15 Finest Issues To Do in Oxford in 2023

Oxford is a historic metropolis in southern England famed for its prestigious college, prime museums just like the Ashmolean, and lots of effective 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 the town’s lengthy and intriguing historical past.

I’ve been to Oxford many instances 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. Nevertheless, Oxford is an unimaginable metropolis that I really like to go to because of the various fantastic locations to see and discover, which you’ll find out about beneath.

Town of Oxford can also be a superb vacation spot for foodies with many effective cafes, pubs, and eating places serving up a choice of British and different cuisines from across the globe. It’s additionally an ideal vacation spot for purchasing with every thing from unbiased and boutique shops to excessive avenue manufacturers to browse.

Finest Issues To Do in Oxford

Under, you’ll discover a big selection of vacationer points of interest in Oxford, enjoyable excursions, locations to eat, and much more in addition to. I really like visiting the town as there’s at all times a lot to see and do irrespective of your tastes or funds. In case you’re planning on visiting England then sightseeing in Oxford is a should.

1. Take a College and Metropolis Strolling Tour

The College of Oxford is without doubt one of the most prestigious universities on this 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 among 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 pupil of Oxford so will achieve an enchanting perception into the internal workings of college life. This two-hour tour is the right approach to get acquainted with the 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 without doubt one of the finest museums on this 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 one among 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 day by day from 10 am to five pm and there’s no have to e book or purchase tickets. You possibly can test the web site to search out out what occasions and visiting exhibitions are presently on. There’s an onsite restaurant serving lunch and afternoon tea (final orders 4:30 pm), and a present store.

Handle: Beaumont Road, OX1 2PH

3. Take a River Cruise With Afternoon Tea

traditional English afternoon tea

A superb approach 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 standard English afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, home made scones, strawberry jam, and thick, Westcountry clotted cream (I really like an excellent cream tea, and this one is supplied by the top-rated Folly Restaurant). This is without doubt one of 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 a bit cheesy, however they’re an effective way to get round and see among the prime sights in any metropolis; this one in Oxford is good. Tickets are legitimate for twenty-four or 48 hours which means it’s probably the most 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 Citadel, Trinity School, and lots of extra. Headphones are supplied with commentaries in a number of languages, and there are non-compulsory extras equivalent 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 without doubt one of 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.

Handle: 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 kids at Oxford College. There’s one thing I really like about previous libraries just like the Bodleian and Trinity in Dublin (the scent of previous books is intoxicating).

One of the vital 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 out there in 100 completely different languages). Witnessing this spectacular, historic heart of studying is certainly one of many prime issues to do in Oxford and may be mixed with a tour of the college. Click on right here to search out out extra.

Handle: 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 means that you can see the town via 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, soak up most of the Harry Potter filming places, and check your information with a Potter-mania quiz on the finish.

This is without doubt one of the most enjoyable issues to do in Oxford for households and Hogwarts followers. You’ll discover out why JK Rowling steered Oxford as the right place for filming with a visit to Turf Tavern Lane which resembles Knockturn Alley (make sure you 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

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

The River Cherwell is a tributary of the Thames and runs via the town and faculties so that you’ll get to see most of the prime Oxford points of interest at a cushty tempo. You may also head in the other way and punt via the attractive Oxfordshire countryside.

The punting season lasts from mid-March to mid-October with the summer time 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.

Handle: Bardwell Highway, OX2 6ST

9. Discover Oxford Citadel 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 advanced situated within the heart of the town. Climb the 101 steps to the highest of St George’s Tower for beautiful 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 a lot of common occasions from jail escape rooms to historical past walks, ghost excursions, and homicide thriller events. That is one among my favourite locations to go to in Oxford as there’s at all times one thing enjoyable happening and it’s an ideal 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 worth when you e book on-line as much as two days prematurely). Click on right here to be taught extra.

Handle: 44-46 Oxford Citadel, OX1 2PH

10. Chill out within the Tranquil Botanic Gardens

There’s nothing I really like greater than strolling round a botanic backyard as if you might be anyplace on this planet. With such a wide range of crops 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.

In case you’re on the lookout for a bit day trip after sightseeing that is the right place to unwind. The backyard was based in 1621 and homes over 5,000 completely different species of crops. There’s a phenomenal walled backyard which is a bit sanctuary of calm in the course of the town.

The gardens are open day by day from 10 am to five pm (the final entry is at 4 pm) and tickets value £6.30 for adults and youngsters beneath 16 go free. It’s finest to e book prematurely which may be achieved via the official web site. Click on right here for more information.

Handle: Rose Lane, OX1 4AZ

11. Discover Oxford on Two Wheels

Aerial view of the Oxford city in the UK

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

Discover the well-known college as you’re employed your approach via 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 properties, some treasured native pubs, and extra. You’ll additionally get to cycle as much as the attractive 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 is predicated on the e book Haunted Oxford by native writer Rob Walters. This is without doubt one of the finest issues to do in Oxford at evening 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 the town heart and is the right place for a stroll, picnic, barbecue, or perhaps a dip within the river. This is without doubt one of 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 the town.

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

Handle: Walton Nicely Highway, OX2 6ED

14. Take a Day Journey to Tub and Stonehenge

One of the vital spectacular locations to go to close to Oxford is the traditional stone circle at Stonehenge. This present day journey from Oxford additionally features a go to to the historic metropolis of Tub the place you possibly can see Roman baths relationship 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 possibly can 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 the town’s doorstep. This seven-hour tour units off from Oxford Railway Station and takes in among the most stunning cities and villages in England together with Decrease Slaughter, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Stow-on-the-Wold.

