Oxford is only a couple of hours away from London and is the perfect day trip. Buses and trains run frequently and are pretty inexpensive, I got there using the Oxford Tube and if only cost me £7 one way. I simply downloaded the app, got my ticket and headed out to Victoria to find the bus. Simple as that.
There are plenty of things to do in Oxford, visiting the university will probably be pretty high on your list. But there are also some cute streets to wander around, great pubs to stop for lunch, a lot of Harry Potter locations to visit, and for all Alice in Wonderland fans out there – it’s the perfect place as it’s where the story came alive.
Harry Potter locations
There are plenty of Harry Potter locations all over England, and if you’re in Oxford for the day, and want to get some Harry Potter trivia in your schedule, here are a couple of places to check out.Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, and Visiting Collages in Oxford
The “Great Hall”, Christ Church College
Inside the Christ Church College you’ll find the “real” Great Hall, this is where the producers of the film got the inspiration for the Great Hall you’ll see in the movie. Also, the stairway you walk up to get to the Great Hall is also used in some scenes, as well as the small archway to the left of the entrance, where Harry first arrives at Hogwarts.
A popular location for fans to visit, this location is used in four of the films as Hogwarts infirmary and it’s also where Professor McGonnagal teaches the students to dance.
Duke Humfrey’s Library
Remember when Harry enters the library under the invisibility cloak to steal a book? This is the library used for that scene. You can visit the library on a guided tour only, and the tour lasts for 30 minutes.
Alice in Wonderland locations
Alice was a real person, Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) met her at university and she was the daughter of the dean. She was the sole inspiration for the story of Alice in Wonderland and some of the places that inspired the story can be found in Oxford!
Charles wrote the story on an afternoon boat trip with Alice’s family, and by Filly Bridge is where the story began, about a bored girl looking for adventure.
Christ Church College
This is where Charles met Alice and her family. When entering the Great Hall, look up to your left, and you’ll see a stain glass window dedicated to Alice and showing a lot of the characters from the story.
Opposite the visitor’s main entrance to Christ Church College is Alice’s Shop, selling all things Alice in Wonderland. The online shop can be found here.
The shop is also a real reference in the book, Dodgson refers to it as the Old Sheep Shop, and it’s the perfect place to end your Alice in Wonderland tour and take home some souvenirs.
It wouldn’t be a complete Oxford visit without wandering the halls of the impressive Oxford colleges, and luckily enough, a lot of them are open to visit! Here are some of the most popular colleges to visit!
Christ Church College
Around town Christ Church College is known as “The Harry Potter” college, as it’s the home of the Great Hall and is a popular stop for Harry Potter fans from all over. It’s also where Alice from Alice in Wonderland lived, as her father was the dean (yes, Alice was actually a real person!).
New College looks more like a castle than an actual college, it’s architecture is very different from other colleges around Oxford, and some of the famous attendees include Virginia Woolf and Hugh Grant.
Pronounced “Mawd-lin” college, this college is one of the most beautiful colleges in Oxford, and two famous attendees are CS Lewis and Oscar Wild.
Merton College is one of the three original colleges built in Oxford, and if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan you’ll be happy to know JRR Tolkien is one of their famous attendees.