15 Finest Issues To Do in Oxford in 2023

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Oxford is a historic metropolis in southern England famed for its prestigious college, prime museums just like the Ashmolean, and lots of wonderful parks and open, inexperienced areas. There are many wonderful issues to do in Oxford from touring the well-known faculties to strolling alongside the river and exploring town’s lengthy and intriguing historical past.

I’ve been to Oxford many occasions however within the pleasant, age-old rivalry between this metropolis and Cambridge, I have a tendency to search out myself within the latter because it’s not removed from the place I grew up. Nonetheless, Oxford is an unimaginable metropolis that I like to go to due to the numerous great locations to see and discover, which you’ll study beneath.

The town of Oxford can also be a wonderful vacation spot for foodies with many wonderful cafes, pubs, and eating places serving up a collection of British and different cuisines from across the globe. It’s additionally an incredible vacation spot for purchasing with every thing from impartial and boutique shops to excessive avenue manufacturers to browse.

Finest Issues To Do in Oxford

Beneath, you’ll discover a wide array of vacationer points of interest in Oxford, enjoyable excursions, locations to eat, and much more apart from. I like visiting town as there’s at all times a lot to see and do regardless of your tastes or finances. If you happen to’re planning on visiting England then sightseeing in Oxford is a should.

1. Take a College and Metropolis Strolling Tour

University of Oxford

The College of Oxford is among the most prestigious universities on the planet, in addition to one of many oldest. Alumni have included figures such because the playwright and poet Oscar Wilde, Pakistan’s first feminine prime minister Benazir Bhutto (plus numerous UK prime ministers), physicist Professor Stephen Hawking, and actor Hugh Grant amongst many others.

Probably the greatest issues to do in Oxford for first-time guests is to take a strolling tour of the college. Step inside a number of the oldest faculties within the land together with All Souls and Trinity, see the spectacular Bodleian Library, and go to the College Church of St Mary.

You’ll be led by a scholar of Oxford so will acquire a captivating perception into the inside workings of college life. This two-hour tour is the right method to get acquainted with town and see a few of its most iconic landmarks. Click on right here to search out out extra and e-book.

2. Go to the Ashmolean Museum

The Ashmolean Museum of Artwork and Archaeology is among the finest museums on the planet alongside the British Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and the Louvre in Paris. As somebody with an enormous curiosity in historical past, that is considered one of my first stops within the metropolis and the most effective free issues to do in Oxford as there isn’t an entrance price.

You’ll discover reveals on every thing from pre-history to the fashionable day. See an historical Egyptian mummy, the swimsuit of a Samurai, and artifacts from throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and past. The museum is residence to some main historic items from the Alfred Jewel to Man Fawkes’ lamp.

The museum is open each day from 10 am to five pm and there’s no must e-book or purchase tickets. You possibly can test the web site to search out out what occasions and visiting exhibitions are at present on. There’s an onsite restaurant serving lunch and afternoon tea (final orders 4:30 pm), and a present store.

Deal with: Beaumont Road, OX1 2PH

3. Take a River Cruise With Afternoon Tea

traditional English afternoon tea

A superb means to soak up the highest issues to see in Oxford is to take a cruise on the River Thames. You’ll begin off on the well-known Folly Bridge and cruise downstream alongside water meadows and previous the College School boat homes to the picturesque Suburb of Iffley (the most effective locations to remain in Oxford).

You’ll be handled to a conventional English afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, selfmade scones, strawberry jam, and thick, Westcountry clotted cream (I like an excellent cream tea, and this one is offered by the top-rated Folly Restaurant). This is among the finest issues to do in Oxford for {couples}. Click on right here to e-book now.

4. Hop On and Hop Off the Sightseeing Bus

Sightseeing buses get a little bit of a nasty rep for being somewhat cheesy, however they’re a good way to get round and see a number of the prime sights in any metropolis; this one in Oxford is good. Tickets are legitimate for twenty-four or 48 hours that means it’s one of the vital handy methods to get round with 20 stops.

The route begins at Oxford Railway Station and takes in landmarks from the West Gate to Christ Church, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford Fort, Trinity School, and lots of extra. Headphones are supplied with commentaries in a number of languages, and there are elective extras comparable to a guided strolling tour accessible. Click on right here to e-book.

