The Inklings Oxford Writers Tour - Private Groups Daily

Badge of ExcellenceOxfordshire, United Kingdom
The Inklings Oxford Writers Tour CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien

From $62.07

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 2 to 3 hours
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Explore the world of ‘The Inklings’—the mid-20th-century writers’ group that included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien—on this private Oxford walk. Rather than researching locations yourself, let a guide show you where the writers worked and relaxed. Visit Exeter College where Tolkien studied; and see Lewis’ Magdalen College and other sights while learning history and literary tales you’d otherwise miss. A choice of departure times gives you flexibility.
  • Trace the steps of ‘The Inkling’ writers' group on a private tour in Oxford
  • Easy way to find places connected to C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and others
  • See Exeter, Merton, and other colleges where the writers studied and taugh
  • Hear tales you’d miss alone, and choose from various time slots to suit you

What's Included

  • Magdalen + Exeter college entry fees worth up to £13 per adult included in ticket price
  • On any dates when Exeter is closed, we will offer entry to an alternative venue that is open
  • On any dates when Magdalen college is closed, we will always forewarn you here....
  • MAGDALEN CLOSURES IN 2023: June 24+25, Sep 22+23, Dec 19-31
  • We can never guarantee entry to Exeter college on any date. It is included only when open to public

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • 15-16 Broad St
    15-16 Broad St, Oxford OX1 3AS, UK

    Meet your guide wearing red lanyard OUTSIDE the currently empty shop premises at 15 Broad street. This is located next to the Oxfam shop, 17 Broad street, OX1 3AS

End point

  • Magdalen College
    Oxford OX1 4AU, UK

    The tour does not have a fixed end point but the city centre is compact and the guide will ensure you have a map and directions to where you want to get to next.

What To Expect

Exeter College

20 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Magdalen College

1 hour Admission Ticket Included

Merton College

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Bodleian Library (Pass By)

Radcliffe Camera (Pass By)

Brasenose College (Pass By)

All Souls College (Pass By)

Hertford College (Pass By)

Lincoln College (Pass By)

Jesus College (Pass By)

The Oxford Hotel Spa

5 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 14 hours of travel. In this case confirmation will be received as soon as possible, subject to availability
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • While children are welcome, this tour is not aimed at children's attention span or interests
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Traveler Photos

