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.

  • Housing: some alternative solutions

    Wednesday 6 September
    St Edmund Hall, Queen’s Lane

    Oxford’s housing crisis affects us all. Deborah Glass-Woodin and Fran Ryan, of the Oxford Community Land Trust, will talk about community-led housing – what it is, why it matters and why we should promote it.

  • The wildlife in our waterways

    Tuesday 26 September
    Magdalen College Auditorium, Longwall Street
    8pm (tea/coffee from 7.30pm)

    Oxford is an important area for freshwater animals and plants as Dr Jeremy Biggs of the Freshwater Habitats Trust explains. He also considers whether the Flood Alleviation Channel presents a threat to wildlife or an opportunity to improve biodiversity.

  • Housing books: Oxford’s library buildings

    Tuesday 24 October
    Magdalen College Auditorium, Longwall Street
    8pm (tea/coffee from 7.30pm)

    John Ashdown, the City’s Conservation Officer from 1972 — 2000, looks at the library buildings of some 40 Oxford colleges and institutions outside the Bodleian. He shows how, over eight centuries, a kaleidoscope of solutions has been found to display and store books.

  • Policing Oxford

    Wednesday 8 November
    St Edmund Hall, Queen’s Lane

    Policing has never been so complex, as Supt Joe Kidman explains. In addition to dealing with traditional crimes, the police now have to tackle the growing threats of cyber crime, human trafficking and terrorism, in the face of growing pressure on resources.

Members-only Walks and Visits

Tickets are needed for these events. Download the booking form here. Closing date 17 August. download booking form

  • The Islamic Studies Centre

    Wednesday 20 September 2pm and 2.45pm

    The recently-opened Centre is one of Oxford’s most striking buildings, blending elements of a traditional college with the classical styles of Islam. This visit will include a tour of the building and a talk on the role of the Centre within the University of Oxford.

  • Seacourt Printers

    Thursday 26 October 10am

    Global leaders in environmentally-friendly print standards, Seacourt Printers have won three Queen’s Awards. This visit will show how inks, paper, renewable energy, use of water and waste have all been considered.

  • The Mathematical Institute

    Friday 10 November 3pm

    The new institute, on the Oxford Radcliffe site, is not just for teaching and research, it uses maths extensively in its design, not least in the famous Penrose Paving. Professor Colin McDiarmid and Dr Dyrol Lumbard will lead this tour and talk about the building and the work that goes on within it.

  • The University Church: nine centuries of history

    Monday 13 November 2pm

    St Mary the Virgin on the High Street is unique among churches in having been, at various times, the cradle of the university, a law court and the birthplace of one of our best-known national charities. This visit, led by Christopher Franks, will illuminate its architectural features and extraordinary history.