Balliol College, Oxford
Stay in one of the oldest colleges of Oxford University, founded in 1263 and situated in the heart of Oxford.
- 17th century buildings
- Breakfast included
- Public car parking for a charge (nearby)
- No smoking
- Historic Property
- Free broadband access (wired)
- Shared gardens
Food and Drinks
- Cooked breakfast (included)
- Pub (walking distance)
- Museums (walking distance)
- Recommended restaurants (walking distance)
- Theatre (walking distance)
As one of the oldest colleges of Oxford University founded in 1263, we are situated in the heart of Oxford, in Broad Street, ideally located for visiting the University, its Colleges, Museums, Theatres, or just for shopping.
Standard Bedrooms are available on the main College site, in buildings ranging in age from the 1720 to 1968, having been built by Henry Keene (1759) Basevi (1826) Warren (1915) Salvin (1853) and Beard (1968).
The ensuite rooms at Jowett Walk, a 5 minute walk from the main College site, were built between 1996 and 2005 on the Master's Field (Sports ground). The architect was Sir Richard MacCormac.
All the rooms that we have to offer are used during term by students. They are not equipped to a five star standard but are provided with bed linen, towels, a welcome hospitality pack, and tea and coffee making facilities.
The accommodation offers the opportunity to experience a stay in one of Oxford's oldest colleges in rooms that are full of history built around the Garden Quad, or sports field. These rooms have been occupied by famous Old Members including Prime Ministers Harold Macmillan, Herbert Asquith, and Edward Heath. Poet Matthew Arnold, writer Graham Greene.
Your Scout (Housekeeping) will service your room on a daily basis, The accommodation is centrally heated and most radiators can be controlled individually using the thermostat control.
A guide to the College is available from the Porters' Lodge.
History to the present day
Balliol College is one of the oldest Colleges in Oxford. About 1260, or perhaps a few years before, John de Balliol, the powerful Lord of Barnard Castle, was involved in a territorial dispute with Walter Kirkham, Bishop of Durham. Balliol, impatient, insulted the Bishop, who imposed a penance on him.
According to the Chroniclers, he had to submit to a public whipping at Durham Cathedral door, and he was also required to carry out a substantial act of charity. This he did by renting a house just outside the Oxford town wall, and maintain in it some poor scholars to whom he paid a dole of a few pence a week.
The House stood roughly where the present Master's Lodgings are, looking across Horsemonger Street, now Broad Street, and the ditch or moat to the city wall. The date of this is traditionally reckoned as 1263.
When John Balliol died in 1269, his widow Dervorguilla took on the role of Patroness with enthusiasm and generosity. She continued to give financial support, put the arrangements on a permanent basis by the formulation of statutes (1282) and gave the Scholars a house "New Balliol Hall" sited near where the present Chapel is. In 1284 there were sixteen Scholars or Fellows.
It was during the 19th Century that Balliol rose to prominence by vigorously promoting university reform and above all by pursuing academic excellence in a liberal environment at the instigation of John Parsons who was Master from 1798 - 1819. Successive Masters continued this pursuit of excellence including the charismatic Benjamin Jowett, after whom our newest accommodation is named.
Food and Drinks
Full English Breakfast is available in the Hall, on the Broad Street site, between 8am and 9am daily. The College Hall was built in 1877 by Waterhouse. This magnificent building with its organ loft and Willis Organ, 1885, is used daily by the students and seats up to 220 for feasts and banquets.
Guests are welcome to use our informal College Buttery Bar, which is situated to the right of the steps to the Hall. The Buttery Bar offers a wide range of beers, spirits, and wines as well as soft drinks. Normal Hours of opening are: Monday to Saturday 12noon to 2pm; Monday to Friday 6pm to 8pm.
Internet access is available in college bedrooms. Guests should bring their own Ethernet cables to access this.
