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Bodleian Library Tours and Activities

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5 Reviews
Bodleian Library
Located in central Oxford in a complex of historic buildings, the venerable Bodleian Library is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. It’s the main research library for the University of Oxford and also a copyright library, housing every book printed in the UK and Ireland, a collection of more than 12 million printed items.
 
The Basics
The historic core of the Bodleian Library is clustered around Radcliffe Square and includes the 15th-century Duke Humfrey’s Library and Divinity School, the 17th-century Old Schools Quadrangle, the 18th-century Clarendon Building and Radcliffe Camera, and the modern Weston Library.
 
While the Old Schools Quadrangle can be viewed for free and the Divinity School for a fee, other areas can only be accessed through a guided (short, standard, or extended) tour. Many Oxford sightseeing tours, whether on foot, by bike, or Harry Potter focused, will include a stop at the Bodleian Library. Visit on a hop-on hop-off bus tour to see other city sites at your leisure. Day trips from London often feature a stop here and can also be combined with visits to Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, the Cotswolds, or Stratford-upon-Avon.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • The Bodleian Library is a must-visit for book lovers and Harry Potter fans.
  • Photography is not permitted in working areas of the library.
  • Bags, including handbags, must be left in lockers during guided library tours.
  • Guided library tours are not wheelchair-accessible, as there are stairs involved.
  • Children under the age of 10 are not permitted on guided library tours.
  • Free Wi-Fi is available at the Bodleian Library’s Weston Library.
 
How to Get There

The Bodleian Library is located in central Oxford. Of the six entrances, the recommended entrance is the main entrance on Catte Street, using the Great Gate, which provides direct access to the Old Schools Quadrangle.
 
When to Get There
The Bodleian Library is open daily during the school term and closed on Sundays during vacations. It is usually closed from around December 20 to January 2, over the Easter holidays, and for the August bank holidays. Short and standard tours are offered daily, while extended tours are offered only certain days of the week.
 
The Bodleian’s Collection
In addition to printed items, the Bodleian Library also houses special collections, which include rare books and manuscripts, classical papyri, music, art, and maps. A portion of the collection can be viewed online through the Bodleian Library’s image portal or in the exhibition galleries at the Bodleian Library’s Weston Library.
Address: Broad St., Oxford OX1 3BG, England
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31 Tours and Activities to Experience Bodleian Library

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from May 17- Harry Potter Insights Oxford PUBLIC Tour entry to Divinity School

from May 17- Harry Potter Insights Oxford PUBLIC Tour entry to Divinity School

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195
Calling all fans of the world’s favorite wizard, this Oxford walking tour takes you to recognizable locations of the Harry Potter films. During this family-friendly tour, explore the grand buildings of Oxford University, including New College and Divinity School—both featured as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Learn of other literary legends that attended Oxford University and admire the Bodleian Library, home to more than 11 million books. This small-group tour is limited to 15 Harry Potter fans to maintain an intimate atmosphere. If you prefer, choose the private tour of New College with just your party and guide. 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$34.85
From
$34.85
Taking safety measures

Oxford University Walking Tour With University Alumni Guide

Oxford University Walking Tour With University Alumni Guide

star-5
1773
Walk the halls of one of the world’s oldest and most famous universities on this walking tour of Oxford University. Get a glimpse of student life as you peek inside the famous Bodleian Library and see landmarks like the University Church of St. Mary, Radcliffe Camera, and Trinity College. Learn about the prestigious university’s famous alumni, hear fascinating stories and anecdotes about its history, and see on-campus locations used in the Harry Potter films.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$27.87
From
$27.87
Taking safety measures

Harry Potter Walking Tour of Oxford Including Bodleian Library

Harry Potter Walking Tour of Oxford Including Bodleian Library

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43
Discover the Harry Potter movie locations of Oxford on this walking tour. Visit the famous Bodleian Library to see the hall used as Hogwarts’ Infirmary in many movies, and view other locations in one or two of Oxford’s oldest colleges. As you walk, enjoy a fun Harry Potter quiz, and learn about Oxford University and other famous children’s books written in the city. Entrance fees to the Bodleian and select colleges are included.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$30.38
From
$30.38

PUBLIC Oxford City and University Walking Tour

PUBLIC Oxford City and University Walking Tour

star-4.5
74
If you’re interested in Oxford’s rich history, look no further than this walking tour for a comprehensive overview of the historic city. In a small group limited to 15, visit Bodleian Library—home to 'Harry Potter' filming locations—and one other college, and learn about Oxford University alumni such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Plus, receive an ILoveOxford map showing all of the main sites.
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  • 1 hour 25 minutes to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$27.87
From
$27.87
Taking safety measures

