The poet Matthew Arnold wrote of Oxford as ‘that sweet city with her dreaming spires’ and a walk through this historic city, home to the oldest English-speaking university in the world, will show any visitor just why Arnold found it so inspiring. But Oxford is more than just impressive architecture. In fact, it has been home to a multitude of famous historical figures, contemporary celebrities and above all, eccentric academics. It was in this ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ that 26 prime ministers, more than 30 international leaders, 47 Nobel Prize winners and more than 50 Olympic medallists attended university. Oxford is the city of CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Lewis Carroll and other literary greats. The University and City have also been made famous by providing the setting for several major motion pictures, including the Harry Potter series.
The University of Oxford is the second oldest in the world, first mentioned in historical texts as early as 1096. The university really began to blossom in the 12th century and is now home to around 40 beautiful colleges. A walk along one of Oxford's main streets is like a wander back through the time with portals looking back to many points in history. As you meander through the streets you will notice the splendid architecture from every century and every style, with each building steeped in history and with its own story to tell.
Our student guides in Oxford go through an extensive training programme to ensure that they have an exceptional depth of knowledge and are totally flexible in the tours they guide. The insider's perspective of life at the university that student guides can offer, really brings the history to life. All our guides have a passion for showing off their city at its best – as well as knowing all the local tips and tricks, Oxfords hidden treasures and more, which they will be happy to share with you!