Explore Oxford city centre with two self-guided heritage walks with a treasure hunt theme. Discover Oxford's "hidden treasures" whilst having a fun day out with family and friends!
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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1. University Colleges - 1.5 miles / 2.4 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 Merton College 1.5 hoursOK
2. Merton College To Christ Church Cathedral - 1 mile / 1.6 kms
Starting at Merton College, this walk takes you along historic streets, past an art gallery, many more colleges and a school founded by Henry VIII to produce world-famous Cathedral Choristers. But also see what’s new as you traverse Oxford’s latest shopping mall with its historic roots, before finally arriving at the south aspect of Christ Church College with its superb cathedral overlooking a delightful meadow and languorous river.
Each booklet has a page dedicated to the history of the city and 2 pages summarising each walk with suggestions on what to visit along the way. Walk 1 has 21 clues & walk 2 has 14 - both with detailed directions to follow. There are interesting stories about important people, places & events along the way; detailed instructions on how to find a clue if you're stuck; and a comprehensive map with the routes marked on.
Buy a booklet by clicking on the Add to Basket button, then either checkout, or continue shopping. Checkout takes you 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).
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).
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 small postage & packing charge is added.
"Oxford is dominated by its colleges, sprawling throughout the city. My wife and I found your two walks fascinating - a great way to learn more about Oxford's history and the part the university played. We had a wonderful few hours, and ending where it does, a sheer delight!"
Latest Revision : April 2023