Private Oxford Walking Tour for the Discerning Traveler

Private Oxford Walking Tour for the Discerning Traveler

star-5
24
Get the inside scoop on Oxford's storied history on this private walking tour. Through your dedicated guide's informative narration, learn about the evolution of the university and all the achievements that have taken place there. Enjoy a flexible itinerary, personalized attention and plenty of time to ask questions, since this is a private tour for just you and your party.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$139.41
per group
From
$139.41
per group

'Inspector Morse,' 'Lewis,' and 'Endeavour' Walking Tour of Oxford

'Inspector Morse,' 'Lewis,' and 'Endeavour' Walking Tour of Oxford

star-5
247
Follow in the footsteps of Inspector Morse, star of the British TV detective drama that was filmed on the streets of Oxford. With a guide, you’ll see the eminent university city through the eyes of Morse and his sidekick Lewis, visiting filming sites such as pubs and even one of the university colleges. Along the way you’ll learn all about the cast and crew who were involved in the much-loved productions of Inspector Morse, the Lewis spin-off series, and the Endeavour prequel—all filmed in the city.
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$27.88
From
$27.88
Taking safety measures

Inspector Morse Filming Locations Walking Tour in Oxford

Inspector Morse Filming Locations Walking Tour in Oxford

star-4.5
86
Visit filming locations from the British television series 'Inspector Morse,' as well as spin-offs 'Lewis' and 'Endeavour,' on this Oxford walking tour. With a guide, learn about the making of the detective show and visit Oxford University colleges to gain insight into what it might be like to be a student here. End with an invitation to solve a murder mystery at one of Morse's favorite pubs. Entrance fees to university locations are included; drinks are not.
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  • 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$34.84
From
$34.84
Taking safety measures

Improve your confidence in speaking English on 2-weekend courses in Oxford, UK.

Improve your confidence in speaking English on 2-weekend courses in Oxford, UK.

English speaking course designed especially to improve your confidence in the real world. 8 hours spread over two weekends for you to boost your language skills. Experienced, highly-qualified teacher to provide professional help and feedback for future self study. Competitive price for excellent service.
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  • 8 hours
From
$156.13
From
$156.13

Oxford Christian History Tour

Oxford Christian History Tour

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10
See a different side to popular Oxford during this comprehensive walking tour which provides a great introduction to the city itself, while also emphasizing the city’s Christian legacy and history, something few travelers get to explore in depth. Listen to stories from your guide about the Oxford Martyrs, Queen Mary Tudor, and even Harry Potter, as you pass by significant buildings.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.49
From
$45.49

Private Oxford City & University Walking tour

Special Offer

Private Oxford City & University Walking tour

star-5
5
Oxford is home to one of the world’s most famous and prestigious colleges, and this private 2-hour walking tour unveils all the secrets of the university city. Marvel at landmarks including the Bodleian Library and Christchurch, peek inside Oxford University buildings like New College or the Divinity School; and follow in the footsteps of British legends such as J.R.R Tolkien, CS Lewis, King Henry VIII, and Harry Potter.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$132.43
per group
$139.41
$6.98 savings
From
$132.43
per group
$139.41
$6.98 savings
Taking safety measures

PRIVATE from May 17- Harry Potter in Oxford tour -Includes entry Divinity school

PRIVATE from May 17- Harry Potter in Oxford tour -Includes entry Divinity school

star-5
9
See two of the three Hogwarts filming locations in Oxford (access permitting) on this private Harry Potter tour. With a guide, you'll visit New College and the Divinity School at the Bodleian Library. Ponder how studying at Oxford University compares to being a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and learn a bit about Oxford's history as your guide tailors the tour to the interests of everyone in your group.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$139.41
per group
From
$139.41
per group
Taking safety measures

Private Oxford Food and Sightseeing Tour

Private Oxford Food and Sightseeing Tour

Discover Oxford’s diverse foodie scene with a private introduction to one of England’s most cosmopolitan cities. This 2.5-hour tapas tasting tour will introduce you to some of the city’s best cuisine, stopping at street food stalls, artisan shops, and markets, where you can sample an array of regional delicacies and international foods.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$104.55
per group
From
$104.55
per group
Taking safety measures