Arrival information and how to find us
Address: Balliol College, Oxford, OX1 3BJ, United Kingdom
Check In: From 2pm - 12am Check Out: By 10am
On arrival report to the Porters' Lodge (located at the main entrance to the college) you will be given a key and directed to your room(s). It is generally possible to leave some bags at the Porters' Lodge if your arrival time is before 2pm and your room isn't ready.
The College's Main Porters' Lodge and entrance is situated on Broad Street, opposite the Tourist Information Office. It is about a 10 minute walk from the railway station (taxis are available outside) and 5 minutes from the Gloucester Green bus and coach station.
We regret that car parking is not available at Balliol College.
For information on getting to Oxford, see the Visitor Information section of the website.
All guests are asked to treat college staff and property with respect, and conduct themselves in a manner befitting an historic academic institution, bearing in mind students and tutors may be working and living on site. If, having read the information below, you are unsure about arrival or travel recommendations, see the visitor information section of our website.
More photos of Balliol College, Oxford
We guarantee that all our feedback is genuine and can only be submitted by people who have booked through our websites.
Miss Laura T, May 2013: Really enjoyable stay. Staff extremely helpful. I would definitely recommend staying at Balliol and would stay again on future visits to Oxford.
Ms Sayaka Y, October 2011: I really enjoyed staying in Oxford. The buildings were much more beautiful than I expected.
Miss Lissa S, October 2011: This was absolutely perfact! I'll certainly be using your website again!
Ms Coral A, October 2011: I loved my stay at Balliol College. It gave me a real feel of Oxford that I wouldn't have got staying in a hotel. The gardens are beautiful and it was like being in an oasis in the middle of town.
Prof Jan Michal B, October 2011: Service in Balliol College is very good and staff is courteous and pleasant. Thank you for nice stay at Oxford.
Dr Minna K, September 2011: Exellent experience, I will do this again and promote it to others.
Prof Michael D, September 2011: Had a wonderful experience and a thrill to stay at Bailliol. Everyone most helpful.
Mr Daren P, September 2011: I have stayed at Balliol College numerous times during my post graduate studies at Oxford and I was never disappointed. The college atmosphere was magnificent, the meals were outstanding, and the room was completely satisfactory.
Mr Martin V, September 2011: I had an ensuite room on Jowett walk, which is some minutes to walk from the main building. I enjoyed staying there very much; the room was very clean and quiet and had a lot of space to store things. Unexpected plus: A fully equipped kitchen to use in the floor. Breakfast was early in the morning, but very opulent - wonderful! I would stay again at the Balliol.
Mrs Meryl S, September 2011: I had a very pleasant experience. My room was spacious and very comfortable. It was great to have my own bathroom. I also appreciated the kitchen area where I could heat up water for coffee or tea. I loved the opportunity to stay on or near the "Oxford" campus. Thank you.
Srta. Isabel R, August 2011: Incredible college, so beautiful, completely reccomendable!
Mr J A C, August 2011: Visiting Oxford was made much more enjoyable by being able to stay in one of the colleges - a very central location and actually being in one of the colleges to be visited.
The porters and scouts were very helpful.
Other Revd Gerard M, August 2011: Great value and great location - will come again!
Susan L. P, August 2011: I very much appreciate the availability of clean and safe accommodations at reasonable rates.
Ms Anna H, August 2011: Prime location, lovely cleaners and kitchen staff.
Dr Eric B, August 2011: The breakfast was a little cold by the time we got to it, other than that all was well and the staff were outstanding in their hospitality, welcome, and helpfulness.
Mr Kenneth B, August 2011: Balliol College, Oxford, was an excellent place to stay, right in the centre of Oxford, near every location that was of interest to me during my visit. Beautiful garden. Peaceful and quiet. The Porter's Lodge was most helpful.
Paul R, August 2011: We were very pleased with the historic ambience of the College, so it seems a bit nit picking to say that we found the doors hard to open because of the security systems.
