaining wander around the city, finish up at one of the famous pubs in Oxford.

Oxford: Ghosts, Ghouls and Demons Walking Tour - 90 minutes.

8. Oxford: Ghosts, Ghouls and Demons Walking Tour - 90 minutes.

Welcome to the shadowed streets of Oxford, where history whispers through ancient alleyways and the spirits of the past linger in the moonlit corners. Over the course of 90 minutes, we look back at nearly a thousand years of blood, guts and gore as we share the scariest Oxford ghost stories. With beheadings, burnings and banishments, we unpack the truth behind one of the bloodiest cities in England. Death is anything but dull and our specialist guides provide first-hand stories of Oxford’s streets which have played host to agony and horror, torment and terror. These include an archbishop without a head, a heartbroken teenager, the most haunted library in the world and the church where you don’t want to be in the early hours of the morning. Manifestations, apparitions and student encounters with demons, ghosts, ghouls and spirits… prepare to be very afraid. Your Ghostly Guide will have hand held torches to use during your tour. The maximum number in your group will be 14 on this Ghost Tour of Oxford. All tours are reflective the ages of any children present - it's 1.5 hours long. We look forward to seeing you! The Best Bits of Oxford Tour Co.

Oxford: City & University Tour with College entry included

9. Oxford: City & University Tour with College entry included

We are a small team of passionate storytellers who breathe life into the tales and legends hidden within Oxford’s ancient walls. We not only live here, we are experts in Oxford and the surrounding area’s history - we take pride in our friendly and patient approach, ensuring that each member of our tours feels welcome, included and valued. Your Private walking Tour is for around 2 hours for up to 8 people in your party. We will visit inside a college (subject to availability of opening) which is included in your ticket price. We are very flexible, you can choose the start time of your Private Walking Tour of Oxford. So, whether you're seeking a leisurely stroll through Oxford's charming streets, a deep dive into its literary history or a taste of the vibrant energy of Oxford's stories, let us be your companions on an adventure that will ignite your curiosity and leave you with cherished memories. We meet outside The Randolph Hotel's entrance, opposite the entry to the Ashmolean museum. We can we flexible with our meeting point. We'll visit among other places (subject to accessibility) - * The Martyrs Memorial * Oxford's oldest College * The Sheldonian Theatre * The Bridge of Sighs * The Bodleian Library * The Radcliffe Camera * The Covered Market We will finish in Broad Street, in the centre of Oxford - ready for you to continue your exploring! Looking forward to meeting you!

Oxford Day Trip from London: City Tour, Colleges & Lunch

10. Oxford Day Trip from London: City Tour, Colleges & Lunch

Travel back in time on this Private Day Trip Tour into one of the world's most academic and intellectual cities. Get away from busy London and tour Oxford with a private local guide. Admire not only the city's medieval architectural beauty and its river and natural environment, but also its traditional English cuisine. Learn about the history of Oxford Castle, an ancient castle over 1,000 years old, famous for having once been a prison. Visit the only 12th-century tower still standing in the city. Take the opportunity to enter the History of Sciences Museum to see the famous blackboard that Einstein once used during a lecture at some Oxford University, and which still preserves its formulas. Relax and enjoy a delicious British lunch with a typical English beer in a traditional 14th-century tavern. Enjoy the best views of this university city by climbing to the top of the 13th-century tower of the University Church of St Mary. See the most prestigious colleges in the world, from Balliol College (the oldest in Oxford) to the most important college in the city: Christ Church College. Enter and breathe the university and intellectual air of Oxford. Get to know its beautiful Gothic building and discover how its students live. Enjoy Oxford in-depth, with its History, its Culture, Gastronomy, Colleges, and local’s lifestyle in this amazing Private Day Tour.

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What people are saying about Martyrs Memorial

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 232 reviews

Excellent. Packed full with interesting facts, insider info and historical detail. Heidi is a fabulous guide and very knowledgeable about all things Morse-related. Her energy and enthusiasm is phenomenal. She makes everyone feel welcome and personalised details to suit the group. Highly recommended.

It was great! My boyfriend and I went last Saturday 16th Dec loved the ghost who performed as (i think her charscter name was Tilly or Margret or Matilda i cant remember! The one who was said to haunt the castle, she had blonde hair). She was wonderful and we had lots of fun. Thank you! X

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.

Our guide Davey was lovely, knowledgeable and helpful. The 2hrs flew by! And it wasn’t as much walking as I expected. So much to see!

Fantastic for one Morse fan and one who had never even seen it. Both equally enjoyed this tour. Highly recommended.