Library guided tours

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Library guided tours

 30, 60 or 90 minutes

 Divinity School, Old Bodleian Library

 Available in English

  Children must be over 11 years old

  Book tickets in advance

A trip to Oxford is incomplete without a visit to the world-famous Bodleian Libraries.

The Bodleian Library dates back to 1488, with the library, as it stands today, opening in 1602 by Sir Thomas Bodley. In its reading rooms generations of famous scholars have studied through the ages, amongst them monarchs, Nobel Prize winners, British Prime Ministers and writers including Oscar Wilde, CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien.

We offer three guided tours of the Bodleian Library. The Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera are working libraries of the University of Oxford, and guided tours are the only way to go inside these spaces.


For upcoming closures, please check our Plan your visit page.

After Hours tour

Available from 2 July – 12 September 2024

  Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 5.15 – 6.15pm and 6.30 – 7.30pm
  60 minutes
  From £20 per person

Experience the Bodleian like never before on this exclusive guided tour for summer 2024.

Gain after-hours access to the stunning Duke Humfrey’s Library after the students have left, allowing you to absorb the incredible atmosphere of the library on a summer's evening.

Our fantastic tour guides will also guide you through reading rooms and an underground tunnel, and into the iconic Oxford landmark, the Radcliffe Camera. See why the Rad Cam is one of the most popular reading rooms for students and readers alike, and why so many visitors want to peek inside.

You will see Duke Humfrey’s Library, the Gladstone Link and the iconic Radcliffe Camera.

Radcliffe Camera and City of Oxford walking tour

Available from 1 July – 30 August 2024

  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10.30am
  2 hours
  From £25 per person

This summer, step inside the iconic 18th-century Radcliffe Camera as part of the City of Oxford Walking Tour.

Experience this beautiful domed reading room on a 30-minute tour with one of our expert guides, before exploring the city of dreaming spires on a 60–90 minute walking tour.

Discover the vibrant history of the oldest university in the English-speaking world on the only official University of Oxford walking tour.

Developed by the Bodleian Libraries in partnership with the Oxford Guild of Tour Guides, our popular walking tour will take you on an entertaining journey that will reveal the secrets of this historic city.

All our walking tours are conducted by accredited, qualified guides.

30 minute tour

  £10 per person

Discover the Bodleian Libraries’ medieval origins. Admire the elaborately carved gothic ceiling of the Divinity School featuring over 400 crests and other images, see the pulpits and benches where students and tutors once debated, and visit Oxford University’s oldest reading room, the stunning Duke Humfrey’s Library.

You will see the Divinity School and Duke Humfrey’s Library

60 minute tour

 £15 per person

Delve into the drama of the university and stories of student high jinks. Starting in the Divinity School and ending in the exquisite Duke Humfrey’s Library, hear how Oxford University maintained order in the 17th-century and also housed King Charles I’s parliament whilst the King was resident in Oxford during the English Civil War (1642–1651).

You will see the Divinity School, Convocation House, Chancellor’s Court, and Duke Humfrey’s Library.

90 minute tour (limited availability)

 Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays
 £20 per person

Experience 600 years of history on an in-depth journey from the 15th-century Divinity School and Duke Humfrey’s Library to the iconic 18th-century Radcliffe Camera via the 21st-century Gladstone Link.

Discover beautiful domed reading rooms, fan vaulted ceilings, late gothic architecture and an underground tunnel, as our experienced guides reveal the fascinating history and secrets of the Bodleian Libraries.

You will see the Divinity School, Convocation House, Chancellor’s Court, Duke Humfrey’s Library, Gladstone Link and the iconic Radcliffe Camera.

Library tour information

  • Guided tours are conducted in English.
  • All tours include a number of stairs and some walking, no lift is available.
  • The routes and times of tours may change, please check with staff.
  • Only children over the age of 11 years are permitted on guided tours.
  • Children aged 11–16 must be accompanied on tours by a responsible adult, as our guided tours enter into Duke Humfrey’s Library which is still a working library.
  • Only a selection of tickets can be booked up to one month in advance online – please check availability.
  • We reserve the right to cancel any tour at short notice. In case of cancellation any pre-purchased tickets will be refunded.
  • For more information, contact the Tours team.

*Please check our plan a visit page for information and unexpected closures.


In the shop

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What else to do on your visit

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Contact the Tours team

 +44 (0)1865 287400

Our office hours are Monday–Friday, 9am–4pm

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