New Tour Launch: Unnatual Histories

Join us for a unique tour of the Natural History Museum in Oxford! We'll explore how human influence and selective choice shape the narrative of natural history museums, offering an 'unnatural' perspective on their historical and ideological foundations.

Uncomfortable Oxford Tours

History Walked Differently

Read more

we are uncomfortable oxford

Discover the stories beneath the spires with a university historian as your guide. We take you on a unique journey through the historic city centre, offering an engaging and rich walking tour about the complex history that has shaped the beauty and grandeur of the Oxford landscape.

Our tours provide newcomers with a good introduction to the city while going beyond the traditional narratives. We highlight histories of race, gender, class, and disability, while raising uncomfortable questions about the lasting legacies of empire.​ All our guides are university researchers who are passionate about the city, its people, and its diverse history.

Tours often sell out – we recommend booking in advance!

uncomfortable-tour-banner-3

The Original Uncomfortable Oxford™ Tour

The perfect introductory tour of Oxford, covering its main sites and complex history.

THEMED TOURS

WHY book AN UNCOMFORTABLE Tour?

See the iconic city in all its complexity!

  • All tours researched, designed, and led by university researchers
  • Tours feature diverse voices and narratives
  • We are a female-led company & certified social enterprise

Choosing an ‘Uncomfortable’ Tour offers a unique and thought-provoking experience that provides you with a deeper understanding of the city and its history. You will gain access to the knowledge of our expert guides, while also challenging traditional perspectives of the city. Our tours of Oxford aim to shed light on the lesser-known aspects of history, bringing attention to uncomfortable truths or historical figures that are often overlooked or forgotten in modern narratives. We ask questions about the landscape and its beauty, as well as who gets to be represented in its statues, street names, and memorials.

private-tour-3

Small private tours for friends, families,
or company events up to 8 people.

large-group-bookings-5

Tours for large groups, schools, conferences,
and corporate events.

Top Reviews

Brilliant ★★★★★

This was a really interesting experience! Our tour guide Scott was amazing and we felt we learnt a lot! Really recommend this for anyone visiting Oxford.

Definitely a must-do tour! ★★★★★

“Loved every minute – guide was really interesting; interested in our thoughts and opinions, and hugely knowledgeable! Could have walked round for 9 hours rather than 90 minutes! Learned heaps! Thanks”

Highly recommended! ★★★★★

“I would highly recommend this tour! Led by students, it captures the uncomfortable side of Oxford’s long history, from murders, slave ownership and imperialism. It is an important aspect of understanding how one of the greatest universities in the world came to be, the sacrifices made by innocent people all over to make Oxford what it is. Shoutout to Julie, our lovely guide!”

An informative and thought-provoking afternoon ★★★★★

“I can highly recommend this tour for seeing a different aspect of Oxford. We had a small group of 6 which was ideal for being able to chat easily. Our guide was very generous with his time and gave us a good 2 hours plus of his knowledge and experience. We all learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed hearing some stories about Oxford which are not necessarily covered by other tours.”

A sorely needed tour, vital to the countercurrent of more simple histories. ★★★★★

“Cannot recommend this highly enough! Rarely do you get to experience a tour that welcomes engagement and discussion so openly, which is even more extraordinary when considering this tour delves deep into Oxford’s controversial histories, so often hushed or expunged from public consciousness. An absolute must and a unique social initiative, that stands head and shoulders above the cookie-cutter public tours of Oxford’s tourist-friendly, safe and warm narrative.”

Excellent tours ★★★★★

“I did the hidden histories, colonial, and original tours. All were exceptional. I learned a lot, loved how interactive it was, and found my guides really friendly and knowledgeable. Highly recommend these tours!!”

A different angle on a historic city
★★★★★

“It’s a really interesting alternative look at the history (and future) of Oxford. Based in the historic centre a well-informed enthusiastic guide leads a discussion on the controversial questions of the historic legacy

Such a fun and informative tour!
★★★★★

“Chloe was really knowledgeable but also left loads of time and space for respectful discussion around the topics that were covered. I will definitely recommend this tour to anyone visiting Oxford. A really unique and thought provoking experience.

Engaging and provocative ★★★★★

“Wonderfully crafted approach to showing and explaining the “other” side of Oxford’s role in UK’s modern history. Engaging format where guides ask opinions and ideas of participants. Thoughtful, provocative and engaging. One of the best tours I have ever taken.”

OTHER UNCOMFORTABLE CITIES

uncomfortable-cambridge-tours

Cambridge

Explore the dazzling city of Cambridge with a local historian. We introduce you to the main city sites while going deeper into the complexities of local history, providing a unique introduction to the city and University.

uncomfortable-york-tours

York

Check out our latest expansion with an immersive tour of the ancient and beautiful city of York. Step into the past with a local researcher from the university and uncover the rich industrial history of the famed ‘Chocolate city’.