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Magdalen College Tours

Magdalen College
Magdalen College—pronounced “Maudlin”—is one of the most storied and scenic colleges at Oxford University. Founded in 1458, it’s known for its lofty Magdalen Tower, its choral associations, and the celebrated figures who once walked its halls, including C.S. Lewis, Oscar Wilde, and Sir John Betjeman.

The Basics
Kings, bishops, and Nobel Prize laureates all number among Magdalen College’s alumni and contribute to its reputation. One of Oxford’s most prestigious colleges, Magdalen is also wonderfully scenic. It stands adjacent to the placid River Cherwell, and its grounds include a deer park, meadow, and other green spaces. Its architecture is equally striking: the college encompasses five separate quad areas, including a Grand Quad, as well as a chapel.

As one of Oxford’s most prominent colleges, Magdalen is a highlight on walking and bike tours of the city, including literary-themed itineraries. It’s also easy to visit independently, and the college offers guided tours periodically in summer.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • It is forbidden to walk on the grass or picnic at Magdalen College, while staircases and other student areas are off-limits to visitors.
  • The on-site Old Kitchen Bar and Riverside Terrace offers coffee, snacks, a light lunch menu, and afternoon tea.
  • The college’s quads are accessible to wheelchair users, though many buildings do not have step-free access.
  • Guide dogs are welcome at Magdalen College, and the Auditorium, Chapel, Hall, and Summer Common Room all offer Induction Loop technology.
  • There is an admission charge, with discount family tickets available.

How to Get There
With an entrance on Oxford’s High Street, Magdalen College is about a 10-minute stroll from the city center. Arriving by taxi is preferred to driving as the college does not have parking. Alternatively, the college is served by numerous bus lines, including the 1, 4, 4A, 4B, 4C, and 5. 

When to Get There
Magdalen College is typically open in the afternoons, closing at dusk, with extended morning and evening hours July to early October. Note that the college is also closed for select academic events and for holidays, so it’s advised to research its hours prior to your visit.

Magdalen College’s Choir
Magdalen is host to one of the oldest choral foundations in England, and today its choir is considered one of the top such ensembles in the country. The Magdalen Choir also famously takes part in the university’s annual May Day celebrations, during which it performs from the top of the Magdalen Tower. Members of the choir perform daily (except Mondays) at the chapel when school is in session, and services are open to the public. 
Address: Oxford OX1 4AU, England
Admission: Varies
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8 Tours and Activities to Experience Magdalen College

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The Inklings Oxford Writers Tour

The Inklings Oxford Writers Tour

star-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
$65.83
Price varies by group size
From
$65.83
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Oxford Walking and Biking Tour

Oxford Walking and Biking Tour

star-4.5
Discover Oxford’s highlights on foot and two wheels on this walking and bicycle tour. Set out by foot to visit the Bodleian Library, Christ Church, and other colleges as you learn about their history and former luminaries. Then, ride a bike to see the Radcliffe Camera, Magdalen College, places linked to Oxford’s literary heritage, and other sights. Includes entrance fees and bike usage for the rest of the day post-tour.
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  • 3 hours
From
$57.40
From
$57.40

Oxford Bike Tour Including Full Day Bike Rental

Oxford Bike Tour Including Full Day Bike Rental

star-4.5
Explore Oxford’s historic town center and ivy-strewn university buildings on this bike tour. Cycle through the City of Dreaming Spires alongside a guide, and learn about the city’s history as you take in University of Oxford buildings where the likes of Oscar Wilde, J. R. R. Tolkien, and several British prime ministers have studied. This bike tour allows you to cover more ground than you would on a walking tour, as well as access pedestrianized areas inaccessible to tour buses.
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  • 2 hours
From
$35.87
From
$35.87

Walking Tour Combined with River Punting Rowing (2 hours plus)

Walking Tour Combined with River Punting Rowing (2 hours plus)

star-4.5
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
$101.30
Price varies by group size
From
$101.30
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien Walking Tour of Oxford

CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien Walking Tour of Oxford

star-5
All guides are fully qualified - members of The Institute of Tourist Guiding and The Oxford Guide of Tour Guides. Each tour is unique and will be adjusted to take into account any events or closures on the day. We visit inside a college.
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$42.14
From
$42.14
Taking safety measures

Private Oxford City & University Walking tour with Entry to Divinity School

Private Oxford City & University Walking tour with Entry to Divinity School

star-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
$138.26
per group
From
$138.26
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
$197.52
per group
From
$197.52
per group
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
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
$98.76
From
$98.76
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 Magdalen College?