Mrs Margrit R, July 2011: I really enjoyed staying at the College. Will use this type of accommodation again during my next visit to Oxford
Derek H, April 2011: Room furnishings very basic and well-used (expected for a student room) but quite adequate for a short stay.
Caroline H, April 2011: Balliol stay good. Our only gripe was the early finishing of breakfast slot . A bit of a rush to walk the ten minutes to the Main College from our Jowett Walk accommodation. Overall though, a brilliant stay made even better by magnificent weather!
Miss Anne M, April 2011: The facilities were very good - very central, yet very quiet. I had absolutely everything I needed, including a lovely view of the quad. It was a most enjoyable experience, and very good value for money.
Elaine G, April 2011: Unbelievably wonderful location.Really enjoyed sitting under tree in blossom, surveying gardens outside Buttery Bar.
Daren P, March 2011: It was a wonderful stay and I look forward to staying at Balloil Again in the future.
Katherine L, February 2011: I was lodged in the wing built in 1967 rather than in the historic parts. Still, very decent modern student room, completely clean and comfortable and perfectly quiet. Bathrooms and toilets through a couple doors into the other side of the building, but decently convenient. Breakfast in the dining hall was a bit uncomfortable - staff curt and somewhat severe, not friendly as at the other college I stayed at. Best parts of this stay were the room, which I felt right at home in, though modern, and access to Balliol's lovely grounds.
Mrsmiltat-camus I, January 2011: I 'll highly recommand staying in Baillol
Elisabeth C, November 2010: Very pleasant stay, loved Oxford and I hope I will be back.
Jamelah N Z, October 2010: I was so so so pleased and happy with the room and the porter was so helpful and everything was perfect. I was coming to the UK to stay for a year, was stressed and cold, and my lovely room was more than I expected. Thank you!!
Jemima S, September 2010: I really enjoyed my stay in Oxford - a lovely setting for a short break. The location couldn't be better and staying at Balliol College was a great way to experience Oxford. The accommodation was basis but clean and comfortable with plenty of hot water in the ensuite. I would suggest maybe access to an internet connection and/or place to watch some TV just to keep up with the news etc. would be much appreciated by visiting guests. That's the only things I missed really. And I would like to say the English lady in charge at breakfast was really friendly and helpful to guests - she should get a pat on the back!
Mrs J J R, September 2010: I am recommending Balliol for such lettings to all my friends!
Violetta L, September 2010: I was very very happy with the accomodation, clean, quiet, friendly staff, thank you! I will recommend it and come again.
K B, September 2010: lovely stay, interesting, perfect location.
ROSIE J, September 2010: This was my second visit to Balliol and once again had a simply fantastic time. I can only reiterate what I said last year which was that it was so amazing to be staying in the most stunning surroundings and getting just a little taste of the rarified atmosphere. Again I wondered how many of the students truly realised how incredibly lucky they are to be part of this magical world. Inspector Morse and John Thaw are very sadly long gone but much missed. Lewis happily continues and just for a little while this weekend I felt like an extra in one of the episodes. Truly a great experience. Also thank you for listening to the numerous comments made - this year I had tea and coffee making facilities in my room, which were much appreciated and much utilised. Overall wonderful......shall be back again......need I say more.........
Marco Olmedo, August 2010: The room was a bit spartan but clean and adequate for my needs.
Jann F, August 2010: Very enjoyable stay. If ever I have the chance, I will stay at Balliol again. Thank you.
Alasdair A, August 2010: Very enjoyable break. I came to Oxford to see the new Ashmolean museum and meet with friends. Staying in Balliol College in the heart of Oxford was a real treat and added to the enjoyment of my weekend. The room was basic but sufficient (now includes kettle and tea/coffee) but the surroundings were beautiful and breakfast in the Hall was really special. Recommended for anyone with a sense of history looking for a convenient location in the heart of Oxford.
