Highlights Tours

Bubble / Highlight Tours

Following lockdown 3, the relaxation of the rules and the reintroduction of ‘the rule of 6’, we are delighted to be bringing back our popular ‘Bubble Tours’.

Currently available Monday-Saturday and at any time to suit you, these tours are private and for up to 5 people (as the guide will equal 6). Perfect for a family group or two couples looking to have a (socially distanced) meet up!

From 17th May, these special tours will become known as a Highlight tours and will only be available Monday-Saturday at 10am or 4.15pm to fit in with our tour schedule.

Peering in to the colleges! Come discover Oxford with us ©philknight and ©walkingtoursofoxford

These tours are 1-hour in length and will show you the very best of Oxford in 60 minutes with your qualified guide. A private tour such as this allows for interaction and for questions to be asked. We can tailor the tour to any requests that you may have – want a bit of wizardly magic and Harry Potter then – Abracadabra! A family tour to include the children – consider it done or perhaps you are a couple looking to explore the history of Oxford – that is no problem! Teenager children thinking of applying to Oxford and want a tour to help – look no further! Or perhaps murder? A Morse / Lewis and Endeavour tour would be perfect!

Cost is £75 – so with a group of 5 that is just £15 per person which is excellent value. Don’t take our word for it, you can check out the hundreds of on-line reviews which make us the number 1 rated tour company in Oxford both for TripAdvisor and Feefo.

This special offer is only available direct and for a limited time.

Friendly, knowledgeable and qualified guides are waiting to show you Oxford! ©philknight ©walkingtoursofoxford

Email info@walkingtoursofoxford.com to book.

“Walking Tours of Oxford is excellent and very much recommended. Heidi, our guide was extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic but also orientated the tour to her audience so in our case, we are a family of four, with two boys aged 13 and 15. It was the perfect way to familiarise ourselves with the city and point out details that we would have not noticed or understood the significance. We really enjoyed the tour and the two hours passed so quickly. Thank you, Heidi, – a really great experience and introduction to Oxford!”
Feefo review December 2020

“This was a great walking tour. Our guide, Heidi, was so knowledgeable & told stories in a charismatic way that made you feel you were living them. This really helped us get to know the history of Oxford & it’s famous University & colleges, well worth doing. Thank you, Heidi”
TripAdvisor review November 2020

Endeavour Series 8 Filming – March 2021

All photo’s ©walkingtoursofoxford. Please do not share individually but do share link to post for everyone to see!

In ‘Normal’ times, we would have already been treated to series 8 of Endeavour. We last saw our hero on TV screens in “Zenana” back on 23rd February 2020 and season 8 was confirmed at that time. Then Covid hit and England entered a full national lockdown on 23rd March 2020, exactly one month after that last episode airing on ITV filming, along with our entire way of life stopped.

Endeavour filming season 8 15/3/2021 Exeter College, Oxford. ©walkingtoursofoxford
Shaun Evans

Summer came and went and with that we enjoyed some normality and our Morse / Lewis and Endeavour tours resumed which continued to run through August / September and October before Lockdown 2 in November. It was a busy 3 months with most tours going out full. ‘Staycations’ became popular and as many had rewatched the programmes during those challenging ‘Stay at home’ months, we had visitors from all corners of the United Kingdom. The guides here at “Walking Tours of Oxford” also used those lockdown months to rewatch episodes; entire seasons – a love of all three programmes was reignited and we had time to reconnect and remember all those little moments and connections that run so deep.

As we now look towards a release from lockdown 3, we will be returning with our tours on 17th May (subject to government guidelines). It might be possible to operate some private tours prior to this date.

Tours will be smaller than before and college entry may not be possible but, in some ways, this has given us the freedom to explore the street scenes further and many of the colleges are still seen and talked about, albeit from the outside. We have invested is a state-of-the-art sound system, no other tour company offers this in Oxford, and we believe it enhances the tour experience as it means everyone can hear no matter how busy Oxford gets. Moreover, it allows for complete ‘social distancing’ between your individual group and others on the tour. Each person on our public tours is provided, at the time of the tour and free of charge, with a small headset and earphones. However, we do encourage our guests to bring their own earphones which can be used with the headsets. All equipment has been thoroughly sanitised between each use.

