Christ Church College
Oxford is composed of 38 different colleges, with Christ Church College one of the most prominent—both in terms of its grounds and its reputation. It was founded by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525, and alumni include Albert Einstein, Christopher Wren, John Locke, and Lewis Carroll. The college has its own 12-century cathedral, an art museum with works from Tintoretto and da Vinci to Dürer, and a Great Hall, which theHarry Potter films used as inspiration.
Christ Church College is included on numerous walking tours of Oxford, while select itineraries offer the chance to explore inside, spotHarry Potter filming locations, and skip the long entry lines.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Wheelchair users may use Tom Gate to enter the college, though not all areas and buildings are wheelchair-accessible.
Tickets booked online include fast-track entry, while lines for in-person tickets may be long.
Any bags or luggage larger than a standard backpack are not permitted on site.
How to Get There
Christ Church is a quick walk from central Oxford and is served by several local bus lines, including the 4B and 5 as well as the hop-on hop-off bus. If you prefer to come by car, it’s recommended to take a taxi, as there is limited parking. Christ Church has three main entryways: Tom Gate (available for wheelchair users and special events), Meadow Gate (the primary visitor entrance), and Canterbury Gate (used to access the Picture Gallery).
When to Get There
Christ Church College is open daily from Monday to Saturday with afternoon hours on Sunday. Opening hours of individual college attractions vary (the cathedral, for instance, is only open on weekends), and some sites may be unexpectedly closed for student events. Research specifics in advance, or book a tour that includes Christ Church entry for ease.
Architecture of Christ Church
Part of what sets Christ Church apart is its architecture. The soaring Tom Tower was designed in part by famed architect (and alumnus) Christopher Wren, while Christ Church Cathedral had its interior revamped by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the 19th century. The staircase which leads to the Great Hall—distinct for its fan vaulting—served as aHarry Potter set.