Kings, bishops, and Nobel Prize laureates all number among Magdalen College’s alumni and contribute to its reputation. One of Oxford’s most prestigious colleges, Magdalen is also wonderfully scenic. It stands adjacent to the placid River Cherwell, and its grounds include a deer park, meadow, and other green spaces. Its architecture is equally striking: the college encompasses five separate quad areas, including a Grand Quad, as well as a chapel.
As one of Oxford’s most prominent colleges, Magdalen is a highlight on walking and bike tours of the city, including literary-themed itineraries. It’s also easy to visit independently, and the college offers guided tours periodically in summer.
Things to Know Before You Go
It is forbidden to walk on the grass or picnic at Magdalen College, while staircases and other student areas are off-limits to visitors.
The on-site Old Kitchen Bar and Riverside Terrace offers coffee, snacks, a light lunch menu, and afternoon tea.
The college’s quads are accessible to wheelchair users, though many buildings do not have step-free access.
Guide dogs are welcome at Magdalen College, and the Auditorium, Chapel, Hall, and Summer Common Room all offer Induction Loop technology.
There is an admission charge, with discount family tickets available.
How to Get There
With an entrance on Oxford’s High Street, Magdalen College is about a 10-minute stroll from the city center. Arriving by taxi is preferred to driving as the college does not have parking. Alternatively, the college is served by numerous bus lines, including the 1, 4, 4A, 4B, 4C, and 5.
When to Get There
Magdalen College is typically open in the afternoons, closing at dusk, with extended morning and evening hours July to early October. Note that the college is also closed for select academic events and for holidays, so it’s advised to research its hours prior to your visit.
Magdalen College’s Choir
Magdalen is host to one of the oldest choral foundations in England, and today its choir is considered one of the top such ensembles in the country. The Magdalen Choir also famously takes part in the university’s annual May Day celebrations, during which it performs from the top of the Magdalen Tower. Members of the choir perform daily (except Mondays) at the chapel when school is in session, and services are open to the public.
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