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“Stunning dining room!!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Balliol College

Balliol College
Broad St., Oxford OX1 3BJ, England
44-1865-277777
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Ranked #42 of 196 things to do in Oxford
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Owner description: Part of the University of Oxford, Balliol College was founded in 1263 by John Balliol and was one of the first colleges to create academic opportunities for women.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
52 attraction reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Stunning dining room!!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

This college is easy to find (Broad St., opposite the visitor centre, cant be easier). Admission is 2 pounds only and besides The Chapel, Library etc. you can see and visit lovely dining room (my guide told me that directors of Harry Potter used this one as a pattern for Hogwarts dining room).
Gentleman behind reception desk was very polite and smiley even though it was already late afternoon and he must have had long shift.
Would go again.

Visited August 2013
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68 reviews from our community

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London, England
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
“Rude, unhelpful staff”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

Since I was working in Oxford for most of the summer, I had the time to visit most of the colleges that are open to the public. Of all of them I have to say that lodge staff at Balliol were the most unhelpful I encountered. While the college claims to be one of the oldest in Oxford, most of it was built in the 19th century. Therefore, several of the many of the other colleges have much more interesting sights.

Since the college is open for most of the day and has a number of foreign students staying there during the summer, it is busy, even without the large groups that go to see it. Given the large number, it seems that the lodge staff think that they do not have to be helpful to anyone who might need any extra help or has problem with access. On my recent visit, I heard one of the lodge staff being rude to someone who needed such help. When I commented on his actions and mentioned that I was a visiting member of another college, he simply told me to mind my own business, in a rather rude way. He also said that while other colleges might consider me a visiting member, he did not and that I was just another tourist.

In my opinion, save your two pounds, there are much nicer colleges to visit, when you are in Oxford.

Visited August 2013
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Oxford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013 via mobile

I have visited balliol on many occasions and have always found it. Beautiful college with quiet quods where you can take in the atmosphere and a small yet beautiful church. The day of my visit the grand hall was open and omg it was amazing cheaper than where harry potter was filmed but you get more of a feel of how it is to live and eat in a college and the children were saying harry potter and loving it. The porters who great you at the college are a credit to the college and themselves they were very helpful and informative will come again value for money

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anytown
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20 reviews 20 reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Sanctuary”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

The city outside the Porter's entrance is bustling with traffic. Parking spaces are few and cannot be held for more than an hour.

But enter the walls of Balliol, and you'll see a beautiful academic institution that was home to many of Britain's greatest, with students picnicking on the grass and others in their academic dress, revising for exams. I hope to return as a student…

Visited June 2013
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new york
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
37 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Nice self-guided trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

Balliol has it all figured out. Pay your small fee and get a map/pamphlet and enjoy at your pace. The tour does not take a long time. Make sure you go when you have access to the dining room. The church is lovely, the people very friendly and the chance to visit a college celebrating its 750th anniversary was special.

Visited May 2013
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