Being at a summer school isn’t all about the academic study.

It’s also about the opportunity to travel to a new city, meet new people from all around the world, try out new experiences and above all, have an exciting holiday.

Image shows students at Hampton Court Palace.

At Oxford Royale Academy, we pride ourselves on providing our students with great experiences both inside and outside the classroom. One of the main things that contributes to this is the packed activity schedule that is included with every one of our courses. Every course includes two coach tours, two lavish parties and a range of activities every evening.

Afternoon and evening activities

A wide range of afternoon and evening activities occur all through the summer school. It’s impossible to say how many, as our ever-active counsellors and other pastoral staff sometimes arrange to lead activities spontaneously. Here are a few examples of the kind of activities you might have the opportunity to enjoy this summer.

Visiting Oxford colleges

Image shows Magdalen College.

Aside from the colleges that the majority of students will live and work in, students will also have the chance to visit the other beautiful and historic colleges of Oxford, such as Magdalen College and New College – which, despite its name, was founded in 1379.

For students considering applying to Oxford in future, this is a good opportunity to see more of the university and consider which college they might like to apply to; for others, it is simply a chance to see some stunning architecture and soak up the history of Britain’s oldest university.


Image shows students punting.

Punting is the classic activity for an Oxford summer. A punt is a flat-bottomed boat that is propelled forwards by using a pole against the bottom of the river to push along.

Though the technique can be hard to learn at first, it’s a lot of fun to try. When you get the hang of it, it’s a serene and relaxing way to enjoy the river. No trip to Oxford would be complete without going punting.

Oxford museums

Image shows the Pitt Rivers museum.

Oxford has a variety of great museums, which students will have the opportunity to visit during their time with ORA. Possible museum trips include the Ashmolean, the Pitt Rivers and the Story Museum.

The Ashmolean is the world’s oldest university museum, dating from 1678. It houses arts and antiquities dating from ancient times to the modern day. The Pitt Rivers displays the archaeological and anthropological collections of the University of Oxford, with the feel of a cabinet of curiosities. The Story Museum celebrates writing and storytelling, and draws particularly on the tradition of fantasy writing in Oxford from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland to JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

Oxford tours

Image shows students listening to a tour.

One of the best ways to see Oxford is on a walking tour, led by an expert in the city’s culture and history.

With Oxford Royale Academy, you might have the opportunity to take in the sights with an in-depth guide to the history of the city and the university, sprinkled with amusing anecdotes about Oxford life. Or you might take a night-time tour with the award-winning Bill Spectre, who dresses as a Victorian undertaker to tell students the terrifying stories of Oxford’s ghosts.

Sports and games

Image shows students playing games in college.

There are constant opportunities for games and sport on an Oxford Royale Academy summer course. Fencing, zumba, archery, real tennis, ultimate frisbee, rounders, 5-a-side football, basketball, softball and salsa have all been enjoyed by our students at various times on our courses.

Beyond the organised activities, there are always opportunities to get an impromptu game of cricket, ping-pong or croquet going during free time.

Birds of prey and the Animal Man

Image shows a student with a bird of prey.

Students can get closer than they might ever have expected to some of the world’s most fascinating and beautiful animals. There will be visits by birds of prey and a variety of other weird and wonderful animals – from tarantulas to chinchillas.

All are entirely tame,  and with expert handlers to introduce them to students, it’s a chance to see amazing wildlife without having to look through the glass of a zoo window.

Coach tours

Our great selection of coach excursions take full advantage of the enviable location of Oxford, which is close to many of the UK’s top tourist locations. Every ORA course includes two coach tours, with destinations including:


Image shows the skyline of Bristol.

This fascinating and historic city has long been famous as a port, and has gained a new wave of interest in recent years as a centre for art and culture. Students visiting will first take a walking tour of the city’s sights. Then they will have the option either of exploring on their own or going to see the SS Great Britain.

The SS Great Britain was the first iron steamer to cross the Atlantic, and was the largest ship afloat in the world when she was launched in 1843. Students can board the ship and learn about her long and interesting history.