PRIVATE Inspector Morse Private Tour Oxford

Special Offer

PRIVATE Inspector Morse Private Tour Oxford

star-5
6
Calling all fans of the iconic British TV programme, Inspector Morse, this 2-hour tour visit famous filming locations around Oxford. With a private guide, you’ll visit recognizable settings inside the Bodleian Library, Exeter College, and the Divinity School, all within the prestigious Oxford University campus. The tour concludes at a historic pub regularly featured in the Inspector Morse shows.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$132.43
$139.41
$6.98 savings
Price varies by group size
From
$132.43
$139.41
$6.98 savings
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Oxford Combined Cycle Walking Tour- Saturdays Only Minimum 3 persons to book

Oxford Combined Cycle Walking Tour- Saturdays Only Minimum 3 persons to book

star-5
5
Explore more of Oxford’s University buildings, riverside parks, and picturesque countryside on this small-group half-day bike tour. Admire city landmarks such as the Bodleian Library and Christchurch; cycle along the scenic River Thames Path; and visit local villages such as Iffley, Binsey, and Old Marston.
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  • 4 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.69
Price varies by group size
From
$69.69
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private Oxford Bicycle Tour - available to book daily

Special Offer

Private Oxford Bicycle Tour - available to book daily

COVID19 NOTICE: Currently all university colleges are still closed to the public but you will see & hear lots about the colleges on the tour route. The best way to see Oxford is on a bicycle on this private bicycle tour along the River Thames Path. In fact, bikes are the locals' favourite way to get around the city as the compact Oxford is not very car-friendly. Default start time is 12.00 but you may request any start time from 12.00 until 14.30 start time. The tour lasts for 3-4 hours, including a guided tour plus bike set up time and a refreshments stop. The route covers both the city's sights and stories with a college entrance fee and a relaxing cycle along the River Thames to Iffley or Binsey Village.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$83.64
$104.55
$20.91 savings
Price varies by group size
From
$83.64
$104.55
$20.91 savings
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Walking Tour Combined with River Punting Rowing (3 hours duration)

Walking Tour Combined with River Punting Rowing (3 hours duration)

star-4.5
2
This fantastic combination tour allows you to see the highlights of Oxford from the land and the water on the same day. You’ll save hours shortlisting the city’s top sites by having a guide to show you around instead. The guided walking tour takes you past top city sites including Oxford University, Harry Potter filming locations, and Christ Church Meadow. A highlight of the tour is a boat trip, where you can choose to row yourself or have a chauffeur to punt for you.
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  • 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$278.81
Price varies by group size
From
$278.81
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

The Inklings Oxford Writers Tour

The Inklings Oxford Writers Tour

star-5
5
Explore the world of ‘The Inklings’—the mid-20th-century writers’ group that included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien—on this private Oxford walk. Rather than researching locations yourself, let a guide show you where the writers worked and relaxed. Visit Exeter College where Tolkien studied; and see Lewis’ Magdalen College and other sights while learning history and literary tales you’d otherwise miss. A choice of departure times gives you flexibility.
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  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$174.26
Price varies by group size
From
$174.26
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

PRIVATE GROUP from July- Afternoon- Christchurch Harry Potter film sites tour

PRIVATE GROUP from July- Afternoon- Christchurch Harry Potter film sites tour

Find out how does studying at Oxford University compare with studying at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? Find out on this 5 star rated popular walking tour about the making of Harry Potter in Oxford. Your ticket includes up to £15 in entry fee per person plus (where & when open), it also includes £2.50 entry to Divinity school film site at Bodleian library. We can only gain entry by pre-purchasing entry tickets online so please book this tour ahead in order to not be disappointed if no tickets left available. If we cannot get entry tickets, you'll be refunded in full. Fun tour for Muggles of all ages. Guide will cater the tour according to everyone's interests, introducing also Oxford heritage. See Christchurch film site. Christ Church Hall only closure dates 2020: Oct 4 + 9
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  • 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$278.80
Price varies by group size
From
$278.80
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

PRIVATE GROUP- MORNING- Christchurch Harry Potter film sites tour

PRIVATE GROUP- MORNING- Christchurch Harry Potter film sites tour

Covid19 Notice: Christchurch requires you to wear mask to enter & we can only enter with advance pre paid online entry tickets- which are limited- so please book ahead. If we cannot run the tour, you will be refunded or you may select to choose a rescheduled date. This tour also visits the Divinity school film site at the Bodleian library- as & when this secondary venue is open. Pre paid entry fee is included for all venues. Find out how does studying at Oxford University compare with studying at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? Find out on this 5 star rated popular walking tour about the making of Harry Potter in Oxford. Your ticket includes up to £15 in entry fee per person. Fun tour for Muggles of all ages. Guide will cater the tour according to everyone's interests, introducing also Oxford heritage. See Christchurch film site. Christ Church Hall only closure dates 2020: Oct 4 + 9 NB all other film sites and university venues are closed to the public during Covid19
More
  • 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$278.80
Price varies by group size
From
$278.80
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Oxford In A Day With Student Guide - Christ Church Optional

