Museum of Oxford Walks: River, Meadow and Ford

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Led by local historian and author Mark Davies, this 90-minute circular walking tour around the beautiful Christ Church Meadow will take you on a picturesque journey through a verdant part of Oxford that has remained essentially unchanged for centuries.

Mark will guide you along the riverside, revealing both factual and fictional stories, of which Oxford’s famous rivers – the Thames and the Cherwel– are brimful. See Oxford through the eyes of famed novelists and poets who were inspired by the waterways, including Lewis Carroll.

On the tour, you’ll discover Oxford’s ancient origins, the City’s role during the English Civil War, the first British men and women to fly and the inspirations for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

As part of the tour, you will see: Christ Church Meadow, the underground Trill Mill Stream, the city’s ancient boundary at Folly Bridge, the Cherwell, a view into the Oxford University’s Botanic Garden (the oldest in Britain) – plus more historic Oxford locations.

Join our River, Meadow and Ford walk to see Oxford through the eyes of an expert and uncover the secrets of our city.

The majority of this walk is accessible for wheelchair users. The final, less informative section of the walk includes a very narrow gateway towards the end, so guests may wish to return to the Museum at this point and rejoin the group there to see some of the relevant material on display.

Meeting point: Museum of Oxford Shop (located inside the Oxford Town Hall). Please arrive 5 minutes before the start of the walk and check in at the Museum Shop with our friendly front of house team.

Tickets cost £10 and are available to purchase online (booking fee applies) or at the Museum shop. Please note that this walk is suitable for ages 16+.

Meet your tour guide: Mark Davies

Mark Davies, a man with light-toned skin and short hair, smiles at the camera in front of the Oxford skyline on a cloudy, grey day.

Mark Davies is an Oxford local historian, public speaker, and guide. His publications include the social and cultural importance of the city’s waterways (A Towpath Walk in Oxford; Alice in Waterland; Alice’s Oxford on Foot; What a Liberty!); historical crime (Stories of Oxford Castle; The Abingdon Waterturnpike Murder) and a biography of the Oxford pastry cook who was the first Englishman to fly (King of all Balloons). Until 2020 he had lived on an Oxford residential narrowboat for nearly 30 years, and is the Chair of the Jericho (Oxford) Living Heritage Trust. He is also a trustee of the Lewis Carroll Society, a member of the Society of Authors, and on the committee of the Alliance of Literary Societies.

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