The Lodge main gate on Merton Street - Photo: © John Cairns - www.johncairns.co.uk

Visitor information

There is an entry fee of £5.00 for adults, which includes a brochure containing a map of the College. There is a reduced fee of £3.00 for adults aged over 65 and children aged 13-17. Payment must be made by card; we do not accept cash.

Entry is free for:

  • Merton College alumni;
  • members of the University of Oxford (with up to 3 guests) on production of a valid University card (blue stripe) or alumni card; and
  • accompanied children aged 12 years old and under.

Assistance dogs are welcome.

The entry fee includes access to the four quads and the College Chapel. Please note that the Hall, Fellows Garden, and residential areas are normally closed to all visitors (including alumni). Chapel services are open to all.

Visiting Hours
  • Monday to Friday 2:00pm - 5:00pm - last entry 4:30pm.
  • Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm - last entry 4:30pm.
  • Sunday 12:00 noon - 5:00pm - last entry 4:30pm.
  • The College reserves the right to close at short notice if necessary. Visitors are advised to contact us in advance for up-to-date information relating to tours on specific dates.
  • The College is closed to members of the public (with the exception of holders of a valid University card or alumni card) on the following dates:
    • Monday 3 October;
    • Thursday 22 December to Monday 2 January 2023 (the University/alumni card exception does not apply during this period);
    • Friday 7 April 2023 to Monday 10 April 2023;
    • Saturday 15 July 2023;
    • Friday 28 July 2023;
    • Saturday 5 August 2023;
    • Saturday 11 May 2024; and
    • Saturday 18 May 2024.
  • Merton College alumni should consult our Coming back to College page for additional information on visiting Merton (including extended visiting hours).
Guided and group tours

Self-guided group tours

Self-guided groups can visit the four quads & the College Chapel only. Visiting times and fees are as shown above.

A maximum of two groups will be allowed in college at any one time; large groups (those of over 15) may be split to allow sufficient space to view the grounds.

Groups must make sure they have a designated leader responsible for their group(s) at all times.

Guided tours

Until the end of September we are offering a guided tour of the College each day, starting at 3:00pm and lasting for approximately 45 minutes.

Guided tours of the College are led by trained Merton guides and/or library staff and normally last c.45 minutes. They include the main quadrangles, the historic Upper Library, the Chapel and/or the gardens. (The itinerary may vary depending on the availability of the Chapel and other areas.) Guides will speak about the history of the College and life in the College today.

There are 10 places available each day. Costs for the guided tour are:

  • £10 for adults (aged 18-65);
  • £7 for adults aged over 65; children aged 13-17; and members and alumni of the University of Oxford (NB a valid University card (blue stripe) or alumni card must be presented on arrival); and
  • Free of charge for accompanied children aged 12 years old and under; and Merton members and alumni (NB a valid University card (blue stripe) or alumni card must be presented on arrival).

To check available dates and book onto a guided tour, please visit bookwhen.com/merton-college-tours.

To request a guided tour of the College outside of these dates, or for a group with a special interest, use this form: www.merton.ox.ac.uk/request-group-tour-merton-college. Enquiries about special group tours should be made at least 14 days in advance of your intended tour date.

Visits by prospective applicants

Prospective applicants are welcome to visit the College free of charge, between 9:00am and 6:00pm, Monday-Sunday; please enquire at the Porter's Lodge. For further information or to arrange an appointment contact the Schools Liaison & Access Officer.

For information about Open Days and school visits, please see our Open Days page which is designed for prospective applicants.

Accessibility

For detailed access information, please see our entry in the University Access Guide. However, please note that not all areas covered by the Guide are open to visitors.

Wifi for visitors

Wifi is available to visitors to the College via The Cloud, a public access wifi service run by Sky UK.

The eduroam network is available for use by those with existing access to this system, such as visitors from other universities which also use this network. The connection method will be the same as at your home institution; please follow their connection instructions, if available.

Travel Information

Merton is located in central Oxford on Merton Street, which is just off the High Street. Oxford is less than sixty miles from London off the M40, with excellent transport links via train and coach. Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted are also served regularly by train and/or coach.

