Wadham College, Oxford

Wadham, founded 1610 is located in the heart of Oxford's dreaming spires with quiet quadrangles and secluded gardens.

Customer rating: Average: 4.5 (1925 ratings)
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11 – 20:
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Front Quad


  • 17th century buildings
  • Breakfast included
  • No parking onsite
  • Historic Property


  • Free broadband access (wifi)
  • Shared gardens
  • Squash court

Nearby recreations

  • Pub (walking distance)
  • Museums (walking distance)
  • Historic houses
  • Gardens
  • Golf course (a short drive)
  • Tennis courts (a short drive)
  • Recommended restaurants (walking distance)
  • Theatre (walking distance)

Wadham is an attractive 17th century College set in tranquil gardens and yet situated in the centre of Oxford on a quiet road. Everything is within easy reach whether it be restaurants, pubs, cinemas, museums or theatres. Train and bus stations are also within easy reach.

Bedrooms, offered at reduced rates (during term are offered room only), are grouped together in traditional staircases and each room will be provided with a welcome toiletries pack, card-operated telephone, Fair Trade tea and coffee-making facilities, towels, washbasin, refrigerator. 

Unfortunately due to the age of the buildings the rooms are unsuitable for those with mobility problems. The minimum age for guests is 21.

Smoking: all rooms are non-smoking and advise that if you wish to smoke that you do so in outside areas at least two metres away from all buildings. The Front Quad and area immediately to the front of the main entrance are strictly no smoking areas.

Please note, the college is unable to accept bookings from Stag & Hen parties.

We hope you enjoy your stay with us.

History to the present day

Wadham College was founded by Nicholas and Dorothy Wadham in the reign of King James I. Nicholas died in 1609 leaving his fortune to endow a College at Oxford. The hard work of translating intentions into reality fell to his widow, Dorothy, a formidable lady of 75 who through sheer determination had the College ready for opening within four years of Nicholas’s death. Dorothy added considerably to the endowment from her own resources and kept tight control of its affairs until her death in 1618, although she never actually visited Oxford from her home in Devon to see the results of her generosity and business acumen. The style of the building is a fairly traditional Oxford Gothic, modified by classical decorative detail, most notably the ‘frontispiece’ framing statues of James I and the Founders immediately facing visitors as they enter the College.

Notable members of the college in its early years include Robert Blake and Christopher Wren. Recent members have been Dr Rowan Williams, the present Archbishop of Canterbury and Melvyn Bragg, broadcaster and novelist.

Food and Drinks

The hall, one of the largest in Oxford is notable for its great hammer-beam roof. Portraits include Lord Lovelace, who held Oxford for William of Orange during the Revolution of 1688; the inscription records his role in freeing England ‘from popery and slavery’.

Breakfast is included in the price of your room (unless otherwise stated), and is served in the hall from 8.00 – 8.45am.  The Breakfast Menu consists of fruit, cereal, toast and/or a full English breakfast with a vegetarian option.

Grounds and gardens

A stay at Wadham gives you the opportunity to relax in beautiful tranquil gardens. Restored and reshaped following the Second World War, the present gardens are divided into the Warden’s Garden, the Fellows’ Private Garden and the Fellows’ Garden, together with the Back Quad, the JCR Quad, the Cloister Garden (originally the cemetery), the White Scented Garden, and the two strips of land (now turfed) immediately in front of the College. Wadham’s gardens are notable for their collection of trees (specimens include a silver pendent lime, tulip tree, golden yew, purple beech, cedar of Lebanon, gingko, giant redwood, tree of heaven, incense cedar, Corsican pine, magnolia and a rare Chinese gutta-percha).

Please note that the Gardens will not be open to the public if there is an event taking place.

Other facilities

All of the bedrooms have cabled internet access so please bring your own internet cable with you. Cables can also be bought from the Lodge.

A central laundry facility is available with washing machines, dryers, ironing boards and irons. This is an environmentaly friendly college. During your stay towels will be changed every 2-3 days. If you would like them to be changed more frequently, your cleaner or the Lodge will be happy to change them for you.

