15 Finest Issues To Do in Oxford in 2023

Oxford is a historic metropolis in southern England famed for its prestigious college, high museums just like the Ashmolean, and lots of superb parks and open, inexperienced areas. There are many wonderful issues to do in Oxford from touring the well-known schools to strolling alongside the river and exploring 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 seek out myself within the latter because it’s not removed from the place I grew up. Nevertheless, Oxford is an unbelievable metropolis that I like to go to due to the numerous great locations to see and discover, which you’ll study under.

The town of Oxford can be a wonderful vacation spot for foodies with many superb cafes, pubs, and eating places serving up a choice of British and different cuisines from across the globe. It’s additionally a fantastic vacation spot for buying with every part 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 moreover. I like visiting town as there’s at all times a lot to see and do regardless of your tastes or funds. 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 likely 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.

Top-of-the-line issues to do in Oxford for first-time guests is to take a strolling tour of the college. Step inside a few of the oldest schools 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 a captivating perception into the inside workings of college life. This two-hour tour is the right strategy to get acquainted with town and see a few of its most iconic landmarks. Click on right here to seek out out extra and guide.

2. Go to the Ashmolean Museum

The Ashmolean Museum of Artwork and Archaeology is likely 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 top-of-the-line free issues to do in Oxford as there isn’t an entrance price.

You’ll discover displays on every part from pre-history to the fashionable day. See an historic Egyptian mummy, the go well with of a Samurai, and artifacts from throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and past. The museum is dwelling 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 guide or purchase tickets. You possibly can examine the web site to seek out out what occasions and visiting exhibitions are at the moment on. There’s an onsite restaurant serving lunch and afternoon tea (final orders 4:30 pm), and a present store.

Tackle: Beaumont Avenue, OX1 2PH

3. Take a River Cruise With Afternoon Tea

traditional English afternoon tea

A wonderful method to absorb 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 (top-of-the-line locations to remain in Oxford).

You’ll be handled to a conventional English afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, home made scones, strawberry jam, and thick, Westcountry clotted cream (I like a great cream tea, and this one is supplied by the top-rated Folly Restaurant). This is likely one of the finest issues to do in Oxford for {couples}. Click on right here to guide now.

4. Hop On and Hop Off the Sightseeing Bus

Sightseeing buses get a little bit of a nasty rep for being slightly cheesy, however they’re an effective way to get round and see a few of the high 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 Citadel, Trinity School, and lots of extra. Headphones are supplied with commentaries in a number of languages, and there are non-obligatory extras resembling a guided strolling tour accessible. Click on right here to guide.

5. See the Historic Church of St Mary

University Church of St Mary the Virgin in Oxford

The College Church of St Mary is likely 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 middle 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 guide 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.

Tackle: The Excessive Avenue, 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 dwelling 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 scent of previous books is intoxicating).

One of the crucial attention-grabbing issues concerning the Bodleian is that guests should take an oath earlier than being granted entry (as of 2017 the oath is offered in 100 totally different languages). Witnessing this spectacular, historic middle of studying is unquestionably one of many high issues to do in Oxford and could be mixed with a tour of the college. Click on right here to seek out out extra.

Tackle: Beaumont Avenue, 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 via the eyes of Harry Potter and examine life at Hogwarts to that of life at Oxford College. You’ll get to be taught concerning the historic college, absorb most of the Harry Potter filming places, and take a look at your data with a Potter-mania quiz on the finish.

This is likely one of the most enjoyable issues to do in Oxford for households and Hogwarts followers. You’ll discover out why JK Rowling recommended Oxford as the right place for filming with a visit to Turf Tavern Lane which resembles Knockturn Alley (you should definitely check out the Turf Tavern pub for a chunk to eat). Click on right here to be taught extra and guide.

8. Go Punting on the River Cherwell

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

The River Cherwell is a tributary of the Thames and runs via town and schools so that you’ll get to see most of the high Oxford points of interest at a cushty tempo. You may also head in the wrong way and punt via the attractive 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 seek out out extra.

Tackle: 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 high issues to do in Oxford is to go to the traditional fortress and jail complicated situated within the middle of 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 fortress by candlelight, and discover the austere 18th Century jail cells.

The fortress and jail host plenty 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 occurring and it’s a fantastic spot for images.

The fortress is open from 10 am to five:30 pm on weekdays and 10 am to six pm on weekends. Tickets price £17.50 for adults and £11.25 for youngsters, (you will get a reduced worth should you guide on-line as much as two days upfront). Click on right here to be taught extra.

Tackle: 44-46 Oxford Citadel, 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 anyplace on this planet. With such quite a lot of crops from across the globe, it jogs my memory of residing within the tropics. Oxford’s Botanic Backyard and Arboretum is connected to the college and is the oldest in Britain.

If you happen to’re in search of slightly day trip after sightseeing that is the right place to unwind. The backyard was based in 1621 and homes over 5,000 totally different species of crops. There’s a ravishing walled backyard which is slightly 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 price £6.30 for adults and youngsters underneath 16 go free. It’s finest to guide upfront which could be completed via the official web site. Click on right here for more information.

Tackle: 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 top-of-the-line 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 town utilizing peddle energy.

