When visiting Oxford, tourists can feel a bit overwhelmed by the scale and complexity of Oxford University. The 38 Colleges and 6 Private Halls that make up the institution are scattered throughout the city – wherever you go you are surrounded by the University, and yet it can seem almost impossible to pin it down and get to the heart of it.
Few places in the world can match the atmosphere of Oxford University, especially when the sun shines on the golden Cotswold stones of its chief buildings. For centuries it has been a magnet for ambitious young scholars with a desire to be educated in an academic institution of such ancient repute. And yet there is nothing ‘ancient’ about the quality of the modern teaching and courses on offer here, with Oxford producing more technology-based companies than any other city in the UK.
Each of the 44 Colleges and Halls – with foundation dates ranging from 1249 to 2008 – has a unique history and set of traditions, and each one has its specialist subject areas for study. Here, we introduce you to some of the most famous of the colleges, each one a great tourist attraction in its own right. If you have children with you when you visit, who knows? – The magic of the visit may stay with them, and end up with them applying for a place at Oxford University!
Visiting Oxford colleges offers a behind-the-scenes peek at how the University works, with academics, university staff and students working in harmony. Once inside, get a glimpse of how timeless these ancient spaces feel, and walk the same halls as some of the great world leaders, scientists and artists, many of whom have been educated at the University.
Some colleges allow small groups of six to eight people to visit with advance bookings. Some of them can be visited for free, but most charge an entry fee.Check out the opening times of the various Colleges and Halls, to avoid turning up and finding a locked gate (which is what happens to many tourists when they don’t plan ahead!)
Address: University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD
Tel: 01865 270000