Beginning of main content
Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Radcliffe Camera

This splendid 18th-century building was the first rotunda library in Britain and is one of the most recognizable Oxford landmarks.

Radcliffe Camera is an impressive neo-Gothic structure that currently houses the reading rooms for the Bodleian Library. It stands out from the surrounding architecture with its unusual cylindrical shape and its eye-catching dome.

The word camera derives from the Latin term for “room.” Since architect James Gibbs completed it in 1747, the building has had several uses, including as an independent library, although it is now part of the university.

From the outside, inspect the structure’s impressive architectural features, which make it a design icon. This is one of the University of Oxford’s most photographed buildings and is the earliest example of a circular library in the United Kingdom. 

This part of the library can only be accessed by students or by those taking guided tours. Take the Upstairs, Downstairs at the Bodleian Library tour to access the interior. Upon entry, you’ll find that the interior is as majestic as the façade, with its Corinthian columns and pedimented windows adding to the grandeur. Note the balconies full of books that run along the circular walls of the library. The tour also leads through the subterranean tunnel running between the Radcliffe Camera and the Old Bodleian Library.

Climb up the nearby tower of the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin to see the fascinating dome at eye level. Be sure to bring your camera along so you can take photos of the building from this excellent vantage point.

Radcliffe Camera is between the university colleges of Brasenose, All Souls and Exeter in the heart of the city. It is in an area full of intriguing attractions, including the Bodleian Library, the Sheldonian Theatre and the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin. Take a bus to the city center and walk east along the main high street for a few minutes to reach the site.


Guide to Exploring Radcliffe Camera


Map

Top Hotel Deals

See all 144 Hotels near Radcliffe Camera
£124
Malmaison Oxford

Malmaison Oxford

3 Oxford Castle, Oxford
4.2
of 5, from 186 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Oxford City Centre, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Oxford Castle Unlocked, Christ Church College, and Covered Market. Ashmolean Museum and Exeter College are also within 10 minutes.

£143
Macdonald Randolph Hotel

Macdonald Randolph Hotel

Beaumont Street, Oxford
3.9
of 5, from 343 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Located in Oxford City Centre, this luxury hotel is steps from Oxford Playhouse and Ashmolean Museum. Exeter College and Covered Market are also within 10 minutes.

£104
The Buttery

The Buttery

11-12 Broad Street, Oxford
3.9
of 5, from 235 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Oxford City Centre, this guesthouse is steps from Balliol College, Exeter College, and Sheldonian Theatre. Ashmolean Museum and Covered Market are also within 5 minutes.

£132
Vanbrugh House Hotel

Vanbrugh House Hotel

20-24 St Michaels Street, Oxford
4.6
of 5, from 30 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Oxford City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of New Theatre Oxford, Exeter College, and Covered Market. Ashmolean Museum and Sheldonian Theatre are also within 10 minutes.

£183
Old Bank Hotel

Old Bank Hotel

92-94 High Street, Oxford
4.7
of 5, from 150 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Located in Oxford City Centre, this family-friendly Oxford hotel is steps from All Souls College, University Church of St Mary the Virgin, and Radcliffe Camera. Sheldonian Theatre and Exeter College are also within 5 minutes.

£142
Mercure Oxford Eastgate Hotel

Mercure Oxford Eastgate Hotel

73 High Street, Oxford
3.8
of 5, from 181 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Oxford City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Queen's College, University Church of St Mary the Virgin, and Radcliffe Camera. Sheldonian Theatre and Exeter College are also within 10 minutes.

£102
Oxford Spires Hotel

Oxford Spires Hotel

Abingdon Road, Oxford
3.9
of 5, from 363 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Oxford, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Bate Collection and Christ Church College. Covered Market and Exeter College are also within 1 mi (2 km).

£96
The Tower House

The Tower House

15 Ship Street, Oxford
3.9
of 5, from 95 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Oxford City Centre, this inn is steps from Trinity College, Exeter College, and Covered Market. Sheldonian Theatre and Radcliffe Camera are also within 5 minutes.