It was uplifting to see that filming had resumed on Mothering Sunday – 14th March 2021. Two guides made it in that day and met Shaun and the crew and were lucky to get some photos which we are sharing below. It was a little surreal to see the crew and cast all masked up in-between takes. Filming continued inside Exeter College, which has a long association with the Morse universe on Monday 15th March. Heidi, owner of Walking Tours of Oxford was able to witness some of the filming that day and a selection is here for you.

Tomorrow is a good day!

Come and join us to see just where all this took place along with other episodes of Endeavour Morse and Lewis. See the locations and hear the stories – all our guides are fully qualified – members of The Institute of Tourist Guiding and the Oxford Guild of Tour Guides.

Quote code NDVR8 at checkout for a 10% discount on our group Morse / Lewis and Endeavour Tours which is available for any tour date throughout 2021 but for bookings taken prior to 17th May. We anticipate that tours will get booked up so don’t delay and book today!

Filming on Merton Street, Oxford 14/3/2021. Endeavour Season 8. ©walkingtoursofoxford Jane Mead
Endeavour season 8 filming 14/3/2021. Merton Street, Oxford. ©walkingtoursofoxford Christine Bainbridge
Endeavour Filming season 8 15/3/2021. Exeter College, Oxford ©walkingtoursofoxford
Endeavour Filming season 8 15/3/2021. Exeter College, Oxford ©walkingtoursofoxford
Shaun Evans ‘getting ready for take’
Shaun Evans – filming in times of Covid. March 14th 2021. ©walkingtoursofoxford Christine Bainbridge

Colin Dexter

Meeting Colin

When I was 18 years old Morse was first aired on TV.  It was the 6th January 1987.

Fast forward 30 years and I am now an avid ‘fan’.  More than that, I get to share my stories and findings with my guests on my tours that I conduct in Oxford. I certainly would not mind going to the pub with young Endeavour any day!

The family home that I talk about was in Buckinghamshire. When I started a family of my own, I settled in Oxfordshire.  As time passed and the family grew up, I decided to re-train as a Green Badge guide for Oxford.  It was a challenging time but I loved learning all about this stunning city.  When you first qualify, you do so as a ‘University and City’ guide only.

Brief thoughts flickered through my mind about becoming a Morse guide but did I really want to do more training after such an intense 9 months*?  The work I was receiving was sufficient and I had my family which kept me pretty busy!

So what changed my mind?  I think it was meeting Colin Dexter that was the turning point.

It was a bitterly cold winter day and I was in The Morse Bar at The Randolph.  I am sure many of you have already been but if not, you must add to your list!  Anyway, I digress.

There I was looking at the photos of John Thaw and perhaps reflecting quietly on my youth and watching Morse with my parents.  I glanced down and thought ‘hang on a minute’.  There was Colin.  He had some signed Morse books (how I wish I had brought one).  Colin kindly allowed me to sit down and chat for a few minutes.  What a delightful and amusing gentleman he was.  We chatted about Morse and had a giggle.  He was fun and a little flirtatious but I did not mind at all – rather made my day!  Our time was all too brief as I had to start my tour.  I bid him farewell with a kiss on each cheek and in hopefulness that our paths would cross again. Sadly, it was not to be. Colin’s health was detoriating and he died a few years later – 21st March 2017.

I had my photo taken with Colin and would proudly show anyone that displayed a flicker of interest.

It is perhaps with poignancy but pleasure and privilege too, that I have recently been invited and accepted an invitation to Colin’s memorial service. I have no idea as yet who will be there but I am just looking forward to adding my personal thanks to this wonderful man and without whom, I would be unable to conduct these tours and pass on the stories.

There are plans to erect a statue to Colin in Summertown, just outside the centre of Oxford and you can read more about that here:-

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/15571071.Plans_for_Colin_Dexter_statue_take_shape_as_design_is_revealed/

Thank you Colin.

Qualifications

  • Heidi, like all guides working for Walking Tours of Oxford is a fully qualified green badge guide – member of The Institute of Tourist Guiding and The Oxford Guild of Tour Guides and that is what stands us apart from some of the other Operators in Oxford.