Spooky Christmas tours at Oxford Castle

Becca Colmer playing Empress Matilda in the Crypt at Oxford Castle Unlocked. Picture Richard Cave

FAMILIES have been enjoying spooky tours underground at Oxford Castle in the run-up to Christmas.

The heritage centre Oxford Castle Unlocked at the New Road site has been running Christmas at the Castle tours, which finish today.

The 50-minute tours have been exploring the whole Castle site, including the underground crypt and the Castle Mound, and examining how Christmas would have been celebrated there over the centuries.

Becca Colmer, a tour guide for Oxford Castle Unlocked, said: “We have been very busy this week with lots of people booking tours as it’s now the school holidays.

“Empress Matilda was fighting for the crown of England in the 12th century and was besieged at the castle tower by King Stephen.

“Legend has it that she escaped while she was wearing a white cloak and skated to Wallingford Castle where she was safe.”

Ellie Morgan, a spokeswoman for Oxford Castle Unlocked, said this week’s tours have been popular with families looking for activities in the school holidays.

She added Oxford Castle Unlocked would close today for Christmas and reopen on Tuesday at 10am.

She added: “In January we will be putting on special offers for Oxfordshire residents.”