Self-guided walks for the Curious...
Matthew Arnold dubbed Oxford as the "City of Dreaming Spires" based on the architecture of the world-famous University buildings The first colleges of Oxford were built in the 13th century, but it wasn't until 1878 that women were admitted to the university. The Great Hall at Christ Church was used as inspiration for the Hogwarts dining hall in the Harry Potter films. Francis Treasham, the St. John's student who exposed the Guy Fawkes plot, was locked up in the Tower of London and mysteriously poisoned.
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Closest Curious Walks
- An exploration of Oxford's city centre with two self-guided heritage walks with an optional treasure hunt. Completing the treasure hunt keeps everyone actively engaged, and urges you to look up, down and every which-way - so you won't miss out on any of the city's treasures. There is also an Oxford 2.
Explore, Discover, and Enjoy!
- Most clues are chosen for their historical value, so you'll learn about the diverse culture, significant people and extraordinary events which have influenced Oxford in becoming what it is today.
- This is an outdoor, unsupervised activity - so you can go at a pace which suits you, whilst keeping you healthy!
- A Curious About walk is a fun and social activity for all the family and friends. Different people can take on different roles - follow the map, identify picture clues, read directions, etc - it's ideal for children from the age of 6, and if you can walk/wheelchair it, you're young enough!
- The two walks have been designed so that the second one follows on from where the first one ends. Do both, or have a breather and do the second one another day! They both start and finish in the heart of the city - so buses, trains and car parks are easily available to get you there and back.
- One booklet is suitable for up to 4 people, and is available to instantly download on purchase for printing at home or for using immediately on your mobile device, or we can print it for you and send it using 1st class Royal Mail.
Curious About... Oxford
Curious About... Oxford
Two walks are included in the booklet, the 2nd starts where the first finishes. (There is also an Oxford 2)
1. University Colleges - 1.25 miles / 2 kms
This route passes many of Oxford University’s famous colleges (incl. Brasenose, All Souls, Hertford, New, University, St Edmund Hall, Queen's, Merton, Corpus Christi, Christ Church). Along the way you’ll also pass the Radcliffe Camera (built in the 18th century to house a science library), the Bodleian Library (one of Europe’s largest libraries, opened in 1602, but whose roots go back to the 14th century), and the Oxford Museum - dedicated to the history of the town and its university.
Carfax Tower Christ Church College Children's University event1.25 hoursOK
2. Christ Church College Circular - 0.75 miles / 1.2 kms
Starting at the north-east corner of Christ Church college, this walk takes you along historic streets, and past two more colleges and a school founded by Henry VIII to produce world-famous Christ Church Cathedral Choristers, before eventually arriving at the south aspect of the college. Here the beautiful Meadows Building overlooks Christ Church Meadow - a popular walking and picnic spot, which is bounded by the River Thames, The River Cherwell and Christ Church College.
Christ Church College Christ Church Cathedral Children's University event0.75 hoursOK
Each booklet is A5 size. You can: a) download to your computer & print; b) download to your phone or tablet (different format) & use directly from there; c) order a pre-printed copy which we post to you. Each has a page dedicated to the history of the city; 2 pages summarising each walk with suggestions re what to visit along the way. Walk 1 has 21 clues & walk 2 has 14 - both with detailed directions to follow. There are stories about important people, places & events along the way; detailed instructions how to find a clue if you're stuck; a comprehensive map with the routes marked on.
When you click on the Add to Basket button a pop-up asks if you want to checkout using Stripe (default) or Paypal, or continue shopping. If you decide to checkout you are taken through payments via a quick & secure process managed by a third-party company called SendOwl. At the end of the payment process SendOwl will email you a confirmation email (inc download link if relevant).
Download files are typically between 3 and 6 mb. You have 14 days to complete your download, and up to 3 attempts are permitted. If you buy the print-at-home version you will need to print it on normal A4 paper and the email you receive, with the download link, explains how best to fold the pages to make it into an A5 booklet. If you buy the download to mobile version you will need pdf reading software on your phone or tablet, eg using the Adobe Acrobat App (free). Please see our FAQs page for further information.
The booklet has a flexible cover, which has been professionally printed. The inside pages are printed to order, to ensure that they are as up-to-date as possible. We post booklets out 1st class Royal Mail, usually the same, or next working day. A postage & packing charge of £1.49 is made for 1 or 2 booklets within the UK. 3 to 6 booklets it's £1.99, and after that it's £3.99. Outside the UK it's £2.49 for 1 booklet, £3.49 for 2 booklets, £4.99 for 3 to 6 booklets and £7.99 after that.
If you are enrolled in the Children's University you can now gain hours towards your next award by completing one or more of our many Curious About walks.
Please note, for safety reasons a child should be accompanied by an adult, either parent/carer or person in loco parentis. Also, the booklets may require a degree of interpretation by an adult, as well as support and guidance.
To get your Children's University sticker:
- Buy the download or booklet (which will contain two walks).
- Complete one or both walks in your own time.
- Complete the Returns Form below and send it to us:
Complete one form for each location (eg Oxford).
Let us know one additional interesting fact you discovered along the route for each walk you complete (this provides proof that you did it / them).
- We will then send you an email with your sticker, which you can print, cut out and stick in your passport. Hours awarded will equal those shown against each walk.