FAQs – Oxford: Navigating Your Visit with Ease

Enhancing your Oxford experience. Please click a question to view the answer.

The tour doesn't show availability to book but can I still book it?

The reason why the tour may not have let you book automatically could be because of minimum numbers or because you tried to book at short notice. For example, most tours will refuse to let you book as one person only. However, that’s not to say that you can’t still book as just one person- it’s just that the tour pages usually will not permit an automatic approval to book any tour, until you first select at least 2 persons or more.

If your enquiry isn’t urgent, please firstly email or whatsapp text us. In most cases, you can still book but you may have to instead pay cash or to buy a gift voucher to same value as the tour ticket/s. In fact, if you offer to pay cash to book, then tours which normally might require 3 persons, can usually be booked, paying as if just 2 persons too. If you have US dollars or Euros, we also are agreeable to accepting these two currencies only as legitimate payment too.

Can I book a tour starting this morning or tomorrow morning at short notice?
The notice period cut off point to book any afternoon start time tour is as little as even one hour notice. However, any tour which starts any earlier than 11.45am, the deadline to book & to confirm payment for it, is usually before 21.00, night before.
What is included in my tour and where does it visit?
Each tour website page has its own duration, itinerary & clear description of what venues and entry fees may be included. The exception would be any tour which mentions on the website page that it does visit inside a college but it does not specify which college. In this case, we can never guarantee until we meet you which specific college we will visit on the tour as which colleges may be open or closed, and can vary by day and by season or by time of day. If no colleges can be visited, we automatically instead replace it with entry to the Divinity school at the Bodleian library (a popular movie site and a Harry Potter film site too).
What is open to see inside on the university graduation dates or over the Christmas period from about December 20 to about January 3rd?
During these dates, very few or no colleges may be open to visit inside of. However, it varies. If you wish to ensure that you avoid visiting Oxford on one of its multiple different graduation dates throughout the year, please consult when these dates are via the following university website page at https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/graduation/ceremonies
Can I cancel for a refund? Will the tour go ahead, even in bad weather?

Yes, you may cancel for a full refund or reschedule the date, up to 24 hours notice before the start of the tour.

The only current exceptions are the Cotswolds tours which offer 50% refund for at least 24 hours notice or 100% refund for at least 48 hours notice.

We never cancel an Oxford or a Bath walking tour, just because of bad weather. However, if we can see the weather forecast looks very windy or heavy rain for a bike tour or a boat cruise or for the Cotswolds tours, we may proactively contact you at least 24 hours ahead to warn you of the weather forecast and to check if you wish to cancel or to reschedule or to change the nature of the tour activity.

Can I join the tour with my wheelchair? Can I join the tour with my dog?

Yes to both questions but in the case of using a wheelchair, please note that many Oxford streets are narrow cobbled lanes and Oxford can get crowded, so if you want to join a group tour, it may mean that you would be significantly slowing down the pace of everyone else who has booked the group tour. So yes, it’s fine to join a group tour but it may be more considerate to instead request how to book a private group tour, to cater to your preferred pace.

As for taking dogs on the tour, unless it’s a guide dog, all Oxford venues officially prevent entry to pets, so when we may visit inside any venue, your pet cannot enter, while the rest of the group goes inside any such venue.

Can I book a private group tour in my foreign language?
Yes, sometimes it’s possible to arrange a special private group tour in eg languages like French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Italian, Mandarin or Russian. However, such a tour request will need usually at least 2 days advance notice & if the relevant bilingual guide is not available on the date and time which you request, then we will refund you or invite you to just go ahead with the tour but in English.
How many guides should I book, to arrange a large private group tour? What's the limit per guide scheduled?

The ratio of clients per guide scheduled, to cover your large group, will vary depending on which tour you book, as it often depends on the official entry policy of a related venue that we may negotiate to include entry to, on your tour. However, the general limit is max 25 persons, including your staff and or students per guide scheduled.

A large private group tour, we usually prefer to schedule for a morning start eg at 10.30am or a late afternoon start at eg 3pm. However, we can usually also always accommodate to start at other times too, if needed.

Please note that we do not arrange transport requirements for your group and so you would simply be booking our guides to meet you already in the destination, which you want a guided tour of.

How much time do I need to visit Oxford?
This is a very open question. Many visitors only day trip here. However, with all the museums, the two rivers and the parks plus 39 colleges of the university and the Bodleian library plus the Port Meadow & adjacent scenic villages plus Blenheim palace in nearby Woodstock village, you could spend a whole week here & still find things to do!
What are the Harry Potter film site venues in Oxford?

