Today I want to share my self-guided walking tour of Oxford, England with you. This university city to the west of London is an exciting place to discover. With its historic colleges, pretty green spaces, exciting shopping streets, and beautiful river, there’s a lot to see on an Oxford walk. My self-guided route and map will show you the highlights of the city.

Self-Guided Walking Tour of Oxford

Self-Guided Walking Tour of Oxford

From the eye-catching architecture of the Radcliffe Camera to the riverfront scenery on Christ Church Meadow, Oxford is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK.

Magdalen College, Oxford

Home to the oldest English-speaking university in the world, the city is one of the most important centers of learning in Britain.

But it’s not just about the colleges. Whether you’re passionate about heritage buildings or punting on rivers, shopping at covered markets or being inspired by museums, Oxford has something for everyone.

Oxford College

If you’re here on an Oxford day trip or an Oxford and Cotswolds day tour, you’ll be able to discover a lot in this part of Oxfordshire.

Radcliffe Camera, Oxford

I’ve visited Oxford many times. Each trip has revealed more of the city’s best highlights and secret spaces. Friends who studied at Oxford have often acted as my tour guides, and they’ve shown me spots visitors tend to miss.

I’ve also attended a graduation and a wedding in Oxford, and I’ve gone punting in Oxford and taken tours of Oxford with locals. All my experiences have imparted me with a love of this place.

Oriel College Dining Hall, Oxford University

I hope my walk helps you enjoy discovering Oxford as much as I have. It’s one of my favorite university cities in the UK. If you want more ideas, you can find lots of additional routes and maps in the book Oxford City Walks. You can get it on Amazon here.

Oxford Walk

My self-guided walking tour of Oxford starts on Broad Walk at Christ Church college. It’s centrally located, so it’s easy to get to from the train and coach stations, bus stops, and on foot from other parts of the city.

Garden by Christ Church College, Oxford

From Broad Walk you can take in the historic buildings of Christ Church, including the famous Christ Church Cathedral. You can also walk around Christ Church Meadow and soak up the peaceful riverfront surroundings.

Christ Church Cathedral garden in Oxford

When you’re done, continue your free walking tour of Oxford by heading onto St Aldate’s.

Here you’ll find fun places like Alice’s Shop, a store that pays homage to Alice in Wonderland’s Oxford connections (the author, Lewis Carroll, was a Tutor in Mathematics at Christ Church).

Alice in Wonderland Shop, Oxford

You can pop into Alice’s Shop if you want to, or continue your Oxford walk by turning right on St Aldate’s and heading north. You’ll pass by Christ Church’s Tom Tower on your right and the medieval St Aldate’s Church on your left.

Soon you’ll reach the Museum of Oxford and Oxford Town Hall, after which you’ll arrive at the intersection of St Aldate’s and the High Street.

If you look to your left, you’ll see the 12th-century Carfax Tower. You can go over and climb to the top for views across the city if you want to.

If not, continue your self-guided walking tour of Oxford by turning right on the High Street. Cross the street where it’s safe and head down one of the passageways leading to the Covered Market.

This 18th-century indoor marketplace is bursting with shops selling everything from clothing to food and flowers.

Oxford Covered Market

When you’re done exploring the market, head back out onto the High Street and turn left. You’ll pass beautiful historic buildings and the University Church of St Mary the Virgin before turning left onto Catte Street.

This passage will lead you to the iconic Radcliffe Camera. An 18th-century library, it’s one of the most famous buildings in the city.

Radcliffe Camera

You can walk around Radcliffe Square to see the library and the buildings of Brasenose College and All Souls College, then continue your Oxford walking tour by popping into the historic quad of the Bodleian Library.

The Bodleian is another Oxford landmark. It’s the main research library of the University of Oxford. Not only is it one of the oldest libraries in Europe, but also the second-largest library in Britain.

Bodleian Library

When you’re done taking in the quad, continue your walk by heading north on Catte Street. You’ll soon see two famous sights: the Sheldonian Theatre on your left and Oxford’s Bridge of Sighs on your right.

The former is a ceremonial and concert hall, and the latter is a stunning arch that connects two Hertford College buildings over New College Lane.

Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, England

From here your self-guided walking tour of Oxford continues with a left turn on Broad Street. You’ll pass the Clarendon Building and get a better view of the Sheldonian Theatre as you make your way down towards Trinity College and Balliol College.

Broad Street, Oxford

When Broad Street meets Magdalen Street, turn right and walk up to Beaumont Street. Turn left there and take in the facade of the Ashmolean Museum.

Ashmolean Museum

This is one of the most famous museums in Oxford, and it has an impressive collection of art and archaeological treasures. You can go inside and look around if you want to (entry is free).

Ashmolean Museum interior, Oxford

If not, continue your walking tour of Oxford by heading west down Beaumont Street until you reach St John Street. Turn right there and walk up to Wellington Square.

When you get there, walk around it to the northeast corner and take the passageway through to Little Clarendon Street.

Here you’ll find yourself in Jericho, a local part of Oxford that most visitors miss. It’s known for its colorful houses, so keep your eyes out for pastel facades.

Colorful houses in Jericho, Oxford

Turn left on Little Clarendon Street and follow it to Walton Street. Along the way you’ll pass lots of shops and cafes.

When you reach Walton Street, you’ll see the Last Bookshop on your left. If you’re a book lover, this independent bookstore is worth a detour.

Walton Street, Jericho, Oxford

If you’re not, turn right on Walton Street and continue your Oxford walk past local shops and the Oxford University Press until you reach Observatory Street.

Colorful Houses in Jericho, Oxford

Turn right on Observatory Street and take in the long row of colorful houses as you walk towards Woodstock Road. When you get there, turn left, then take your first right on Bevington Road. It’s full of pretty brick and stone houses.

Walk along Bevington Road until you reach Banbury Road. Turn right there, then left on Parks Road. This will take you into University Parks, a big green space.

You can stroll along West Walk until you reach South Walk, where you can turn right to exit the park.

When you reach Parks Road, turn left and take in the eye-catching architecture as you make your way south. Soon you’ll reach the impressive facade of the building that holds the Pitt-Rivers Museum and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Taxidermy white rabbit at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

The former is a unique museum that houses 500,000 objects, photographs, and manuscripts from all over the world. The latter is home to an extensive collection focused on Earth, science, and nature. You can visit one or both if you want to (entry is free).

Dodo bird at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

If not, continue walking down Parks Road past Trinity College and Wadham College. When you reach the intersection with Broad Street and Holywell Street, keep straight as Parks Road becomes Catte Street. You’ll recognize this area from earlier in your walk.

Bridge of Sighs, Oxford

Walk down Catte Street to New College Lane and turn left. Pass under the Bridge of Sighs and follow New College Lane as it twists and turns. Eventually you’ll pass under an arch and find yourself on Queen’s Lane.

New College Lane, Oxford

This narrow passage will take you past Queen’s College in Oxford before leading you back to the High Street. Once on the High Street, turn right and continue your self-guided walking tour of Oxford by taking in the beautiful historic buildings around you.

When you reach Magpie Lane, take a left and walk down the narrow alley to get to Merton Street.

When you get there, turn right and follow it as it curves around and becomes Oriel Square. You’ll see some of the stunning buildings of Oriel College as you go.

Magpie Lane, Oxford

When you reach Bear Lane, turn left and follow the narrow street it as it becomes Blue Boar Street. Blue Boar Street will take you to St Aldate’s, where you can turn left to get back to Broad Walk at Christ Church college.

When you reach Broad Walk, you’ll be back where you started. Your self-guided walking tour of Oxford ends here.

Christ Church College at Oxford University

Walking Tour Details and Map

Time: 1.5 to 3 hours (depending on time in the markets, shops, and museums)

Map of the first half of the walk:

Map of the second half of the walk:

Further afield: Blenheim Palace, The Cotswolds

Christ Church College in Oxford

Self-Guided Walking Tour of Oxford

I hope my self-guided walking tour of Oxford has made you want to get out and discover this amazing place and its world-class university. Oxford is one of the best cities in England and there are a lot of great sights to see here. Happy walking!

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Self-Guided Walking Tour of Oxford

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