Thursday, 19 September 2013

Our visit to Oxford Castle Unlocked

In the centre of the city Oxford there stands a castle with a prison right at its very heart. A prison haunted with the ghosts of its past and drenched in history. 

This prison has stood since 1071 and closed its doors to prisoners in 1996. It is now open as a tourist attraction called Oxford Unlocked and this was where we recently spent our day. 

Joe and I were given a chance to explore the towers, venture into the crypt and even got locked in the stocks! 

We arrived in Oxford to a beautiful old castle which has been renovated into a hotel and tourist attraction. We were the only people in our tour group which was great as we were able to ask lots of questions and find out lots about the history of Oxford. We were welcomed by a young man who was dressed as a highwayman. He was very friendly and was able to answer any questions we threw at him.

We ventured up into the tower where we were able to see across the whole of Oxford, our tour guide asked us to point out anything we were interested in and gave us a detailed rooftop run down of the famous buildings in the city.

View from the top of Oxford Castle
Joe was locked in the stocks where I was able to throw cuddly rats at him, I took great pleasure in firing them at his head! 

Next we were taken down into the crypt which was damp and eery. Our guide told us of how Oxford University students used to be sent down there if they didn't complete coursework or came home after 9pm! 

I don't really believe in all the ghost stories  but it was so strange to think of all the thousands of people that had been locked down there over the years, it made me feel like we are such a small part of our countries history and we need reminding of what people before us went through. Makes me very grateful for how we live and I appreciated my snuggly duvet that little bit more that night!

Not Guilty!
We had our token criminal pictures taken in the prison before being sent into a dark corridor with cells on either side, I was shaking as I walked through worried at any minute someone was going to jump out of the darkness! It really was quite creepy. There were props set up and costumes to try on so we took part in a bit of cosplay as standard! 

Oxford Castle Unlocked is a great tourist attraction and is recommended for older children as it can be a bit scary at times. The tower is up a steep spiral staircase so would not be suitable for wheelchairs. If you are visiting Oxford I really do recommend you go to the castle as it is such a huge part of the city's history and not one to be missed.

After exiting through the gift shop we explored the grounds a little, stopping for yet another photo opportunity in the stocks before heading for a stroll around Oxford and a sneaky you do!

Oxford is an amazing city, I am so surprised I haven't visited before and we will definitely be going back. There was a busker on every street and I must say they were very talented. I love how most of the shops are set in old buildings, this one was a particular favourite and I think it was a Tourist Information Centre. 

We enjoyed a lovely meal at a Beefeater just out of the city before travelling over to Aylesbury to our hotel for the night...hotel review to follow!

*We were kindly sent tickets to Oxford Castle Unlocked for review purposes.


  1. Nice to see Joe joining in and having fun! Looks like a fun day! x

  2. what a stunning and historic place, i absolutely love visiting these places so steeped in history.

  3. I heard about this castle in Oxford, I want to visit it too. I like such mistical places you know. In my course work which I got on this website there is some information about this castle.


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