A new tour in Oxford will look at the city through the lens of iconic film and TV shows, including Endeavour and Inspector Morse.

Oxford Official Walking Tours are operated by destination management organisation Experience Oxfordshire.

Its tours were recognised by Tripadvisor with the 2024 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Award.

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The new Oxford On Screen tour will explore Oxford’s role as a backdrop to TV and film, identifying locations featured in productions as diverse as Harry Potter, Saltburn, Wonka, James Bond and Mamma Mia 2, plus the ITV dramas Inspector Morse, Lewis and Endeavour.

(Image: Lorna Marie Kemble) Commenting on the new tour, Experience Oxfordshire CEO, Hayley Beer-Gamage said: “We have long recognised screen tourism as a driver for choosing a leisure tourism destination, but this desire to “be where it happened” has grown exponentially in the Instagram age.

"Expedia Group have stated that more than half of international travellers revealed to them that TV shows and films inspire their travel plans. According to the British Film Institute (BFI), inbound tourists spent an estimated £892.6m on film-related screen tourism in the UK in 2019."

(Image: Experience Oxfordshire) Oxford On Screen public tours will last two hours and operate twice weekly on Thursdays and Sundays at 11.30am, starting on July 25. The tour can also be booked for private and group parties.

All tours are limited to a maximum of 20 people per group to provide the most positive experience.

The team of friendly guides already offer specialist tours following in the footsteps of authors and academics, including CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien.

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Ms Gamage added: “In launching this new tour we aim to capitalise on this interest for the benefit of the city. Our guides are often the first point of contact visitors have here and they are able to explain Oxford’s layout, point out landmarks and influence visitor movement around the centre.

"Our city has provided the perfect backdrop for many influential productions and we’re really looking forward to presenting our destination to this audience.”

Currently the most popular tour amongst visitors is the Oxford University & City Tour during which, in addition to sharing historical facts, fables and gossip, guides can provide lots of detail about Oxford University colleges.

Last year the national tourism agency, VisitBritain, officially recognised the importance of film and TV viewing as a key motivator for travel when it signed an agreement with the British Film Commission.

The upcoming global campaign “Starring GREAT Britain” will use filming locations and associated visitor experiences as a basis for exploring the UK’s nations and regions.

During the summer months and until the end of October, Oxford Official Walking Tours will be offering an extended programme of activity. For more information and tour bookings go to: www.oxfordofficialwalkingtours.org or email officialtours@experienceoxfordshire.org

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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