Maths in the City

Mathematical Walks

Our cities are filled with buildings, roads, cars, buses, trains, bikes, parks and gardens. They are crisscrossed with power, water, sewage and transport systems. They are built by engineers, architects, planners, technologists, doctors, designers and artists. Our cities are shaped by our environment, our society and our culture. And each and every part is built on mathematics.

These pages contain two walking tours of Oxford and London that explore some of the mathematical features in the cityscape. Please print the guides to conduct your own tour, or check back here to see when we are next advertising guided tours.

Oxford Tour

Bridge of Sighs - Oxford
The Oxford Tour takes in a range of sights from around the city, and explains the Mathematical concepts involved. We'll be looking at symmetry, geometry, GPS and engineering using footprints, string, chalk, woks and marbles!

London Tour

Whilst no longer offered as a guided tour, you can view the content of the tour and conduct your own.

London Tour

Millenium Bridge London
The London Maths in the City tour explores the area around the Tate Modern, the Millenium Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral. We'll be looking at networks, geometry, resonance, curves and topology through the medium of chalk, sweeties, slinkies and rope!

Maths in the City Relaunch

Maths is the City is launching an updated tour of Oxford on the 1st July 2017. Tours will be running multiple times a week in July and August 2017.

How many people can come on a tour?

Tours will be in groups of 10-20. If you are a group smaller than 10, we will put you on a waiting list and see if we can match you to other people interested in the same date.

How long does the tour take?

Tours last about an hour, and cover about a mile of walking distance. If you have concerns about suitability, please get in touch and we may be able to adapt the tour to your needs.

How much does it cost?

The tour is free to book. Our volunteer tour guides will ask for tips at the end - all money given will be kept by the tourguide.

How do I book?

Get in touch with Amy Mason on to discuss availability.

Maths in the City Competition

To celebrate the relaunch of Maths in the City, the Mathematical Institute is offering the chance to join the first new tours as they explore the mathematics in our beautiful city.

How do I enter?

Design a new poster background to advertise our launch. Your image came be made out of anything, but please bear in mind it needs to look good at A4 size.

We are looking for designs that showcase both the beauty of Oxford and of mathematics. Have a look at our previous Oxford tour for some inspiration.  

Send your design to us via:

  • Email:
  • Twitter: @OxfordStats
  • Post: Amy Mason, Andrew Wiles Building, University of Oxford, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Rd, Oxford, OX2 6GG.

We will pick three winners: under 10, 10-16 and 16+. Don't forget to include your age, contact details for you and contact details for your school with your entry.

What is the closing date?

All entries must be with us by midday on the 23rd June. 

How will I know if I win?

We will get in touch with the winners on the 25th June to invite them and up to 10 friends to join the opening tours on July 1st 2017.

Do I need to be local to Oxford?

No, anyone is welcome to enter. However we cannot offer assistance with travel costs for schools outside Oxford.

Please get in touch with Amy Mason on if you have any other questions.

Competition Poster

Advertisement of the Maths in the City poster competition: an image of a rainbow superimposed on a line drawing of the skyline of Oxford.