The Cotswolds is one among my favourite components of the nation because of 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

Undecided what to see in Oxford first? Under, you’ll discover a choice of itineraries that can assist you get probably 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 make sure you try the town’s prestigious college. One of the simplest ways to do that is to take a tour and be taught in regards to the historical past from one among its college students. For lunch, head to the Turf Tavern pub which has welcomed luminaries equivalent to Invoice Clinton and the Harry Potter forged via its doorways.

After consuming, pay a go to to the world-renowned Ashmolean Museum the place you possibly can see reveals from Egyptian mummies to modern artwork and a complete lot extra. Afterward, take a while out within the attractive 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 the town additional by taking a biking tour or reap the benefits of a 24-hour ticket on the hop-on, hop-off Oxford sightseeing bus. Discover the citadel and jail, and take a look at among the different nice eateries within the metropolis equivalent 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 without doubt one of the finest issues to do in Oxford for {couples}.

1 Week in Oxford Itinerary

When 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 beautiful 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 beautiful Port Meadow Park which is ideal for a summer time’s stroll, a picnic, and escaping the town (it’s additionally the most effective issues to do in Oxford for households). Spend time shopping Oxford’s many unbiased outlets and consuming within the wonderful eating places and pubs within the metropolis.

The place to Keep in Oxford

These are a number of of one of the best neighborhoods in Oxford for vacationers:

panoramic view of Oxford

Metropolis Heart – Finest for First-Time Guests

Town heart is one of the 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 full of some wonderful pubs and eating places, making it an ideal possibility for foodies too.

Courtyard by Marriot is an opulent four-star lodge proper within the metropolis heart, only some 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 the town heart, is the hippest place to remain in Oxford. That is the place you’ll need to be to expertise one of the best nightlife the town has to supply from pubs to wine bars and golf equipment. Whether or not you’re on the lookout for dwell music, cocktails, or someplace to bop till dawn, that is one among my favourite components of the town for an evening out.

The Previous Parsonage Lodge provides four-star lodging in Jericho with most of the metropolis’s prime bars inside shouting distance. Rooms include an en-suite lavatory, desk, space for storing, and free WiFi. An outstanding 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 quick stroll to the 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 individuals so is the right place for households or bigger teams. The property comes with three bedrooms and two bogs, a fully-fitted kitchen, and a patio and backyard excellent for al fresco eating throughout summer time evenings. Click on right here to be taught extra.

Finest Eating places in Oxford

Oxford is a improbable vacation spot for foodies with many fantastic 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 trendy British brasserie which places an emphasis on dishes created from contemporary, seasonal produce. Costs are cheap 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 surface gazebo, all of which provide beautiful views. That is one among my favourite locations for Sunday lunch in Oxford. Click on right here for instructions.

The Turf Tavern is a standard British pub situated in a stunning 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 standard pub fayre, you’ll discover a luxurious menu of Thai dishes from prawn tempura to pink and inexperienced curries (I really like an excellent Thai pink curry). All this may be washed down with a superb choice 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 best way it’s, we’d like all of the solar we are able to get). The Bottomless Brunch is a superb take care of 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 instances of round an hour, and day by day trains through London.

Trains depart a number of instances 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 a lot 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 simple with all the main issues to see in Oxford inside strolling distance. You may also use the useful hop-on, hop-off buses, hire 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 among 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 recognized 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 cross via its hallowed halls. Town can also be well-known for its prime museums and libraries from the Ashmolean to the Bodleian and Radcliffe Digital camera.

When is one of the best time to go to Oxford?

Oxford is a improbable vacation spot year-round with tons to see and do regardless of the climate. The shoulder seasons of spring and fall are wonderful instances as you’ll keep away from the peak of the vacationer season and nonetheless have the ability to take pleasure in clearer skies.

Is Oxford value visiting?

Oxford is certainly value visiting as there are such a lot of fantastic issues to see and do from exploring the traditional faculties to wandering via among the finest museums on this planet. It’s additionally a improbable place for eating out with a lot of award-winning pubs and eating places.

What number of days ought to I spend in Oxford?

Three to 4 days (an extended weekend) is the right period of time to spend within the metropolis and can let you expertise all one of the best issues to see in Oxford. If you wish to discover the attractive Cotswolds and take day journeys to close by points of interest equivalent to Tub and Stonehenge, then every week is best.

Is Oxford protected?

Oxford is a very protected metropolis for vacationers with low ranges of violent crime. Take normal precautions and keep away from unlit areas outdoors of the town heart at evening, preserve your valuables hidden in busy locations, and don’t flash massive 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 fashionable exercise, as is shopping the outlets and exploring the town’s culinary delights.

What meals ought to I strive in Oxford?

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

Is Oxford an affordable 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 relating to meals, lodging, and transport. E book lodges and transport prematurely for one of the best costs, and journey outdoors of the height season (faculty holidays).

Is Oxford an excellent day journey?

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

In Closing

Now what to do in Oxford, one among England’s most well-known and well-loved cities. Town is bursting with historical past from the college and lots of effective archaeological museums, stunning 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 record of any traveler to the UK.

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