Juliette C, August 2010: Very good value for money for staying so centrally in Oxford. Room was a basic student room but was expecting that and had a better shower than most student rooms! The porter was very friendly and helpful in answering questions. Choice of cooked breakfast was slightly limited (e.g. no sausages, scrambled egg or baked beans, no marmelade) but totally adequate.
Linda G, August 2010: Loved the experience of staying in the lovely old College in the heart of Oxford.
Only downside was that delivery vans parked and worked from about 6.00 am under the guest wing staircase. Delivery men had very loud voices and very personal discussions about girlfriends etc. Might be worth warning them that they can be easily overheard . Otherwise a brilliant experience and have already recommended it to friends. The internet booking arrangements and subsequent directions were very clear and easy to follow.
Edeltraud P, August 2010: nice reception, ideal location in Oxford, shabby furniture, not perfectly clean
great breakfast (best sausages ever, but no marmalade)
Rosemary E, August 2010: I thoroughly enjoyed my stay - it was the best way to truly experience Oxford. My room was clean and tidy.
Arlene M, August 2010: MY STAY WAS MOST ENJOYABLE. I WOULD CERTAINLY RETURN THERE
AGAIN. iT IS A GREAT LOCATION AND IT IS VERY CLEAN. STAFF WAS
FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL.
Georgina W, July 2010: Generally fine, though the room was a little noisy early in the morning, being close to a gate through which deliveries come in every day
Guy G, July 2010: a relaxing stay at Balliol. College staff friendly, hospitable and helpful. The University Rooms concept is excellent.
Mrs Jean S, July 2010: A very enjoyable stay at your college,having not to have visited Oxford before, the location was excellent being central for visiting other colleges. My sister and I both in our seventys would recommend this stay.
Jakob K, July 2010:
And thank you to the porter!
Fred L, July 2010: A great experience!
Jiang Z, July 2010: The room is not good because it has not TV.
Derek C, July 2010: In view of present economic climate I believe the room,service and facilities demand a high fee. Service from all staff ( maintenance, reception and catering far better than some 5 star hotels I have stayed in. Well done.
James J. S, July 2010: Hi:
Overall, room was clean, quite good and a good value. A fan or something for a bit of ventilation would have been helpful.
Mrs B M Le P, July 2010: Staying in college is a wonderful experience and the fact that the rooms are student rooms must be remembered. All requests made on booking form were met. This was a second time using colleges and will certainly do so again. The collge staff were friendly and helpful.
Marta H, July 2010: It was a wonderful experience to be able to stay in such beautiful surroundings and in such a historically important college.I would definitely recommend this college accomodation and will certainly be back again. Thank you so much .Marta Hernandez from Seville Spain
Madelyn S, July 2010: It was very noisey but overall served my purposes of a short stay in oxford.
Liz T, July 2010: internet access in room would be good
appreciated the tea tray and kettle
Elizabeth S, April 2010: the staff (especially the porters ) were very welcoming and helpful. The visit was very enjoyable and I would recommend the experience to others.
Raf H, March 2010: I loved staying at Balliol College. For any foreign tourist who loves Oxford, it certainly adds to the experience. I'll certainly do it again. Thanks !
The location of the college, right in the centre of the city, is another bonus.
Julian T, February 2010: I had a wonderful stay and would never consider anything else. Thanks!
James R, February 2010: Wonderful atmospheric place to stay - central - especially loved the dining hall for breakfast - quite expensive though for standard of rooms
Janice R, October 2009: Peaceful, lovely view from window, magnificent dining at breakfast with interesting fellow visitors. I will definitely stay again. Thanks so much!
Patience G W, October 2009: I was delighted to stay in Balliol 29/9. The porters were welcoming, kind, warm, and helpful. The room was clean, if well-lived-in, the bed warm and comfortable, the shower excellent. There was more than enough hot water and water pressure. The room was very quiet (overlooked Trinity front quad), and even though filming of a new 'Lewis' episode was underway in Trinity in the early evening, they packed up their klieg lights and departed by 9:30 pm.