5. See the Historic Church of St Mary

University Church of St Mary the Virgin in Oxford

The College Church of St Mary is among the most iconic landmarks within the metropolis with its Baroque, 14th Century spire rising majestically above the rooftops of the universities. The church has been a spot of worship for over 1,000 years and is situated within the heart of the college grounds.

You possibly can go to the church to admire the spectacular structure, attend a service, or one of many many weekly occasions from espresso mornings to e-book readings and poetry workshops. The church is open to the general public from 9 am till 5:30 pm Monday to Saturday, and from 12 pm till 5 pm on Sundays. The doorway is free.

Deal with: The Excessive Road, OX1 4BJ

6. Go to the Well-known Bodleian Library

The Bodleian dates again to 1602, making it one of many oldest libraries in Europe. It’s residence to over 13 million books and is the principal analysis library for college students at Oxford College. There’s one thing I like about previous libraries just like the Bodleian and Trinity in Dublin (the odor of previous books is intoxicating).

Some of the fascinating issues in regards to the Bodleian is that guests should take an oath earlier than being granted entry (as of 2017 the oath is accessible in 100 totally different languages). Witnessing this spectacular, historic heart of studying is unquestionably one of many prime issues to do in Oxford and could be mixed with a tour of the college. Click on right here to search out out extra.

Deal with: Beaumont Road, OX1 3BG

7. Take a Tour of the Harry Potter Filming Places

The beautiful and a must-visit Alnwick Castle in England

This two-hour tour of Oxford lets you see town by means of the eyes of Harry Potter and examine life at Hogwarts to that of life at Oxford College. You’ll get to be taught in regards to the historic college, absorb lots of the Harry Potter filming areas, and take a look at your information with a Potter-mania quiz on the finish.

This is among the most enjoyable issues to do in Oxford for households and Hogwarts followers. You’ll discover out why JK Rowling urged Oxford as the right place for filming with a visit to Turf Tavern Lane which resembles Knockturn Alley (you’ll want to check out the Turf Tavern pub for a chew to eat). Click on right here to be taught extra and e-book.

8. Go Punting on the River Cherwell

If you happen to’re on the lookout for cool stuff to do in Oxford then punting on the River Cherwell is a good choice. Similar to Cambridge, punting is a well-liked means for college kids to earn a bit of additional money and it’s a wonderful means for guests to see town whereas studying one thing of its historical past.

The River Cherwell is a tributary of the Thames and runs by means of town and faculties so that you’ll get to see lots of the prime Oxford points of interest at a cushty tempo. You can even head in the other way and punt by means of the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside.

The punting season lasts from mid-March to mid-October with the summer season months being the busiest time on the river. You possibly can rent boats from Cherwell Punting for £22 per hour or £110 for the entire day. Select from over 70 hand-made boats together with conventional punts, rowing boats, or Canadian canoes. Click on right here to search out out extra.

Deal with: Bardwell Street, OX2 6ST

9. Discover Oxford Fort and Jail

The close-up of Oxford Castle in England, now transformed into a hotel and tourist spot, showcases its grandeur.

One of many prime issues to do in Oxford is to go to the traditional citadel and jail complicated situated within the heart of town. Climb the 101 steps to the highest of St George’s Tower for gorgeous panoramic views of Oxford, descend into the previous crypt beneath the citadel by candlelight, and discover the austere 18th Century jail cells.

The citadel and jail host plenty of common occasions from jail escape rooms to historical past walks, ghost excursions, and homicide thriller events. That is considered one of my favourite locations to go to in Oxford as there’s at all times one thing enjoyable happening and it’s an incredible spot for pictures.

The citadel is open from 10 am to five:30 pm on weekdays and 10 am to six pm on weekends. Tickets value £17.50 for adults and £11.25 for kids, (you will get a reduced value in case you e-book on-line as much as two days upfront). Click on right here to be taught extra.

Deal with: 44-46 Oxford Fort, OX1 2PH

10. Calm down within the Tranquil Botanic Gardens

There’s nothing I like greater than strolling round a botanic backyard as if you can be wherever on the planet. With such quite a lot of vegetation from across the globe, it jogs my memory of residing within the tropics. Oxford’s Botanic Backyard and Arboretum is hooked up to the college and is the oldest in Britain.

If you happen to’re on the lookout for somewhat outing after sightseeing that is the right place to unwind. The backyard was based in 1621 and homes over 5,000 totally different species of vegetation. There’s an exquisite walled backyard which is somewhat sanctuary of calm in the midst of town.