The first film site is Duke Humfreys library at the Bodleian library- no guides may take tours inside there & no children aged under 11 may enter it. However, the Bodleian library does offer their own Bodleian library tours including entry to it. All our Harry Potter tours include entry to the Divinity School at the Bodleian library – this is where they filmed dance scenes & infirmary scenes. If you wish to visit the Divinity school on your own, outside of our tours, you can buy its entry tickets via the Bodleian library website. Tickets go on sale for this and for the Bodleian library guided tours, starting 30 days ahead. It’s rarely a problem to buy tickets for just the Divinity school but tickets for the Bodleian library guided tours, typically sell out days or weeks in advance. Plus if no tickets show on Bodleian website for your preferred date, that is because the venue will be closed on that specific date. The Bodleian closes as much as 40 days per year on a random basis as it’s booked for private events or graduation dates.

On any dates when the Divinity School is closed, we instead replace it with entry to New college. New college is where they filmed eg the Malfoy Draco ferret scene & other scenes from the Goblet of Fire. New college is open from 10am to last entry at 4.45pm every day from mid March to mid October. Then in winter season, New college is open only from 1.30pm and it’s also closed on Mondays. You can buy entry tickets to New college at the college but it’s sometimes sold out-unless you have booked entry days or weeks ahead.

The final film site & the most famous one is Christ church. None of our tours visit Christ church- except for specifically the tours called, . Christ church entry ticket for self guided tour is included on the above tours and we drop you off at the college with pre booked entry tickets. Alternatively, you can try to prebook tickets yourselves via Christ church website but their tickets almost always sell out on busy dates & they only release online tickets on every Friday for dates starting the following weeks from Monday to Sunday. Christ church is usually open from 09.30am until 11am and then again from 2pm entry until 3.45pm entry. On Sundays, Christ church never opens until 2pm.

Where do the tours start?

Oxford city tours start point is easy to find- we meet by our red sign OUTSIDE Oxford Tourist info centre, 15 Broad street, OX1 3AS. Notice- we don’t meet inside visitor centre. We meet outside & you will see our advertising saying ‘Visit Oxford Tours’. 

Bath city tours meet outside Bath abbey, just next to the Roman Baths, BA1 1LT.

Tours in any other destinations, meeting point will be given either during or upon receipt of your booking being received & responded to.

How will I recognise my guide?

We’ll confirm the name and phone number of your guide before the date of your tour. In order not to confuse with other guides, look for our guides wearing a red <iloveoxford> lanyard. If you use WhatsApp, then ideally please text us on WhatsApp to + (44) 7955 482637.

Where can I park? Or how far are we from bus or train station?

When planning to get to our meeting point, please note that car parking in Oxford & arriving in Oxford by car can take much longer than you may expect.

Firstly, if you can, please avoid driving to Oxford- the train & bus services are excellent & leave until late in the evening. Parking in Oxford city centre is limited & very expensive. If you must drive, then we recommend using the park & ride schemes which are sign-posted from any major road into Oxford & are located around Oxford’s ring-road. If you park at the park & rides, you can then catch the buses leaving roughly every 20 minutes into the city centre. Ask your driver which stop is the best to get off at for Broad street- that often means getting off near the end of the High street at the stop closest to Carfax Tower (the main crossroads in Oxford). From Carfax or from the bus station, we are 10 minutes walk away

Do I need to bring proof of my booking?
It helps to bring evidence of your booking either on your smart-phone or on paper to show the guide. However, it is not essential to do so- it’s just helpful. If you have booked us within only a few hours of the start time, then please do make sure to show us the booking confirmation. Advance bookings, the guide should already have a list of the name you booked the tour under.
I arrived too late to join my tour- can I get a refund?

While, we appreciate that it’s disappointing to miss a tour, we do not refund a tour, because you arrived too late to plan to meet us. If you missed the tour due to eg a train strike action, we cannot either refund you because of such matters. However, under very special circumstances, we have occasionally agreed to reschedule at no cost or to refund partially, a tour, such as rare circumstances like someone having had an accident on the date of their tour. We cannot however refund a tour, due to someone being sick. If you therefore suspect that you may no longer be available, please contact us immediately by email and or by phone or text to make known any requests to cancel for refund or to reschedule your booking, before the 24 hours minimum notice period.

Visit Oxford Tours

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