Blenheim Palace

Image shows the front of Blenheim Palace.

In the heart of Oxfordshire’s countryside, see the grandeur and beauty of Blenheim Palace. The architecturally rare English Baroque style Palace is notable as birthplace and ancestral home of former British wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

Highlights of your trip will include visiting the beautiful state apartments, playing a giant game of chess and walking through stunning landscaped grounds.

Hampton Court

Image shows Hampton Court Palace.

Henry VIII acquired 60 houses during his life, but none was more important to him than Hampton Court. His favourite home is now open for the public to enjoy beautiful gardens, the world’s most famous maze and the impressive Tudor Kitchens which catered for 600 people each day!

See the greatest medieval hall in Europe, and look out for the place where Catherine Howard was accused of adultery.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Harry Potter Studio Tour


Experience the ultimate Harry Potter attraction! See how the series’ magical special effects were created, including having the chance themselves to ride on a broomstick in front of a green screen. Explore the sets of all of the most famous Harry Potter locations – from Diagon Alley to the Gryffindor Common Room to Hagrid’s Hut.

Gain fascinating insights into the behind-the-scenes processes involved in creating no fewer than 8 blockbuster films. And that’s only a small part of a tour that also includes looking at costumes, concept art, props and sampling the delights of (non-alcoholic!) Butterbeer.

London Musical Trip

Image shows London traffic going past signs for Hairspray.

Explore London, a bustling metropolis which has truly earned its reputation for being one of the world’s most vibrant cities.

Visit one of the capital’s renowned museums or attractions before catching a live musical show in the city’s famed West End.

London Attraction

Image shows the Tower of London surrounded by a moat of poppies.

Take an educating and chilling trip through 1000 years of London’s darkest secrets.

Prepare to be scared as actor led shows and scary rides show the capital in a new and gory light at London Dungeon, or see the crown jewels and cells of some of history’s most famous prisoners in The Tower of London.


Warwick Castle

Image shows Warwick Castle from the outside.

See Medieval England brought back to life at this formidable Motte and Bailey Castle, originally built under William the Conqueror in the 11th Century.

Explore the castle’s rich 1000 year history with a full programme of activities, to include jousting, archery and falconry, before taking a relaxing stroll around the castle’s beautiful Victorian Rose garden.

Stratford Upon Avon

Image shows Stratford-upon-Avon viewed over the river.

Visit Stratford upon Avon, famous for being British playwright William Shakespeare’s birthplace and a beautiful historic market town in its own right.

You will have the chance to explore what life was like for the young Shakespeare by visiting both his birthplace and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the place where he courted his eventual wife.


London Museum

Image shows the interior of the British Museum.

Ever wanted to meet the creatures that roamed earth before us, or see the way science shapes everything we do and see? You will get the chance at one of London’s top museums.

Explore the Natural History Museum’s galleries or discover the secrets of the world we live in at the Science Museum.


We spare no expense on our lavish parties, in locations such as Kingston Bagpuize House and the Oxford Union. Every party has a theme, with the decoration of the venue and the activities on offer tailored to match.

James Bond

Image shows students with a sign that says 007.

For example, our James Bond themed party, for students aged 16-18, saw students dressed to kill in the magnificent surroundings of Kingston Bagpuize House, with a full-size replica Aston Martin for students to take photos with.

Around the World

Image shows a student party at the Oxford Union.

Our Around the World themed party, for students aged 16-18, was located in the Oxford Union, which has in the past played host to speakers from Winston Churchill to Mother Theresa. For  Oxford Royale Academy parties, the Oxford Union, was filled with chocolate fountains, candy floss and games.

Image shows students arriving for a party at Eynsham Hall.


Image credits for coach excursions section: BristolBlenheim; Hampton Court; Portsmouth; London musicals; Tower of London; Stonehenge; Warwick Castle; Stratford-upon-Avon; Cambridge; British Museum.

If you would like to consult with one of our Registrations Team members before making a booking, we would be delighted to hear from you. +44 (0) 845 130 60 21