Museum of Oxford Walks: The Real Alice in Wonderland

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“It doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat. ” – so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added … “Oh, you’re sure to do that … if you only walk long enough.”

On this 90-minute circular walking tour of the beautiful Christ Church Meadow, you will encounter the real people, places and events behind the creation of the much-loved stories Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking-Glass.

The route will follow waterside paths in Oxford that were familiar to the ‘real’ Alice in Wonderland (Alice Liddell) daughter of the Dean of Christ Church, and to author Lewis Carroll, who was a lifelong resident of the college. Mark Davies, Oxford local historian, author and trustee of the Lewis Carroll Society, will reveal the history behind the novels as your expert tour guide.

Stopping at significant locations along the riverside, you will learn about the all-important role of the River Thames in the creation of the Alice books. With reference to striking historical and geographic landmarks and features, as well as other classics of fantasy literature, the people, places and events which inspired the books will be revealed to you.

As part of the tour, you will see: Christ Church; many significant points along the River Thames, the Cherwell and the Trill Mill Stream which inspired the creation of the stories, including the fateful departure point of the boat trips on which the story was first told; a view into Oxford University Botanic Garden, where other works of fantasy fiction took shape – plus more historic locations!

Please note that this tour does not include entry to the buildings of Christ Church.

Join a Real Alice in Wonderland Tour to see fiction, fantasy and history come to life through the eyes of a local expert in Oxford’s history.

The majority of this walk is accessible for wheelchair users. The final, less informative section of the walk is not accessible to wheelchairs, 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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