Wadham also boasts the oldest (1748) custom-built concert hall in Europe known as Holywell Music Room. It may be possible for you to visit this famous music hall during your stay.

Depending when you choose to visit you may have the opportunity to purchase tickets to an open-air performance of a Shakespearian play in the Wadham gardens. Further details of dates of summer performances may be obtained from the Wadham Conference and Events Manager.

Arrival information and how to find us

Address: Wadham College, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PN, United Kingdom

Check-in: From 2.00pm. Check-out: By 10.00am.

On arrival, please report to the Lodge where the staff will be happy to assist you. Luggage storage is available for guests arriving before the check-in time.

Wadham College is only a 10 minute walk from the train or coach station and situated in the heart of the city centre. Unfortunately the college is unable to offer parking. Taxi could cost between £5.00 - £10.00 from the station.

College Liabilities
It is understood that the College is unable to accept liability for injury to visitors to the College and/ or damage to their property unless this is proved to have been caused by the negligence of the College or its employees. Individuals undertake to indemnify the College against all proceedings, costs, claims and expenses on account of damage to persons or property caused by the negligence of the individual, his employees or any other person connected with the visitor. It is recommended by the College that visitors take out their own insurance. Should any information supplied conflict with information contained on the reservation form, the College will endeavour to meet the revised requirements but shall not be under any obligation to do so. It is understood that the College will not be liable for non-performance of any obligation under this booking if the circumstances are beyond its control.

Cancellation Terms

Cancellation fee as percentage of booking value depending on when the booking is cancelled.
More than 14 days notice: 0 % of booking value for night in question plus a single £10.00 admin fee
Number of days notice: from 14 to 8 days: 25 % of booking value for night in question plus a single £10.00 admin fee
Number of days notice: from 7 to 1 days: 50 % of booking value for night in question plus a single £10.00 admin fee
Trying to cancel for same night (or if they don't show up): 100 % of booking value for night in question

More photos of Wadham College, Oxford

Twin En Suite Bedroom Staircase 9 Entrance Garden in Spring Main Garden Chapel Standard Single Bedroom A Tranquil Corner Bowra Standard Single Bowra Building Exterior Wadham Entrance

Customer reviews

We guarantee that all our feedback is genuine and can only be submitted by people who have booked through our websites.

Superb visit to Oxford and the accommodation was delightful. Would certainly stay here again.
Ms Catherine V

Easy booking and check-in check-out processes. Spacious, clean room with facilities in excellent conditions. Helpful staff and great breakfast. Nice and quiet gardens within the college.
Mr Yuanbo M

We thoroughly enjoyed and were very impressed with our stay at Wadham College. We have already recommended it to family members. Thank you to all staff for this unique opportunity.
Ms Heather G

Superbly straightforward to organise and execute...can't recommend highly enough.
Ms Catherine G

Best part if my trip-please don't change anything! Lovely experience, will absolutely stay here again!
Mr James T

Excellent stay in two singles with linked sitting room (maybe room 9/6). Room lovely and really clean, and comfortable bed too. Everyone we encountered including porters kitchen and dining room staff and cleaners so helpful. Lovely breakfast. Thank you.
Dr Sian L

Very helpful staff who met our request for an early (0615am) packed breakfast for 12 people. The rooms are spacious and warm with good facilities. The best aspect is the atmosphere of living in an Oxford College with beautiful, historic buildings and gardens. It is a very quiet location, close to the centre, so you get a good night's sleep and have only a short walk for tourism or shopping. A ten minute walk from the restaurants. I would highly recommend Wadham College.
Miss Bronwyn H

I loved my stay at Wadham College. I came in for a wedding and was able to check in quickly, the staff were friendly and informative and they even gave me some chocolate! Great location and lovely room. Would definitely stay here again.
Miss Charlotte L

I have stayed here several times over the last eight years - consistently excellent
Prof Martin W

I look forward to coming back again next year
Mr Tom R

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