Oxford and Empire - Museum Tour by Uncomfortable Oxford™

1 hour 30 minutes
Free cancellation
1 - 15
Mobile ticket


Uncomfortable Oxford takes a unique approach to the walking tour format - both fun and thoughtful, we encourage analysis and discussion about uncomfortable subjects within the city.

The Oxford and Empire Walking Tour contextualises the historical ties between Oxford and the British Empire, exploring how Oxford University was shaped by the imperial project and how its graduates went on to gain powerful positions in the Empire.

Beginning with a visit to two museums, learn about the colonial origins of museum collections and how they transformed how we understand the world. Discuss the intersections between sciences, imperialism, and power through the historical foundations of the University of Oxford's fields of study. Explore the networks of people that gravitated towards Oxford through the structures of the British Empire, and who later went out to uphold it.

This tour goes through the Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum, and finishes in the city centre.


  • Oxford University Student Guide

What to expect

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road South Kensington, London SW7 5BD England

The museum is the starting point for a number of colonial connections and will be the first stop on our tour.

Duration: 15 minutes

Stop At: Pitt Rivers Museum South Parks Road Suggested Time Taken 5 Adys, Oxford OX1 3PP England

Learn about the history of anthropology and the development of racialised categories for human societies.

Duration: 15 minutes

Stop At: Rhodes House, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RG England

We will stand outside the Rhodes Hoouse and discuss the impact of the Rhodes scholarship program on the university.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Oxford Martin School, 34 Broad St, Oxford OX1 3BD, UK

Stand outside the former Indian Intitute to learn about Oxford's role in educating imperial administrators and civil servants.

Duration: 15 minutes

Stop At: New College, Holywell Street, Oxford OX1 3BN England

Explore the college connections to empire and how this fits into the larger networks of Oxford 'old boys' clubs.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Oxford Department of International Development, International Development, 3 Mansfield Rd, Oxford OX1 3TB, UK

Finish the tour with a discussion of 'decolonisation' and its challenges.

Duration: 15 minutes

Time of tour

02:30 PM

Meeting point

Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Parks Rd, Oxford OX1 3PW, UK

Additional information

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Stroller accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff


  • Entry/Admission - New College

Ticket delivery

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.


For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start time of the experience.
September 2021

very rich and informative - would strongly recommend an online tour, with great resources, a click through map and images, and well researched, presented, and interactive

February 2021

I have learnt more in the three online "Uncomfortable Oxford" tours than I did in over 20 years living in Oxfordshire. The "tours" that I attended were Original Uncomfortable Tour, Getting Medieval Tour, Uncomfortable Literature Tour. All three presenters were very engaging and welcoming. They en...

February 2021

My friends and I really enjoyed the tour. The guides were very knowledgeable and welcoming. They did an excellent job of creating an environment where everyone felt able to have difficult conversations about the side of Oxford that most don’t see.

January 2021

The online tour surpassed my expectations. The platform is intuitive, easy to navigate, and has fantastic 360 degree views of iconic scenes in Oxford. The graphics with factoids are thought provoking, and the spoken tour content even more so. Lunan, an Oxford grad who got up at a very early hour ...

December 2020

I've taken a couple of online tours with Uncomfortable Oxford and very much enjoyed learning so much about a City I've lived in for 37 years! I didn't know about the live tours when they were running and wouldn't have taken one, being a resident. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and enco...

November 2020

We had taken the in-person tour before lockdown and liked it so much we decided to see how they would translate the experience online. We did the online tour and then the online medieval tour. Both still had the element of conversation and exchange of ideas that we had enjoyed with the initial to...

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from US$21.34 / per person