Tolkien tour of Oxford: discover his life and legacy

3.5 Mins
Every Lord of the Rings fan should visit Oxford for the unparalleled opportunity to immerse themselves in the very landscape that shaped the brilliant mind of J.R.R. Tolkien. Oxford's historic streets, renowned academic institutions, and idyllic countryside offer a profound connection to the places and inspirations that breathed life into Middle-earth.

For fans of Tolkien's works, a walking tour of Oxford offers a unique opportunity to trace the footsteps of this literary mastermind and explore the enchanting world that served as a backdrop for his writing. Visiting Oxford is not merely a pilgrimage; it's an opportunity to step into the very tapestry of Tolkien's world and discover the magic that lies within our own. This list showcases a Tolkien walking tour of Oxford, an opportunity to step into the very tapestry of Tolkien's world and discover the magic that lies within our own.

Here's what Oxford has to offer for a self guided walking tour to appease your inner adventurer:

Stop 1: The Eagle and Child

Begin your Tolkien walking tour of Oxford at The Eagle and Child, a historic pub on St. Giles' Street. This pub is renowned for being the meeting place of the Inklings, a group of intellectuals that Tolkien was a part of. Sip on a pint of ale and soak in the literary atmosphere, imagining the lively discussions among Oxford scholars and writers of the time. The pub remains largely unchanged from Tolkien's time, and you can even sit at the same table where he and his friends often gathered.

Stop 2: Exeter College

Next, head to Exeter College, where Tolkien spent the majority of his academic career as a professor of Anglo-Saxon. The college's picturesque quadrangles and gardens provide a serene backdrop for your walk. As you explore, you'll feel like you're stepping into the very world that Tolkien described in his writing.

Stop 3: The Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library is one of the oldest and most impressive libraries in the world and a must-visit for any Tolkien fan. Tolkien conducted extensive research here and was inspired by the library's rich collection of ancient texts. Although you may not be able to access the restricted areas, the exterior and the Divinity School are open for exploration. The latter even served as the Hogwarts Infirmary in the Harry Potter films.

Stop 4: The Botanic Garden

Continue with a stroll through the Oxford Botanic Garden, a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city. Tolkien was known to enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of this garden. Take the time to admire the various plants and flowers, letting your imagination run wild towards the greeneries of Middle-earth.

Stop 5: The University Parks

The University Parks, located just a short walk from the city centre, are another attraction that Tolkien frequented. These serene gardens and woodlands offer the perfect setting for a leisurely walk. While admiring the nature, you might even conjure images of the Shire in your mind. Bring a picnic and take in the natural beauty that inspired the author.

Stop 6: Merton College

To conclude your Tolkien tour of Oxford, visit Merton College, where Tolkien was a professor for many years. The college boasts stunning architecture, including a charming chapel and a picturesque garden. The perfect place to reflect on how much influence Oxford had on Tolkien's work.

In short, Oxford exudes history and culture at every turn, and for Tolkien fans, it holds an even deeper magic. Tolkien tour of Oxford offers a chance to connect with the places and spaces that ignited his creative spirit and discover the real-world locations that helped shape Middle-earth. As you meander through the streets, you'll definitely fall in love with the enchanting city that he called home. Pack your walking shoes and embark on a Tolkien fan's dream journey through the historic and inspiring city of Oxford.

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Looking for more things to do in Oxford? See our our Ultimate Guide to Oxford student life:

For further information on Tolkien's life in Oxford see articles below:

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