Oxford Castle Unlocked

In a nutshell

Fascinating historical site brought to life by costumed character guides. Discover one thousand years of history and hear tales of events and real people.


Oxford Castle, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 1AY

Contact details

Tel: 01865 260666

Web: www.oxfordcastleunlocked.co.uk

Activity type

Birthdays, Historical Sites, Indoor Activities, Outdoor Activities

Suitable for

Ages 5 - 12, All ages, Schools and Groups, Teenagers, Under 5s

Price guide


(based on family of 4)

Oxford Castle Unlocked details...

Take the kids to Oxford Castle Unlocked and enjoy a great family day out discovering the building’s thousand-year history.

Join costumed character guides for an hour-long tour and learn about the site’s colourful past, about events and real people such as Mary Blandy, a convicted murderess, and a 17th-century prison keeper who made Oxford Prison so feared. It’s a wonderful way to bring history alive for children.

Tours usually run every 20 minutes from 10am to 4.20pm and your guide may be soldier Robert D’Oilly who started the building of the castle, chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, prison governor Daniel Harris, female prisoners Mary Blandy and Black Bess, highwayman Isaac Darkin, humourless prison warder Mr Barker, or another fascinating character from the past.

Climb the Saxon St George’s Tower, one of Oxford’s oldest buildings, and enjoy its stunning 360-degree views over the city. Then descend to the dark atmosphere of the 900-year-old underground crypt, all that survives of St George’s Chapel where Geoffrey of Monmouth is believed to have penned the Legends of King Arthur.

Children must be at least 92cm tall and 5 years of age to gain access to St George’s Tower, which has 101 steps on a narrow, steep, winding staircase. Any visitors unable to climb are invited to watch the ‘Story of Oxford Castle’ video while they wait for the return of their tour group.

Experience the austere confines of the 18th-century Debtors’ Tower and prison D-Wing, and learn about the prison regime with hands-on displays. Visitors are then free to explore the castle’s prison and wider site at their own pace. Admission to the castle itself is by guided tour only.

After your visit pop into the Castleyard Café and treat the family to a snack. If you’ve a birthday coming up in the family, Oxford Castle is a great place for kids parties with the birthday child being treated like royalty!

The Castle is five minutes’ walk from both coach and train stations. Car parking is available a short walk from the Castle or alternatively there are five park-and-ride car parks on the outskirts of Oxford with frequent buses to and from the city centre.

View official website

Oxford Castle Unlocked Events

Ghost Fest 2017: Halloween at Oxford Castle Unlocked

Open 19th October 2017 - 31st October 2017

Spooky trail, Halloween party and tours! Families will find lots of seasonal fun at Oxford Castle Unlocked from 19th to 31st October.

Oxford Castle Unlocked reviews...

1 reviews

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