To celebrate the 150th anniversary of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, we designed a special short break that features the key places in and around Oxford city that inspired Lewis Carroll’s imaginative tale.
Ride along the Isis riverbank out of Oxford towards Iffley Lock, where Carroll first improvised the story we now know as ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland’, whilst rowing along the river. Explore Christchurch College, where Carroll taught and met the Dean of the College Henry Liddell, whose youngest daughter, Alice, is the inspiration for his stories. Make a visit to the Museum of Oxford and marvel at some of the objects found in Carroll's house which also crop up in his books. There's even a chance to ride through the idyllic Port Meadow section of the Isis and reach the well in the hamlet of Binsey, which provided the inspiration for the treacle well in Alice’s adventures.
from £250 per person
£15 per person supplement at weekends
from £430 per person
£55 per person supplement at weekends
Based on two people sharing a room
There are no extras, however you’ll love what’s included as standard
Start & Finish
Starts daily with Oxford as the base
Centrally located hand picked hotel
A characterful and historic 5 star hotel
This tour is priced without a guide and you are free to explore on your own. If you would like a guide for part or all of your trip, we are happy to provide a knowledgeable, local guide
Gentle cycling (1) More info...
2 days of cycling 5 - 9 miles (9 - 14 km) per day
Virtually traffic free
- Mad Hatter's tea party on arrival day (please contact us to arrange)
- A tour guide can be requested if preferred
Classic & Luxury
1. Day one
Arrive in Oxford
Arrive and check into your hotel in the heart of Oxford. We can suggest a great café for a "Mad Hatter's" afternoon.
2. Day two
Circular ride from Oxford
Collect your bikes in the morning and ride along the river bank out of Oxford to Iffley Lock, where the Isis river is said to become the Thames. Lewis Carroll often rowed on the Isis with Alice and her sisters, telling them made-up stories as they went along. It was on this stretch of river that he first improvised the tale we now know as Alice in Wonderland. Stop for a refreshment at the idyllic Isis Farmhouse pub with its real ales and riverside location. Head back into the city along the river towpath and take a traffic-free spin around some of the city’s main sights before reaching Christ Church College. Spend the afternoon exploring this Oxford college on foot where Carroll spent much of his life teaching maths. Here he met the Dean of the College Henry Liddell and his family and built up great friendships with the Dean's daughters. It was of course Alice, the younger daughter, who was the inspiration for his stories. Carroll often based his fictional characters on real people he knew, and this could be true of the White Rabbit who, in his constant haste (and tardiness), is said to resemble Dean Liddell, who was notorious for being late for services. Enjoy the water meadows, the cathedral and famous hall and return for Evensong at 6pm if that takes your fancy. Make your way to your hotel in your own time.
3. Day three
Circular route from Oxford
This morning make a visit to the Museum of Oxford. A fob watch belonging to Carroll, and of the type worn by the White Rabbit as he scurried about worrying about his tardiness, can be seen here. The inspiration for the "Drink Me" bottle, which caused Alice to expand and then shrink was Carroll’s Victorian medicine bottle, which is also on display. In the afternoon, enjoy a bike ride through the idyllic Port Meadow section of the Isis, to find the well in the hamlet of Binsey which provided the inspiration for the treacle well in Alice’s adventures. Cycle back to Oxford, return your bikes to our base and depart at leisure.