Bodleian Libraries

“One of the most impressive and remarkable book collections in the world.” - VisitEngland Assessor

LOCATION

Oxford, Oxfordshire

Assessed by
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Awards
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Book Direct

Our Inspector's view

The world-famous Bodleian Libraries are a must-see cultural destination, located in the heart of Oxford. They were founded by Sir Thomas Bodley and officially opened in 1602. Today, together with the other libraries which serve the University of Oxford, the Bodleian is the largest academic library in the UK. In its reading rooms generations of scholars have studied, among them monarchs, Nobel Prize winners, British Prime Ministers, and writers including Oscar Wilde, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. The libraries have also featured in The Favourite, Endeavour and A Discovery of Witches, as well as various movies in the Harry Potter series.

Awards, accolades & Welcome Schemes

award
Quality Assured Visitor Attraction
Bodleian Libraries
Bodleian Libraries, Broad Street, OXFORD, Oxfordshire, OX1 3BG

Features

Facilities
  • Parking nearby
  • Cafe
Accessibility
  • Facilities: A hearing loop is available on request. Contact for more details. The Weston Library has an accessible toilet.
  • Accessible toilets
Opening times
  • Open all year
  • Opening Times: Exhibitions: Monday – Saturday: 10am–4.30pm | Sunday: 11am–4.30pm Divinity School and Tours: Monday – Saturday: 10am–5pm | Sunday: 11am–5pm

About the area

Discover Oxfordshire

Located at the heart of England, Oxfordshire enjoys a rich heritage and surprisingly varied scenery. Its landscape encompasses open chalk downland and glorious beechwoods, picturesque rivers and attractive villages set in peaceful farmland. The countryside in the northwest of Oxfordshire seems isolated by comparison, more redolent of the north of England, with its broad views, undulating landscape and dry-stone walls. The sleepy backwaters of Abingdon, Wallingford, Wantage, Watlington and Witney reveal how Oxfordshire’s old towns evolved over the centuries, while Oxford’s imposing streets reflect the beauty and elegance of ‘that sweet city with her dreaming spires.’ Fans of the fictional sleuth Inspector Morse will recognise many Oxford landmarks described in the books and used in the television series.

The county demonstrates how the strong influence of humans has shaped this part of England over the centuries. The Romans built villas in the pretty river valleys that thread their way through Oxfordshire, the Saxons constructed royal palaces here, and the Normans left an impressive legacy of castles and churches. The philanthropic wool merchants made their mark too, and many of their fine buildings serve as a long-lasting testimony to what they did for the good of the local community.

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