Oxford In A Day With Student Guide - Christ Church Optional

star-5
1
See Oxford in one day with this small group, sight-packed, full-day tour with an authentic Oxford student to give you the inside scoop, along with the little known facts and locations off the beaten path! See inside the oldest Colleges in Oxford, including the largest in Oxford - complete with its own deer park. Break for a pub lunch, before entering the most historic part of England's most iconic library, which makes a regular appearance in Hollywood films. For entrance into a famous Harry Potter college, upgrade to include a ticket for Christ Church.
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  • 6 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$113.95
From
$113.95
Taking safety measures

Social Distancing Specialised Oxford University Walking Tour With Student Guides

Social Distancing Specialised Oxford University Walking Tour With Student Guides

star-5
31
Designed to see the best of Oxford in a safe environment with the smallest group sizing we have ever done. With this specialised tour we take important measure to protect your health, and those around you. All our Oxford University student guides wear medical masks. In addition to this, group sizing is inline with Social Distancing Rules (currently we have the smallest group sizing of any tour company in Oxford). Furthermore, all guides must submit their temperature before providing the tour. This tour has all the most famous sites in Oxford, with our unique guides providing a fun and entertaining insight into one of the most important cities in the world. See the world-famous sites such as the Bodleian Library and Christ Church – both of which were Harry Potter film sites! Get the inside story on Oxford ceremonies, student life, college rivalries and much, much more!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$30.39
From
$30.39
Taking safety measures

Spencer’s Tour for Oxford (Private, all proceeds to Oxford charities)

Spencer’s Tour for Oxford (Private, all proceeds to Oxford charities)

star-5
3
100% of your booking fee will be donated to two Oxfordshire-based charities, supporting vulnerable individuals facing homelessness and addiction in the city. The city of Oxford is commonly considered as being divided into two groups: the Town (local residents) and the Gown (students of the University). While I am certainly a ‘townie’, both my girlfriend and sister are studying doctorates at the University of Oxford. This gives me a unique perspective on both sides of the community and the city, and I will share it with you in a tour so entertaining and memorable that you will wish you lived here, or your money back! We’ll cover as much as we can in 90 minutes. If you wish to continue the tour, I’m happy to discuss extending it where possible. Please note that entry fees are not included, though they are not necessary for a fantastic tour.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$83.64
per group
From
$83.64
per group

Spencer's Early Morning Tour of Oxford (Private)

Spencer's Early Morning Tour of Oxford (Private)

Are you an early bird? Do you like to explore new places early in the morning, before the mob have had their breakfast? Well, this is the tour for you. For this private tour, we'll meet at 07:30 and have the city entirely to ourselves. The city of Oxford is commonly considered as being divided into two groups: the Town (local residents) and the Gown (students of the University). While I am certainly a ‘townie’, both my girlfriend and sister are studying doctorates at the University of Oxford. This gives me a unique perspective on both sides of the community and the city, and I will share it with you in a tour so entertaining and memorable that you will wish you lived here - or your money back! We’ll cover as much as we can in 90 minutes. If you wish to continue the tour, I’m happy to discuss extending it where possible. Please note that entry fees are not included, though they are not necessary for a fantastic tour.
More
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$83.64
per group
From
$83.64
per group

Online Experience | Oxford University College Walking Tour Led By Alumni

Online Experience | Oxford University College Walking Tour Led By Alumni

star-5
1
Our University of Oxford graduate guide will take you on an enthralling journey through time as we recount to you the fascinating story of Oxford and its illustrious university via a Zoom. Enjoy famous student anecdotes and authentic insights into student life from real Oxford University Alumni and current students. All you need is a strong internet connection, desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone while we take you inside the private areas of the university which are currently closed to the public due to COVID. You are welcomed to ask questions at each stop on the tour and prospective students may ask about the Oxbridge application process from someone who has been successful. This is the real Oxford University experience from behind the closed doors!
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$27.88
From
$27.88
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Bodleian Library?