10 Excursions to Look Forward to This Summer!

We are delighted to announce that the following must-see locations will be forming part of our excursions programme for ORA Summer School students this year. More will be announced soon, so watch this space!

Stratford-Upon Avon, Warwickshire



Who: Jowett, Lady Margaret Hall, Balliol, and St. Peter’s (session 4)
Situated alongside the picturesque river Avon, the historic market town of Stratford has the honour of being William Shakespeare’s birthplace. Plays are performed year-round at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and visitors can enjoy soaking up the Elizabethan atmosphere among the town’s timber-framed buildings and cobbled streets.

Buckingham Palace, London


Who: St. Hugh’s (session 5)
It’s Queen Elizabeth II’s primary residence, and no trip to London would be complete without it! Buckingham Palace has been home to the Royal Family since 1837, and boasts an impressive collection of state rooms which are – well, palatial. Want to know if Her Majesty is at home? The Royal Standard flag is flown from the palace roof to signal that the Queen is present.

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire


Who: St. Hugh’s (session 4)
Something a little closer to home: Blenheim Palace is just a stone’s throw from Oxford city centre, and is the official residence of the 12th Duke of Malborough. The palace itself is rich with history (Winston Churchill was born there) and is situated in over 200 acres of sprawling parkland   – take the miniature train, lose yourself in the Malborough Hedge Maze, or even visit the Palace’s very own butterfly house!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour, London


Who: Jowett (session 3); St. Hugh’s (session 3)
If you’re lucky enough to be attending either of these campuses in session 3 (3rd-16th July) then you’ll enjoy a visit to one of London’s hottest new tourist attractions, where you can delve into the magical world of the Harry Potter films and find out how they were made. Get your photo taken outside Privet Drive, stroll down Diagon Alley, and enjoy a foaming tankard of butterbeer at the Leaky Cauldron!

Windsor Castle, Windsor


Who: Balliol (sessions 3 and 5); Yarnton (session 4); St. Catherine’s (session 5)
Originally built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, Windsor Castle is the longest-occupied royal palace in Europe. The lavish State Apartments alone are a sight to behold, and St. George’s Chapel holds the remains of notable royals such as Henry VIII  (famous for beheading two of his six wives) and Charles I (famous for being beheaded himself). Grisly history aside, the Castle is a spacious counterpoint to urban Buckingham Palace, with varied architecture and rolling parkland.

Science Museum, London


Who: Jowett (session 4)
You don’t need to be a budding scientist to have an amazing time at the Science Museum – interactive games and displays sit alongside 4D simulators, not to mention an IMAX Cinema the height of four double-decker London buses. There are over 15,000 artefacts from various great moments in the history of science, including the original command capsule from Apollo 10.

Bath, Somerset


Who: Yarnton (session 2); Queen’s (session 4)
In Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, seventeen-year-old Catherine visits Bath for the first time and is enthralled: “Her eyes were here, there, everywhere, as they approached its fine and striking environs … She was come to be happy, and she felt happy already.” With its broad streets, genteel tea rooms, and honey-coloured houses, it’s easy to see why Bath was the toast of Georgian England and remains a popular tourist destination today.

Natural History Museum, London


Who: Lady Margaret Hall (session 3); St. Hugh’s (session 3)
Like its neighbour the Science Museum, London’s Natural History Museum attracts huge numbers of visitors year on year, coming to marvel at its extensive collections and breathtaking exhibits charting the evolution of the natural world. The museum is most famous for its resident Diplodocus skeleton – affectionately known as ‘Dippy’ – and a parallel skeleton and model of a blue whale weighing over 10 tons.

Warwick Castle, Warwickshire


Who: Lady Margaret Hall (session 3); St. Peter’s (sessions  3 and 5); St. Hugh’s (session 5)
Warwick’s 11th century castle makes for an action-packed day out, with daily attractions ranging from falconry and archery displays to medieval jousting re-enactment and a spine-chilling ghost tour. Fans of the Horrible Histories series can explore a themed maze, and the Time Tower is always worth a visit – join historical characters on an immersive journey across the Castle’s 1,100-year story.

Tower of London, London


Who: Lady Margaret Hall (session 4); St. Hugh’s (session 4)
From 1100 to as recently as 1952, a visit to the Tower of London usually meant that you were in a lot of trouble indeed – for 800 years its formidable buildings served as a high-security prison for some of Britain’s most notorious criminals. Its primary role, however, was as a royal residence, and you can still visit the glittering Crown Jewels in the Tower’s (closely guarded) Jewel House.
Have these excursions tempted you to book onto an ORA Summer School Programme? You can apply online or contact us and request a copy of our brochure today!

Image credits: stratford-upon-avon; test tubes; bath; windsor castle; harry potter studios; buckingham palace; tower of london; blenheim palace; warwick castle; natural history museum