We run a year-round programme of Oxford-themed talks, walks and visits aimed to encourage an awareness and understanding of our city. The talks (free and open to all) are given by leading speakers in interesting locations across the city. Topics can include Oxford’s history, buildings, arts and science, and current development projects.

The extensive programme of visits and walks (members only and usually for a small charge) is led by local experts and held both in and out of Oxford.


Open talks — all welcome

Come and learn about your city. No pre-booking, free of charge.

  • Learning from Cambridge

    Tuesday 23 May

    Magdalen College Auditorium, Longwall Street (change of venue)


    Last year a group from the Society went on a study visit to Cambridge to see what it might have to teach Oxford about the strategic planning of a city region. This report on the findings and discussion will be led by speakers from both cities – Patsy Dell, Head of Planning and Regulatory Services, Oxford City Council and Tanya Sheridan, Programme Director, Greater Cambridge City Deal.

Members-only Walks and Visits

Tickets are needed for these events. Download the booking form here. Closing date 24 March. download booking form

  • Aston’s Eyot nature reserve: a visit

    Tuesday 9 May 6pm

    Aston’s Eyot nature reserve is a little-known part of East Oxford between Meadow Lane and the River Thames which is home to a great variety of wildlife and plant species. Owned by Christ Church, it is maintained by the Friends of Aston’s Eyot, a group of energetic local residents, who will tell us why they took on the task and what they achieved. We recommend stout walking shoes.

  • A walking tour of Witney

    Wednesday 24 May 10.30am
    Wednesday 7 June 10.30am

    Witney is a historic market town with a long heritage of woollen mills and blanket production. This guided walk around some of the historic streets will include a visit to the Blanket Hall, the headquarters of the ‘trade association’. Our guide, Richard Martin, has been involved in the business for many years.

  • Headington Quarry: a walk through Oxford’s industrial village

    Wednesday 14 June 10.45am

    Local historian Barry Carter will lead this walk through Quarry’s distinctive streets and alleys to understand how the impoverished hamlet became the ‘village suburb’ of today. We will encounter intriguing reminders of the old trades and sturdy independence together with work by distinguished architects, men of letters and notable local people.

  • Bartlemas Chapel: a visit and talk

    Saturday 17 June 2pm

    Bartlemas was the site of the medieval  leper hospital and some of the original buildings survive. This visit to the chapel and grounds on Civic Voice Day celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Civic Amenities Act which first introduced the concept of Conservation Areas.

    Note: the potholed track is unsuitable for wheelchairs.

  • Exeter College Cohen Quadrangle: a visit

    Wednesday 12 July 10.30am 

    Ruskin College’s listed façade on Walton Street has been carefully conserved but the interior has been completely rebuilt. This is an opportunity to discover the modern student and educational facilities within the college.

  • Worcester College gardens: a visit

    Thursday 27 July 

    The college has one of the largest gardens in Oxford with 26 acres including the playing fields. There is much to admire, from its exquisite planting to its lawns and lake. It has won Best College Garden in Oxford in Bloom more than once. The Head Gardener, Simon Bagnall, who transformed the garden, will lead the tour.