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43 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 43 reviews
Lovely stroll through Oxford and Literary History
James_B, Sep 2023
Wonderful stories . Interesting sites. Our guide seemlessly wove in Oxford history, the lives of the Inkling authors, their seminal ideas and stories, and even a little Inspector Morse. What a pleasant evening.
Dreamy day in Oxford
Emily_C, Jul 2023
Wonderful overview of Oxford and its colleges. Fascinating history of Tolkien and Lewis's presence at the U and their friendship. Tom was a wonderful, thoughtful guide.
Response from Host, Aug 2023
Fantastic Inklings Tour with Peter Th
James_G, Jul 2023
Peter's knowledge of Oxford, its history (and the history of England in general!) and the Inklings is exceptional. He has a warm and affable style and cares very much about making the experience memorable. He began the tour with a local double chocolate shortbread for us and was careful to take the time needed as our conversation unfolded and our questions got answered. The tour (usually a few hours as advertised) lasted nearly four hours as we really hit it off on a personal note, and for which we were very grateful. It was a little sad to have to say goodbye. He traced the paths of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien and directed us to related places to see after the tour. The walk around the meadow, following the footsteps of Lewis and Tolkien and the walks they would take with other Inklings there, was especially memorable. Peter had particular places along the way to photograph us as we went along--a very nice keepsake! Exceptional. Highest recommendation. James and Ilona
Response from Host, Jul 2023
Hi James, Thanks for this super review.
Tom M was excellent!
Joseph_D, Jun 2023
Tom M was an excellent tour guide. He had a vast knowledge of the Inklings but also the history of University of Oxford. Tom was eager and enthusiastic to answer our questions. The tour exceeded our expectations.
Response from Host, Jun 2023
Hi Jospeh, Thanks!
Incredible Inklings!
Ned_R, Jun 2023
Mikiel and his delightful Inklings tour were the height of our trip to Oxford! Thoughtful commentary and fascinating stories about the writers and the academic community that inspired them provided a fascinating and impressionable day. As avid readers, this experience was a joy, but anyone with an interest in great stories would thoroughly enjoy this richly nuanced tour. Highly recommended!
Response from Host, Jul 2023
Shame on Alasdair for stiffing us
David_H, Jun 2023
The guide, Alastair, never showed up. First, he contacted me outside Viator asking me to change the tour time from 3pm to noon. Come pained about only 2 people booked. I explained that i had another tour at 10:30 and it would be difficult to be at the meeting place by noon. He persuaded me to come at 12:30. My wife and I practically ran in the heat to make that schedule and he never showed up. This was our only day in Oxford so a huge letdown. Fortunately, on the fly, on Broad Street we found another tour for 2:00 pm. Not what was promised on the Inklings tour, but something.
Response from Host, Jul 2023
Hi David, I apologise for not having responded here sooner but there has been an error on viator's part to send me alerts, when reviews have been posted for some product pages which get reviews. To my dismay, I have just now seen your review and as it's already several weeks later, it's too late to double check what happened here but what I can tell you is the following: 1) I will be asking viator to refund you 100% of your payment 2) as mentioned, it's too late to double confirm what happened now but it appears that your schedule guide (my colleague and not myself) got the rescheduled start time wrong as 12.00 and not as 12.30. I do apologise for the frustration and inconvenience caused. The reason why I had requested to reschedule your tour was because I was so short staffed on this date and otherwise we would have had to cancel and refund you anyway. I will be contacting you directly now too, just in case replies posted here...don't reach your designated email address. Sincerely, Alasdair de Voil, director
Beautiful Walking Tour
MaryLynn_H, May 2023
Oxford is beautiful and we enjoyed walking around the university and seeing all the sights as well as learning a little about the history.
Response from Host, May 2023
Thanks for the recommendation. Sorry to see you only rated your tour experience as 3 stars- which is fine but is very rare for us to get such a low rating, so was there anything about your tour which didn't meet your expectations? Sincerely, Alasdair
karen_j, May 2023
This tour was excellent. The guide was knowledgeable and deeply interested in the subject. He brought us to the sites I wanted to see but provided background that made it even more enjoyable. He also added additional information about oxford and things to see as well as emailed additional information. He was also very personable. I have been in the UK for a month and this was by far the best tour out of them all.
Response from Host, May 2023
Thanks for recommending your tour.
A Deep Dive Into the Inklings!
Laura_S, Apr 2023
For someone who wants a deep dive into the world of the Inklings, this is the tour! Our guide knew the the Inklings stories deeply, and was comfortable conversing on their various theologies/philosophies. The tour lasted much longer than expected, and the guide was not opposed to joining our group afterward at the pub to continue our conversations about Lewis. The highlight was walking the path where Lewis trod, and we wish the tour had STARTED with that particular highlight.
Response from Host, Apr 2023
Hi Laura, Thanks for recommending your tour experience and I can't identify your booking from your first name, so can you possibly reply to update me which name you actually booked our tour under and or the name of your guide please. I also ask as the guides earn a £10 bonus fee for every recommendation published on here. I have also noted your comment that you may have preferred if the tour could have started near Addisons walk meadow at Magdalen college....rather than having gone there near the end of the tour. That said, Magdalen college is about 30 minutes walk away from our designated tour meet point and quite isolated from all the other sights which we visit. This is why therefore we leave visiting there until near the end of the tour. Sincerely, Alasdair
Beyond expectations!
Susan_B, Mar 2023
Peter was a wonderful tour guide. He was very prepared and knowledgeable about the subject. We went to so many places and he concentrated on what we were interested in. We whole heartedly endorse this tour.
Response from Host, Mar 2023
Hi Susan, Thanks for recommending the tour.
Alasdair was a great tour...
Rose_B, Mar 2023
Alasdair was a great tour guide. He is so knowledgeable and really tailored the tour to our interest and answered all our questions. He was fun and funny and we enjoyed our time with him. I would absolutely recommend him.
Response from Host, Mar 2023
Thanks for this, Rose. Sincerely, Alasdair
A GREAT day in Oxford!
Robin_G, Feb 2023
Our time with Peter was wonderful! Very personable and attentive to his guests! We loved the little “extras” that he surprised us with! So much fun learning more about CS Lewis and Tolkien (and a little about Harry Potter too). Well spent time!
Response from Host, Feb 2023
Hi Robin. Thanks for your recommendation.
Very knowledgeable guide,...
George_D, Jul 2022
Very knowledgeable guide, Tom, who shared the rich history in detail of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis
Response from Host, Jul 2022
Hi George, Thanks for the recommendation.
Iva_B, Jun 2022
The walk that C.S. Lewis and Tolkien took was beautiful! Exeter College was inspiring for my son who plans to enroll there in the future.!! The tour organizers were gracious enough to reschedule my tour to accommodate my mistake in registering the wrong date. The only negative was that Peter, our tour guide, was thirty minutes late and after finally meeting with us , he still chose to put us off to continue talking to his former group even though their tour had ended. It gave us the impression that we were an after thought. Other than that, we loved the tour and would definitely recommend it.
Great tour of two iconic British Authors/ academics!
Sean_Y, Jun 2022
Tom, was great! Knew a lot of interesting facts about JRR Tolking and CS Lewis. Very Informative! Would recommend the tour! Wish he would have spoken up a little more. It was sometimes hard to hear him in the crowds and traffic noise, but overall great tour!
Response from Host, Jun 2022
Hi Sean, Thanks for such a super recommendation of your Oxford inklings tour led by Tom. Sincerely, Alasdair
Delightful Afternoon
Stevie_W, Nov 2021
Fantastic tour, with excellent hidden secrets, literary pondering and delightful walks. We thoroughly enjoyed and will be back again!
Response from Host, Apr 2022
Hi Stevie, Not sure how I missed seeing your review before but thanks for sharing your recommendation. Sincerely, Alasdair
Tom was very...
donald_r, Oct 2021
Tom was very knowledgeable. My wife loved talking with him sharing stories.,.........,..,.. that is all
Response from Host, Apr 2022
Hi Donald, Not sure how I missed seeing your review before but thanks for sharing your recommendation. Sincerely, Alasdair
Enjoyable introduction to Oxford
sid, Jun 2021
Peter is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide. We learned interesting facts and he kindly accommodated the pace of our group. He also went above and beyond the your by giving us tips on dinner venues, bringing along Harry Potter capes for us and bakewell treats!
Response from Host, Jun 2021
Hi Sidra, Thanks for such a super recommendation of your Oxford writers Inklings tour with us. I enjoyed very much my brief moment meeting you guys and your mum too, when she recited the Scottish play witching spell! Sincerely, Alasdair

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