University Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford

4.6
The University Church of St Mary the Virgin is a vibrant, welcoming and inclusive church within the Church of England. Standing in the centre of Oxford, St Mary’s is the spiritual heart of the oldest university in Britain. With dignified liturgy and beautiful music, we strive to be a community of intelligent and faithful Christian witness, unafraid to engage with the modern world.

Our ‘Vaults and Gardens’ cafe is famous for its delicious, organic, and locally sourced food. The Old Library is a popular venue for meetings, conferences and entertaining.

You can climb the thirteenth century tower for the best views in Oxford.
Using our world travel planner, Oxford attractions like University Church of St. Mary the Virgin can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Source
Improve this listing »
Create an itinerary including University Church of St. Mary the Virgin
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
University Church of St. Mary the Virgin Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
691 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Remember to always arrive before 5 p.m., closing time for most attractions. The tower is no exception, so no ascent. The church, on the other hand, is open longer and is admired for the austerely Gothic style and beauty of the stained glass windows.
    View original
  • An ancient church with an unusual interior and well worth a look. Bags of history to assimilate. There’s a vibrant street cafe outside.  more »
  • This church is worth a pop in, the university’s church but belonging to Oriel college this is the main place of worship for the university of oxfords students  more »
Google
  • The views! The views! An interesting church in a central location with great views from the top. Doesn't take long to look around inside, which is beautiful for a church this size. We paid about £10 for two adults and a child to go up the tower/spire. To just look around in side the church it is free. There is a cafe (?) inside on the north aspect. We were there as and before the sun set on a winter afternoon, and the light and views of the college's and city and Radcliffe Camera were unbeatable. The spire architecture and gargoyles etc were right there in front of you. You may have to wait 10 min or so to see the views as it is a tight space up the top, and I think they allow about 15 people at a time. Totally worth a 30 min wait we would say. There is a section on the way up the stairs that explains the clock and some history of the building. Plenty of stairs but worth it. Our kid loved it and this was a bit of a surprise. Outside on the west aspect, make sure you take note of the lamp post.
  • Unforgettable experience. One of the most beautiful church I have ever visited. I felt so serene here. The architecture is so impressive, and the view from up the tower is so breathtaking. I feel this is the best lookout point to have the best view of entire Oxford town. To get to the top of the tower, you would have to pay a small entrance fee of £4, then you will be ushered to a waiting area, where you will wait for your turn to go up to the tower , which will be in small groups, as the stair leading up to the tower is very narrow. At certain point along the way up or down, you would have to stop to give way to others coming down or going up. This is a must visit place at Oxford!
  • You need to pay small amount of money to get to the top of the church. The staircase was quite small and quite hard to climb up and go down. So wearing appropriate shoes is recommended. Nice views specially on a sunny days.
  • Place where you simply must go! Such a picturesque view, from the top of the tower: probably best in Oxford! Delicious food & afternoon tea in the cafeteria, on the side of the Church!
  • Loved it. Would return this summer. Hopefully
Places to stay near University Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Plan your trip to Oxford

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Oxford

View all >
4.6
Duration: 3​h
4.8
Duration: 30​min
4.9
Duration: 1​h 30​min

Side trips from Oxford

4.0
Duration: 2​h
4.6
Duration: 2​h
3.8
Duration: 3​h
5.0
Duration: 2​h 30​min

Hidden gems in Oxford

4.6
Duration: 1​h
4.4
Duration: 2​h 30​min
4.8
Duration: 2​h

Parks in Oxford

4.7
Duration: 2​h
4.8
Duration: 2​h
4.8
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.6
Duration: 2​h

Nearby attractions in Oxford

4.7
Duration: 1​h 30​min
4.7
Duration: 1​h 30​min
5.0
Duration: 3​h
4.6
Duration: 2​h 30​min

Plans to University Church of St. Mary the Virgin by other users

11 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Oxford BY A USER FROM CHILE September, teens, culture, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, teens, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 19 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM INDONESIA December, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 52 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM ROMANIA September, popular sights PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in Oxford BY A USER FROM INDIA November, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 27 days in Oxford BY A USER FROM INDIA September, popular sights PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 22 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM INDIA September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 55 days in Oxford BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA August, popular sights PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in Milton Keynes BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 14 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, kids, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 48 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM ROMANIA August, popular sights PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
View more plans