Breakfast was basic but more than acceptable in Hall the next morning, with quite good fried eggs -- and the coffee was very good indeed.
I can't recommend Balliol and University Rooms highly enough. Half the price of a basic hotel, and welcoming and comfortable, if a bit spartan.
Mrs Judith R, September 2009: Porter extremely helpful and polite, also very welcoming. Intend to stay again.
fiona W, September 2009: Something a bit different! Central and good value. Would definitely use again
Gorka B, September 2009: Excellent environment and very good service, I have known very nice people at the hall during breakfast in its great and ancient hall. Very impressive place. Really recommended.
ROSIE J, September 2009: I cannot speak too highly of our recent short stay at Balliol College. It was an bsolutely fantastic experience all round. We felt like extras in an episode of Inspector Morse. From the moment we arrived to a very helpful reception from the porters to the moment we left, it was brilliant. The room was very comfortable, extremely clean and neat. You could not beat the location, it was like stepping in and out of a hidden world, to which for one precious day we had the magic key. We were able to leave our luggage safely at the porters lodge which was very helpful. The grounds of Balliol were superb and we had an early morning walk looking at the gardener's excellent work. I sat at the desk looking out of the window thinking how privileged it must feel to be lucky enough to get a place at Oxford and this gave you a tiny taste of that exclusive club. I cannot speak too highly of our stay and I am planning to make all my trips to Oxford in the future in the students holiday times, so that we can repeat the experience. The only thing missing that would have made the stay perfect was a little tea tray, with a kettle, some cups and long life milk etc. For a small extra charge of maybe £2-3 I think that many of your lucky guests would be very pleased to have this in their rooms. Fabulous Fabulous Absolutely Fabulous!!! I feel privileged to have been able to experience the College. Also unbeknown to us, it was the open weekend in Oxford and we also got to see inside many other fantastic places, in particular the Master's garden at Merton College overlooking Christ Church Meadow. Plus the weather was outstandingly sunny and hot. Perfect perfect weekend. Many thanks.
Tina P, August 2009: I was very pleased with how accommodating and friendly the porters were of my early arrival.
Karen B, July 2009: Very pleasant stay in modern accomodation. very clean and well presented.
Kenny B, July 2009: A truly wonderful experience with excellent service. The personnel were very helpful indeed. Highly recommended.
J W, April 2009: Basic student accommodation in terms of the room, but exactly as described. College and location beautiful. Importantly, as a single person, I felt quite safe here and the Balliol College staff were very friendly. Would certainly book here again.
Phil S, April 2009: A great place to stay - ensuite accommodation spacious and clean, surroundings beautiful, location central, and breakfast superb. Highly recommended.
Ceri C, April 2009: The porters were welcoming and friendly and we were very pleased with our rooms - not luxurious but comfortable, clean and much what we expected. My daughter is planning to apply to Oxford so she was delighted to be able to test out typical living facilities. It was a pleasure to stay in such beautiful surroundings. The only thing which could have improved it would have been tea and coffee making facilities.
Mr simone L, March 2009: superb staff and a unique breakfast experience
Vanessa C, October 2008: I absolutely loved my stay at Balliol. The porters and everyone
were supportive and provided exceptional service.
During my stay the cleaners provided me with my every need.
The gardens are beautiful. The room had a library table which
proved to be absolutely essential during my stay.
Thank you for the priviledge to stay at Balliol. I look forward to
my next stay.
EVA K, September 2008: Thank you! Will recommend to others
Sylvain C, September 2008: I was really delighted ! It was wonderful ! Not only the place, but also the people, the atmosphere. Tks a lot
julia e M, September 2008: kettle teabags etc would be good.I loved staying in the college as surrondings so lovely,this made up for any lack of luxury in the rooms
R M H, September 2008: An excellent location and good value for money.
