We run a year-round programme of Oxford-themed talks, visits and guided tours 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 guided tours (members only and usually for a small charge) is led by local experts and held both in and out of Oxford.

For any queries about the Programme, please email


Rewley House is wheelchair accessible via a ramp. Once inside there is a lift to the lecture theatre and to the bar! There is limited parking in Wellington Square and more in St Giles.

Magdalen’s Grove Auditorium has level access via the main entrance doors though the foyer. Wheelchairs may be placed in front of the front row of seats. There is an accessible toilet via the fire exit leading to Longwall Street from the front of the Auditorium. Neither venue has disabled parking spaces nearby although there are limited general pay-and-display parking places in Longwall Street near the Grove Auditorium entrance.

Oxford Town Hall Assembly Room is on the first floor. There is a street-level entrance to the Town Hall on St Aldate’s immediately after the Edinburgh Woollen Mill shop. You may need to ring the bell to get the door opened by Reception. Once inside there is a lift to the first floor and then a level floor to the meeting room.

Open talks — all welcome

Here are our Spring/Summer season talks. They are free and open to all – no booking required.

Living the lexicon: James Murray and the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary

Wednesday 5th June at 8pm
Rewley House

The Oxford English Dictionary is one of the most famous books of all time, but compiling it was a Herculean task led by the tireless lexicographer James Murray. This talk by Simon Wenham describes the trials and tribulations behind one of the greatest works of literature in the English language.

Henry VII and the Oxfordshire Plot

Wednesday 26th June at 8pm
Rewley House

On 22 August 1485, Henry Tudor emerged from the Battle of Bosworth victorious. His disparate army vanquished the forces of Richard III and, according to Shakespeare over a century later, brought ‘smooth-faced peace, with smiling aplenty and fair prosperous days’ back to England. Yet, all was not well early in the Tudor reign. Despite later attempts to portray Henry VII as single-handedly uniting a war-torn England after three decades of conflict, the kingdom was anything but settled. Soon, in Oxford, a plot was underway to kill the Tudor king. This brand new talk by historian Nathen Amin reveals just how close the Tudors came to overthrow, long before the myth of their greatness had taken hold on our public consciousness.

Members-only Walks and Visits

Here is the programme of visits and guided tours for Spring/Summer. They are for members only, and booking is essential.

Booking must be carried out via Eventbrite; please use the web links below to book your place on these visits and pay for them. If you find we have reached our maximum capacity for a particular event, please make use of the waitlist function in Eventbrite.

Bookings are taken on a first come first served basis but the lists will stay open until seven days before the event. If you are offered a ticket via the waitlist you have 72 hours to claim it.

A joint member may book two tickets.

You can cancel your booking up to 30 days before the event and get a partial refund — Eventbrite takes a small percentage of the fee. After that no refunds can be offered.

If you book and cannot attend the event, we urge you to cancel as soon as you can so that someone else can take your place. Our events are popular and we almost always have a waiting list.

Green Templeton College and the Tower of the Winds/Radcliffe Observatory

Friday 14th June at 2:30pm
Ticket price: £8

This visit will include a guided tour of Green Templeton College’s beautifully maintained gardens before going on to the Radcliffe Observatory Building. The Observatory includes the historical Dining Hall, communal Common Room and the stunning Tower of the Winds.

Book now

A guided walk around Abingdon

Saturday 20 July at 10:30am
Ticket price: £8

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Friends of Abingdon Civic Society. In honour of this occasion, the Friends are hosting a 2 hour walk around the heart of the town, taking in the river setting and much of the fine architecture, including the medieval abbey, churches, almshouses and industrial heritage.

Book now