The gardens are open each day from 10 am to five pm (the final entry is at 4 pm) and tickets value £6.30 for adults and kids below 16 go free. It’s finest to e-book upfront which could be executed by means of the official web site. Click on right here for more information.

Deal with: Rose Lane, OX1 4AZ

11. Discover Oxford on Two Wheels

Aerial view of the Oxford city in the UK

Biking is considered one of my favourite hobbies and I typically discover it’s the most effective methods to get round a brand new metropolis. This two-hour bike tour of Oxford can have you setting off with a scholar of the college as a information who’ll present you the highest landmarks of town utilizing peddle energy.

Discover the well-known college as you’re employed your means by means of the winding lanes and alleyways with Oxford’s well-known spires overhead. You’ll get to see locations the place well-known writers and students spend time from their houses, some treasured native pubs, and extra. You’ll additionally get to cycle as much as the gorgeous Port Meadow (see beneath). Click on right here to e-book now.

12. Take a Spooky Oxford Ghost Tour

Study Oxford’s darkish previous on this enjoyable ghost tour. The expertise lasts for 2 hours and also you’ll get to see the spooky underbelly of this well-known metropolis. The tour relies on the e-book Haunted Oxford by native writer Rob Walters. This is among the finest issues to do in Oxford at night time for lovers of the macabre. Click on right here to search out out extra.

13. Have a Picnic on Port Meadow

port meadow in Oxford

Port Meadow is a big nation park simply to the north of town heart and is the right place for a stroll, picnic, barbecue, or perhaps a dip within the river. This is among the finest issues to do round Oxford as there are such a lot of methods to fill your time; from wildlife recognizing to strolling alongside the Thames, volunteering or simply taking a break from town.

The park is open 24/7 12 months a 12 months and is free to enter.

Deal with: Walton Properly Street, OX2 6ED

14. Take a Day Journey to Tub and Stonehenge

Some of the spectacular locations to go to close to Oxford is the traditional stone circle at Stonehenge. Today journey from Oxford additionally features a go to to the historic metropolis of Tub the place you may see Roman baths courting again over 2,000 years. You’ll obtain a guided tour of Tub’s prime websites from Pulteney Bridge to Tub Abbey and the Royal Cresent.

After leaving Tub you’ll journey alongside the scenic A303 throughout Salisbury Plains to the neolithic Stonehenge the place you may marvel at this feat of historical engineering. The expertise lasts 9 hours and provides you loads of time to discover each websites at your leisure with return transport from Oxford included. Click on right here to e-book now.

15. Discover the Beautiful Cotswolds

Rural Cotswolds landscape on a sunny weather.

Probably the greatest issues to do close to Oxford is to take a tour of the picturesque Cotswolds that sits proper on town’s doorstep. This seven-hour tour units off from Oxford Railway Station and takes in a number of the most lovely cities and villages in England together with Decrease Slaughter, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Stow-on-the-Wold.

The Cotswolds is considered one of my favourite elements of the nation due to its honey-colored cottages, winding rivers and historical stone bridges, and rolling countryside that appears prefer it’s been lifted straight from a postcard. Click on right here to e-book.

Fast Journey Itineraries For Oxford

Unsure what to see in Oxford first? Beneath, you’ll discover a collection of itineraries that can assist you get essentially the most out of your journey to this historic metropolis. These itineraries embody all the highest points of interest in Oxford and a few wonderful day journeys too.

alnwick castle harry potter filming location in Oxford

1 Day in Oxford Itinerary

With simply at some point to spend in Oxford you’ll want to try town’s prestigious college. The easiest way to do that is to take a tour and be taught in regards to the historical past from considered one of its college students. For lunch, head to the Turf Tavern pub which has welcomed luminaries comparable to Invoice Clinton and the Harry Potter forged by means of its doorways.

After consuming, pay a go to to the world-renowned Ashmolean Museum the place you may see reveals from Egyptian mummies to modern artwork and an entire lot extra. Afterward, take a while out within the beautiful botanical gardens earlier than ending off the night with a meal and drinks at No 1 Ship Road.

