Oxford Castle is a large, partly ruined Norman medieval castle.

  • Oxford Castle & Prison has reopened with new health and safety measures in line with government advice regarding COVID-19.
  • Visit this 1,000-year-old castle and prison in all its glory and be transported back through the ages by costumed character guides on a one-hour tour.
  • Learn all about Oxford Castle's history, from Norman castle to 16th-century prison.
  • Climb one of the oldest buildings in Oxford, the St. George’s Tower, and enjoy fantastic 360° views over Oxford.
The 900-year-old crypt of St. George’s Tower.

If you're looking for the most interesting castles to visit in England with your family, make sure Oxford Castle & Prison is on the top of your list! Take your kids on a trip to this ancient city and enjoy an Oxford Castle & Prison tour. On this dramatised guided tour, you will learn all about the history of Oxford and its castle through fascinating and compelling stories. Kids and adults alike will love exploring the Saxon St. George’s Tower. One of Oxford’s oldest buildings, from the top of the tower you can enjoy amazing 360° panoramic views over the whole city. If this sounds like it'll be too much for little legs, you can watch the Story of Oxford Castle video at the bottom.

Afterwards, will you be brave enough to descend deep underground into the spooky 900-year-old crypt of the tower? One of the UK’s most haunted locations, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the Oxford Castle ghosts! There is even an exciting (or absolutely terrifying) option of spending the whole night at the castle. The sleepover package includes private hire of the castle overnight with a ghost hunt and breakfast in the morning.

Development of Oxford Castle began in 1071, and a large, partly ruined Norman medieval castle remains today. If you want to educate yourselves more about the modern history of the castle and its inmates, there’s a historical Exhibition Wing. After the tour, you will have continued access to the grounds and will be able to explore the prison cells and castle mound on your own.

If you live closer to London or just can't get enough of haunting history, the immersive London Dungeon is a brilliant alternative, especially for older kids.

What to know before you go

  • Oxford Castle has implemented new rules surrounding COVID safety. They have reduced the number of people per tour from 20 to a maximum of 12 (in 3 separate household groups). Sanitiser points have been installed at regular intervals around the attraction. You are encouraged to use your contactless payment card where possible to reduce handling of cash.
  • Admission to the castle is by guided tour only.
  • Typically, tours run every 20 minutes from 10am until 4.20pm.
  • Tours are available in English only. Translation sheets are available in French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
  • No dogs are permitted unless they are a Registered Guide Dog.
  • Buggies that do not fit through the doors must be left at the reception where they will be looked after by the staff.
  • Due to the historic nature of the castle, not all areas are accessible to wheelchairs. This includes St George’s Tower, the Mound and some prison cells.
  • There are toilets and accessible toilets, but please note no baby-changing rooms are available.
  • Luggage is not allowed on the tour. Lockers are available in the gift shop.
  • Bear in mind St George’s Tower has 101 steps on a steep, narrow and winding staircase. If you are unable to climb the tower, you can watch the Story of Oxford Castle video at the bottom. Under-18s must stay with a parent or guardian and rejoin the group after. Children under 5 cannot access St. George's Tower due to health and safety regulations.
  • After the hour-long tour has finished, you will be able to explore the castle at your own leisure.
  • There are loads of great cafes and restaurants in Oxford. Bill’s Oxford restaurant is a 6-minute walk away from the castle and has a great kids’ menu.
  • Make sure you see other Oxford attractions on your visit. The city has some wonderful museums, including the Ashmolean Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of the history of Science. The Oxford Botanic Garden is also well worth a visit. If you are looking to do something fun with your family, the Escape Hunt in Oxford is an adrenaline-pumping escape room game.

Getting there

  • Oxford Castle & Prison is easily accessible by bus (routes 1, 5 and 280), train (Oxford station) and coach (Oxford Bus Station).
  • From London, you can take a direct train from London Paddington to Oxford in under an hour. The Oxford Tube coach takes approximately two hours from central London.
  • If you are driving, Oxford is connected to London, the M25 and the Midlands by the M40. There is direct access to Southampton, Portsmouth and Bristol via the A34 from the Oxford ring road.
  • There is no on-site parking at Oxford Castle. Oxpens, Worcester Street and Gloucester Green car parks are all within a short walking distance from the castle.
  • Alternatively, Oxford has five Park and Ride car parks, with buses running into the city centre. The 400 bus can drop you at Westgate, just outside the castle.
  • Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.

Location

Show on Google Maps
Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents. 

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.  

Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong. 

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Hosted by
Continuum Attractions

Continuum Attractions bring stories to life and develop even more memorable experiences. Continuum Attractions operate special visitor attraction experiences in Canterbury, Edinburgh, Oxford, Portsmouth, York and even the set of Emmerdale. They welcome nearly two million visitors a year to their various attractions and aim to provide outstanding visitor days out. Their attractions fall into four areas: heritage, entertainment, icon and explore.

Based in York, they currently provide experiences in some of the most loved attractions in the UK. York attractions include York’s Chocolate Story, and elsewhere in Yorkshire there is the Emmerdale Studio Experience and the Emmerdale Village Tour. One of the major attractions in Portsmouth (and one of Portsmouth's most-loved sights) is the iconic Emirates Spinnaker Tower. The attraction in Oxford is the Oxford Castle and Prison, a brilliant historical day out. Continuum attractions are brought to life by costumed character guides and stories, which add something extra special to the experience! The majority of the attractions are fully guided and offer interactive elements, which appeal to visitors of all ages. The company also provides visitor experiences at The Real Mary King’s Close, The Canterbury Tales and Manchester Green Wood Family Park.

Events available
Lowest Price Guarantee
?
From 
Free
£
13
Oxford Castle & Prison Guided Tour
Oxford Castle & Prison
From 
£
 
£
12.95
Free
% OFF
Quick Preview
Currently Unavailable
Currently Unavailable
Show more events

Events happening at 

Oxford Castle & Prison

Oxford Castle & Prison Guided Tour
Oxford Castle & Prison
From 
£
 
£
12.95
Free
% OFF
Quick Preview
Currently Unavailable
Currently Unavailable

Things to do nearby

More Days Out To Book Now

Discover More Inspiration