Read more about:

The Oxford Tube and X90 services from London stop on the High Street opposite Queen's Lane, which is only two to three minutes' walk from the College. Here is a Google map showing Merton College in relation to the city centre and the train station.

Oxford is an ancient, pedestrian-friendly city, with many one-way streets and limited parking. If you're travelling to Merton by car, it is best to enter the High Street from the east, turning left into Merton Street at the Eastgate Hotel. Alternatively, there are six Park and Ride services in Oxford which all serve the city centre.

Expansion of Oxford Railway Station: weekend closures

Oxford Railway Station is expected to close on four weekends this autumn due to engineering work that is planned as part of Network Rail's long-term plans to redevelop the station and surrounding area.

Work will take place on the below dates and times and the station will be closed entirely with no train services running to or from Oxford Station on these days. Services on other days of the week will not be affected.

  • Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September
  • Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September
  • Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September
  • Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 October

Rail replacement services

During the four weekends that the station is closed, buses will replace trains in and out of Oxford. However, please allow plenty of time for your journey if you choose to use these alternative services, and check your planned route before setting off. If you are travelling from London to Oxford on these closure days, you might find it easier to use the Oxford Tube coach which has regular services to Oxford.

GWR, which is responsible for most services out of Oxford Station, will be running rail replacement bus services between Didcot Parkway, Oxford and Hanborough.

There will also be rail replacement buses for customers of Chiltern Railways and Cross Country, although these have not yet been announced in detail. A regular bus service between Oxford and Oxford Parkway station is also planned.

Check before you travel

It is important to ensure that information on any journey planner apps or websites is up to date and that you are also familiar with where any temporary bus stops are located. In some cases, these may be a short distance from the train station they are serving. Please contact the relevant train operator for your route for accessibility assistance you may require.

The National Rail Enquiries timetable app and website will be kept up to date with changes.

Future works

The upgrade work taking place in September and October are part of the initial stage of Network Rail's planned improvements to the station which are designed to increase its capacity so that it can accommodate more trains and passengers in future. This will include a new platform, a new secondary entrance to the station, and an upgrade of the rail bridge over the Botley Road to improve access for pedestrians and cyclists.

Maps
Virtual Tour

See Merton in 360 degrees in this interactive Virtual Tour. It's the next best thing to strolling through College in person.

War Memorial

There is a folder of information on many of the Mertonians commemorated on the College War Memorial - visitors can borrow this at the Lodge.

Flying of Flags and Ringing of Bells

A flag will be flown from the pole atop the Lodge, and bells will be rung, on the following dates during 2022:

Date Occasion Flag and Bells
1 February LGBTQIA+ History Month Progress Pride Flag
6 February Anniversary of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Accession Union Flag
Bells rung at 19:20
28 February LGBTQIA+ History Month Progress Pride Flag
1 March Shrove Tuesday Merton Flag
Bells rung at 19:25
11 March Bodley Dinner Merton Flag
19-20 March Gaudy Weekend Merton Flag
Bells rung on Saturday at 19:25
21 April Birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II Union Flag
Bells rung at 18:00
23 April St George's Day Flag of St George
Bells rung at 19:00
25-28 May Eights Week Merton Flag
Throughout June Pride Month Progress Pride Flag
2-5 June The Platinum Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II Union Flag
Bells rung on Thursday at 19:00
22 June Encaenia Merton Flag
25 June Merton Society Weekend Merton Flag
Bells rung at 19:25
24-25 September Gaudy Weekend Merton Flag
Bells rung on Saturday at 19:25
3-9 October Freshers Week Merton Flag
5 October Wednesday of Freshers Week Progress Pride Flag
23 October Commemoration of Benefactors Merton Flag
Bells rung at 19:25
13 November Remembrance Sunday Union Flag
Bells rung at 11:00
14 November Birthday of HM King Charles III Union Flag
Bells rung at 19:00
20 November Transgender Day of Remembrance Transgender Flag
26 November Advent Carol Service I Bells rung at 19:00
27 November Advent Carol Service II Bells rung at 19:00

Additions to this list may be made, subject to the approval of the College's Governing Body. Except on the death of a Fellow, and where noted, flags are not flown for longer than a day.