Elizabeth T, September 2008: What a beautiful place to stay in the beautiful city of Oxford! As a group, we were all delighted with the accommodation, and are planning on returning for a longer stay next year. The staff were so very helpful. One small suggestion - it would be great to have tea making facilities in the room. Many thanks Elizabeth
Karolina S, September 2008: Absolutely brilliant. To have made it even better a small kettle and a couple of mugs for that much needed cuppa late at night! Also. along mirror. Otherwise fantastic and I'll be back!
Terry B, September 2008: A beutiful college full of history. Good value for money. Very helpful staff. I would definitely book a room here again.
Jean M S, September 2008: It was lovely to be a part of such a prestigious and beautiful college, if only for the weekend. The room was comfortable, the grounds are stupendeous, the breakfast was great and the porters were very helpful and accommodating. Thank you!
Andy R, September 2008: Highly recommended service. Absolutely beautiful surroundings and Balliol has the convenience of being right in the centre of town.
shelagh Y, September 2008: I arrived late and had to leave very early. The room was very clean and spacious and the bed comfortable - much better than I expected for student accomodation. I left too early for breakfast. From the brief glimse I had, the grounds etc looked stunning.
For a single person with a lot to do / see in Oxford, these rooms are ideal. I will return when I have more time!
Catherine S, August 2008: We were eceedingly pleased at the welcoming of the porter, the beauty of the site with its convenient location, the pleasantness and expansiveness of our rooms with desk and complimentary toiltries gift, the awesome traditional dining hall and absolutely delicious brreakfast!
buffet! The intellectuality is pervasive! I highly recommend this college
for a more than satisfying stay in Oxford! THANK YOU!!!
Christine M, August 2008: The room was great, service both in booking and at the college excellent. The room was good, the breakfast excellent.the only thing missing was a kettle. The really nice touch was a selection of books (and good books at that) to read in the evening.
I will be staying again to do some research next year.
Keree Louise C, July 2008: Putting check in time in information would be helpful. I had a fantastic time!!
Roberta L. D, July 2008: I wish I'd known about this years ago; I will definitely recommend this to all friends visiting the UK. It was wonderful to experience an Oxford college from the inside & to have the run of the place during my stay. Breakfast in the college's hall was fun & I met some very interesting people at the table. The room is not fancy (it's just an undergrad dorm room) but it was perfectly adequate & there were even toiletries provided, which I didn't expect! The location couldn't be beat, right in the heart of town. A great experience!
Lesley W, July 2008: The porter was very pleasant. The room is obviously as it is because it is a student room, but it would be nice to have tea-making facilties. Otherwise, it is very good value for anyone wanting a room in central Oxford.
W S G M, July 2008: A most agreeable alternative to standard budget hotel B&B, and right in the heart of the city.
Waseem F, July 2008: Overall experience was good. Would recommend.
Jill L, July 2008: Thank you.....lovely central position too.
louise N, July 2008: Easily the best way to stay in Oxford: central, and in an historic building. Thank you for arranging it so efficiently.
Ross P, July 2008: I really enjoyed my stay there. I have never had an experience of staying at a College, right in Oxford. I managed to enjoy my stay and the tourism of the City.
Keiko N, July 2008: with many thanks!
Richard A, July 2008: Can't quite remember the room number (ground floor stair 10) great to stay in such an historic environment and I am now deciding whether to tell all my friends or keep it secret so it is exclusively available to me. Either way the only downside were the "Student" quality showers, but after all it was "student" room rates!
Richard O, July 2008: Clean, conveniently located accommodations, with a hearty breakfast in the Great Hall! I'd certainly do it again.
Chris F, July 2008: Just two small things. It would be good to include the Buttery on the map and if you could say the rooms will be available a little earlier than 2.00pm. But it was an excellent stay - all the staff from those in the porter's lodge to those doing the catering were very welcoming and helpful and it is lovely setting and wonderful to contemplate the great and the good that studied at the college. If there are such records it would interesting to know which rooms the more famous alumni occupied. It was lovely stay - thank you.