Visiting the Oxford colleges ★★★

All Souls College in Oxford (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
All Souls College in Oxford
All Souls College in Oxford, The colleges, Oxford (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
Brasenose College, The colleges, Oxford (Photo © Reid Bramblett)
The Hertford Bridge, aka the Bridge the Souls, joins two sections of Hertford College over New College Lane, The colleges, Oxford (Photo © Reid Bramblett)

The best of the 38 Oxford colleges open to public visitors

Oxford University's "campus" is the city itself spread over the town in a series of 38 colleges, each with its own long history and arcane traditions. Many of the colleges incorporate architectural tidbits from their foundings in the 13C to 16C. 

Because the primary business here is education, not tourism, fairly strict rules keep visits limited to certain areas or each campus at certain times and in small groups only (six people maximum). Most colleges, when they are open, allow visitors to poke around discreetly from 2pm to 5 pm (check the website, or notice boards outside each college, for specifics).

A few colleges charge admission. Most have rules (no going into any building marked "Private;" don't go up any staircases unless expressly allowed; do not walk or picnic on the grass.)

To detail all of Oxford's colleges is impossible, but the top ones include: