Oxford

Why go there?

Famous for the stunning architecture of the colleges of the UK’s oldest university, Oxford is also home to world famous museums, multicultural cuisine and cutting edge manufacturing technology. Set alongside the River Thames, this beautiful city dates back to Saxon times.

Key gateways

Airports:

Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton

City map

Key attractions

Museum of Oxford

Dedicated to telling the story of Oxford and its people – past and present – the Museum of Oxford is housed in the town hall in the centre of the city. Highlights include a virtual high-speed bike ride, exploring a Victorian office, and seeing how Oxford has changed since 810 AD.

Website: oxford.gov.uk

Ashmolean Museum

Founded in 1683, and believed to be one of the oldest museums in the world, the Ashmolean museum is the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology. With famous collections ranging from Egyptian mummies to historic coins, the museum tells human stories across culture and across time.

Website: ashmolean.org

 

Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library is one of the world’s oldest libraries at the heart of Oxford University. The Library opened in 1602 and has since been used as a working library belonging to the University of Oxford.

Website: bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Walking Tour

Led by a professionally trained Blue Badge Guide, an Oxford Official Walking Tour is a fun and informative way to learn about Oxford’s history, to visit the University and to explore the filming locations used in Harry Potter and Inspector Morse.

Book on the VisitBritain Shop

Website: experienceoxfordshire.org

Christ Church College

Giving an insight into the history, architecture and student life of Oxford University, as well as some of the scenes associated with Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter, this one hour tour is led by an experienced Christ Church custodian.

Website: chch.ox.ac.uk

Still to be discovered

For those who have visited Oxford before, here’s a selection of attractions that they may not yet have discovered:

Eagle and Child

Literature lovers should stop for a pint of traditional ale in the wood-panelled depths of The Eagle and Child, where JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis discussed their fantastical works.

Website: nicholsonspubs.co.uk

Shopping

From the global brands of Westgate Oxford, to Oxford Covered Market the city centre has a great selection of shopping choices.

Website: experienceoxfordshire.org

 

University of Oxford Botanic Garden

The Oxford Botanic Garden, founded in 1621, was the first of its kind in the UK and started as a garden growing plants for medical research. It is now home to nearly 6000 different types of plants, right in the heart of the city.

Website: obga.ox.ac.uk

 

Oxford River Cruise

A river cruise on the Thames is a great way to get a different perspective on this historic city. With many of the sightseeing tours following the famous University Regatta course from Folly Bridge, public boat trips are also available to stunning Port Meadow on the northern outskirts of the city.

Website: oxfordrivercruises.com

Just a stone's throw away

The following is just a selection of some of the destinations that can be easily reached from Oxford. For many of them using a Britrail Pass is a simple and cost effective way to get around.

Blenheim Palace

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Blenheim Palace is home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Malborough. The birthplace of Winston Churchill, this baroque palace has a long and fascinating history to discover, as well as beautiful gardens and parkland – just 8 miles outside Oxford.

Website: blenheimpalace.com

Bicester Village

Bicester Village is the place to find designer names at great prices. Approximately 15 mins away by train or 30 mins away from Oxford by car, it’s easy to pop there for the day – and with a selection of places to stop for a bite to eat, it’s the perfect place for a spot of retail therapy.

Website: bicestervillage.com

Waddesdon Manor

Waddesdon Manor is located just under an hour by car from Oxford. Built in the style of a 16th-century French château, the house’s dramatic architecture and exquisite interiors are surrounded by beautiful Victorian gardens.

Book on the VisitBritain Shop (as part of the National Trust Touring Pass)

Website: waddesdon.org.uk

The Cotswolds

With its honey-coloured stone and secluded river valleys, the Cotswolds are a taste of picture-postcard England. Villages such as Bibury, Castle Combe and Broadway are among the beautiful places to go for a stroll, enjoy an afternoon tea, or visit a local pub.

Website: cotswolds.com

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