2-3 Days in Oxford Itinerary

With a few days to spend in Oxford, discover town additional by taking a biking tour or benefit from a 24-hour ticket on the hop-on, hop-off Oxford sightseeing bus. Discover the citadel and jail, and take a look at a number of the different nice eateries within the metropolis comparable to The Cherwell Boathouse.

Take a river cruise alongside the River Cherwell, a tributary of the mighty Thames. You possibly can go for a day cruise with afternoon tea or a night outing with a three-course meal. Cruising alongside the river with a glass of one thing bubbly is among the finest issues to do in Oxford for {couples}.

1 Week in Oxford Itinerary

In case you have every week to spend in Oxford, you’ll have loads of time for day journeys to close by locations of curiosity. This full-day tour of the picturesque Cotswolds takes within the gorgeous villages of Stow-on-the-Wold, Burford, and Bourton-on-Water. This day journey to Tub and Stonehenge is one other wonderful day journey from Oxford.

With any spare time remaining, discover the gorgeous Port Meadow Park which is ideal for a summer season’s stroll, a picnic, and escaping town (it’s additionally the most effective issues to do in Oxford for households). Spend time looking Oxford’s many impartial outlets and consuming within the wonderful eating places and pubs within the metropolis.

The place to Keep in Oxford

These are just a few of the very best neighborhoods in Oxford for vacationers:

panoramic view of Oxford

Metropolis Middle – Finest for First-Time Guests

The town heart is the very best place to remain for first-time guests as you’ll be inside a brief strolling distance of all the highest Oxford points of interest such because the College, Bodleian Library, and Ashmolean Museum. The world can also be filled with some wonderful pubs and eating places, making it an incredible choice for foodies too.

Courtyard by Marriot is an opulent four-star resort proper within the metropolis heart, just a few steps from the citadel and faculties. The deluxe double rooms include an en-suite lavatory, backyard views, an onsite restaurant, and free WiFi all through. Click on right here to search out out extra.

Jericho – Finest for Nightlife

The Bohemian suburb of Jericho, simply to the north of town heart, is the hippest place to remain in Oxford. That is the place you’ll need to be to expertise the very best nightlife town has to supply from pubs to wine bars and golf equipment. Whether or not you’re on the lookout for stay music, cocktails, or someplace to bounce till dawn, that is considered one of my favourite elements of town for an evening out.

The Previous Parsonage Lodge gives four-star lodging in Jericho with lots of the metropolis’s prime bars inside shouting distance. Rooms include an en-suite lavatory, desk, cupboard space, and free WiFi. An excellent full English breakfast is included. Click on right here to e-book now.

St Clements – Finest for Households

Leafy St Clements is a quiet neighborhood simply to the east of Oxford College and is the right place for households to remain. It’s only a brief stroll to town heart however you’ll profit from the peace and quiet to retreat to after a day’s sightseeing. The Botanical Backyard is just some minutes stroll away.

This Central Oxford Townhouse in St Clements sleeps as much as six folks so is the right place for households or bigger teams. The property comes with three bedrooms and two loos, a fully-fitted kitchen, and a patio and backyard excellent for al fresco eating throughout summer season evenings. Click on right here to be taught extra.

Finest Eating places in Oxford

Oxford is a implausible vacation spot for foodies with many great cafes, pubs, and eating places dotted across the metropolis. My prime 5 picks are listed beneath:

Tasty looking full English breakfast

No 1 Ship Road is an award-winning restaurant in Oxford metropolis heart. Select from the 2 or three-course set lunch or á la carte menus on this fashionable British brasserie which places an emphasis on dishes constructed from contemporary, seasonal produce. Costs are affordable with mains from simply £19. Click on right here for instructions.

The Cherwell Boathouse is located proper on the River Cherwell on the punting station. Select from indoor eating, the conservatory, the riverfront, or the skin gazebo, all of which supply gorgeous views. That is considered one of my favourite locations for Sunday lunch in Oxford. Click on right here for instructions.

The Turf Tavern is a conventional British pub situated in a beautiful Grade II listed constructing within the coronary heart of Oxford’s college quarter a stone’s throw from well-known landmarks such because the Bodleian Library and New School. Come right here for hearty pub grub from fish and chips to burgers and lighter bites. Click on right here for instructions.

The Previous Tom is an Oxford pub with a distinction. As an alternative of the same old pub fayre, you’ll discover a luxurious menu of Thai dishes from prawn tempura to pink and inexperienced curries (I like an excellent Thai pink curry). All this may be washed down with a wonderful collection of native ales amongst rustic environment. Click on right here for instructions.