Discover the well-known college as you’re employed your method 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 houses, some treasured native pubs, and extra. You’ll additionally get to cycle as much as the gorgeous Port Meadow (see under). Click on right here to guide now.

12. Take a Spooky Oxford Ghost Tour

Find out about 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 guide Haunted Oxford by native creator Rob Walters. This is likely one of the finest issues to do in Oxford at night time for lovers of the macabre. Click on right here to seek 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 middle and is the right place for a stroll, picnic, barbecue, or perhaps a dip within the river. This is likely 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 town.

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

Tackle: Walton Effectively Highway, OX2 6ED

14. Take a Day Journey to Tub and Stonehenge

One of the crucial 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 high 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 historic engineering. The expertise lasts 9 hours and offers you loads of time to discover each websites at your leisure with return transport from Oxford included. Click on right here to guide now.

15. Discover the Gorgeous Cotswolds

Rural Cotswolds landscape on a sunny weather.

Top-of-the-line 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 few 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 one among my favourite components of the nation due to its honey-colored cottages, winding rivers and historic stone bridges, and rolling countryside that appears prefer it’s been lifted straight from a postcard. Click on right here to guide.

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 essentially the most out of your journey to this historic metropolis. These itineraries embrace 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 sooner or later to spend in Oxford you should definitely try town’s prestigious college. One of the simplest ways to do that is to take a tour and be taught concerning the historical past from one among its college students. For lunch, head to the Turf Tavern pub which has welcomed luminaries resembling 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 may see displays from Egyptian mummies to modern artwork and an entire 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 Avenue.

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 fortress and jail, and take a look at a few of the different nice eateries within the metropolis resembling 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 likely one of the finest issues to do in Oxford for {couples}.

1 Week in Oxford Itinerary

When you’ve got 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 season’s stroll, a picnic, and escaping town (it’s additionally top-of-the-line issues to do in Oxford for households). Spend time searching 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 couple of of one of the best neighborhoods in Oxford for vacationers:

panoramic view of Oxford

Metropolis Heart – Finest for First-Time Guests

The town middle 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 realm can be full of some wonderful pubs and eating places, making it a fantastic possibility for foodies too.

Courtyard by Marriot is an expensive four-star lodge proper within the metropolis middle, only some steps from the fortress and schools. The deluxe double rooms include an en-suite lavatory, backyard views, an onsite restaurant, and free WiFi all through. Click on right here to seek out out extra.

Jericho – Finest for Nightlife

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

The Previous Parsonage Resort presents four-star lodging in Jericho with most of the metropolis’s high bars inside shouting distance. Rooms include an en-suite lavatory, desk, cupboard space, and free WiFi. An outstanding full English breakfast is included. Click on right here to guide 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 middle however you’ll profit from the peace and quiet to retreat to after a day’s sightseeing. The Botanical Backyard is only a few 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 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 unbelievable vacation spot for foodies with many great cafes, pubs, and eating places dotted across the metropolis. My high 5 picks are listed under:

Tasty looking full English breakfast

No 1 Ship Avenue is an award-winning restaurant in Oxford metropolis middle. 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 made out of 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 skin gazebo, all of which supply 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 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 a substitute of the same old pub fayre, you’ll discover a luxurious menu of Thai dishes from prawn tempura to purple and inexperienced curries (I like a great Thai purple curry). All this may be washed down with a wonderful 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 way in which it’s, we’d like all of the solar we will get). The Bottomless Brunch is a wonderful 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 internationally. There are direct coaches from Heathrow to Oxford with journey instances of round an hour, and each day trains by way of 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 by way of the M40. There are additionally plenty of excursions from London that embrace Oxford in addition to different Cotswolds cities and villages. Click on right here to seek out out extra.

Getting across the metropolis middle is straightforward with all the foremost issues to see in Oxford inside strolling distance. You may also use the useful hop-on, hop-off buses, lease a bicycle, or use taxis and native buses to get farther afield. You should definitely take a ship journey or punt down the river to get round and see a few of the high Oxford points of interest.

Issues To Do in Oxford: FAQs

Listed here 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 move via its hallowed halls. The town can be well-known for its high 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 unbelievable vacation spot year-round with heaps 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 be capable to get pleasure from clearer skies.

Is Oxford value visiting?

Oxford is unquestionably value visiting as there are such a lot of great issues to see and do from exploring the traditional schools to wandering via a few of the finest museums on this planet. It’s additionally a unbelievable 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 will let you expertise all one of the best issues to see in Oxford. If you wish to discover the gorgeous Cotswolds and take day journeys to close by points of interest resembling 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 middle 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 most well-liked issues to do in Oxford. Punting on the river is one other fashionable exercise, as is searching the outlets and exploring town’s culinary delights.

What meals ought to I strive in Oxford?

Two of essentially the most well-known meals from Oxford embrace 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 town or purchase them to remove on the Coated 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 on the subject of meals, lodging, and transport. E-book resorts and transport upfront for one of the best costs, and journey outdoors of the height season (faculty holidays).

Is Oxford a great day journey?

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

In Closing

Now you realize what to do in Oxford, one among England’s most well-known and well-loved cities. The town is bursting with historical past from the college and lots of superb 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 ought to be excessive on the checklist of any traveler to the UK.

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