Turtle Bay is a Caribbean-inspired restaurant that provides a style of sunshine within the coronary heart of Oxford (which let’s face it, with British climate the way in which it’s, we’d like all of the solar we are able to get). The Bottomless Brunch is a wonderful cope with grills, bowls, and limitless cocktails for 2 hours. Click on right here for instructions.

Attending to Oxford

Oxford is conveniently situated within the south of England simply 64 miles (103 km) from London and on the doorstep of the picturesque Cotswolds. The closest worldwide airport is Heathrow with flights to and from locations the world over. There are direct coaches from Heathrow to Oxford with journey occasions of round an hour, and each day trains through London.

Trains depart a number of occasions an hour from London’s Victoria Station and simply over 95 minutes. There are additionally frequent buses from Victoria Coach Station. If driving, it’s round a two-hour journey through the M40. There are additionally plenty of excursions from London that embody Oxford in addition to different Cotswolds cities and villages. Click on right here to search out out extra.

Getting across the metropolis heart is straightforward with all the most important issues to see in Oxford inside strolling distance. You can even use the helpful hop-on, hop-off buses, lease a bicycle, or use taxis and native buses to get farther afield. Make sure you take a ship journey or punt down the river to get round and see a number of the prime Oxford points of interest.

Issues To Do in Oxford: FAQs

Listed below are some solutions to generally requested questions on visiting Oxford:

What’s Oxford identified for?

Oxford is thought for its prestigious college that dates again to the thirteenth Century and has seen alumni from Oscar Wilde to Stephen Hawking go by means of its hallowed halls. The town can also be well-known for its prime museums and libraries from the Ashmolean to the Bodleian and Radcliffe Digital camera.

When is the very best time to go to Oxford?

Oxford is a implausible vacation spot year-round with heaps to see and do regardless of the climate. The shoulder seasons of spring and fall are wonderful occasions as you’ll keep away from the peak of the vacationer season and nonetheless be capable of get pleasure from clearer skies.

Is Oxford price visiting?

Oxford is unquestionably price visiting as there are such a lot of great issues to see and do from exploring the traditional faculties to wandering by means of a number of the finest museums on the planet. It’s additionally a implausible place for eating out with plenty of award-winning pubs and eating places.

What number of days ought to I spend in Oxford?

Three to 4 days (a protracted weekend) is the right period of time to spend within the metropolis and can can help you expertise all the very best issues to see in Oxford. If you wish to discover the gorgeous Cotswolds and take day journeys to close by points of interest comparable to Tub and Stonehenge, then every week is healthier.

Is Oxford secure?

Oxford is a very secure metropolis for vacationers with low ranges of violent crime. Take ordinary precautions and keep away from unlit areas outdoors of town heart at night time, hold your valuables hidden in busy locations, and don’t flash giant quantities of money about.

What’s the hottest factor to do in Oxford?

Visiting the college, Ashmolean Museum, and Bodleian Library are three of the preferred issues to do in Oxford. Punting on the river is one other in style exercise, as is looking the outlets and exploring town’s culinary delights.

What meals ought to I attempt in Oxford?

Two of essentially the most well-known meals from Oxford embody Banbury desserts (from the small city of Banbury, close to Oxford) and Oxford sausages. You possibly can attempt these dishes in lots of cafes, tea outlets, and eating places throughout town or purchase them to remove on the Lined Market.

Is Oxford an inexpensive metropolis?

As a big metropolis within the south of England Oxford isn’t as low-cost as another locations within the north and west of England, however there are many bargains available with regards to meals, lodging, and transport. Ebook resorts and transport upfront for the very best costs, and journey outdoors of the height season (college holidays).

Is Oxford an excellent day journey?

Oxford makes for a wonderful day journey from London and different cities within the UK, and lots of excursions additionally embody a number of the lovely Cotswold villages as a bonus.

In Closing

Now you already know what to do in Oxford, considered one of England’s most well-known and well-loved cities. The town is bursting with historical past from the college and lots of wonderful archaeological museums, lovely structure, and a plethora of fantastic eateries. With an enviable location on the sting of the Cotswolds Space of Excellent Pure Magnificence and simply a few hours from London, this metropolis must be excessive on the checklist of any traveler to the UK.

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