Things to see and do in the historic City of Oxford

The City of Oxford is probably most famous for its prestigious university named after the city and split across 38 colleges. Visitors to the city can enjoy a guided walking tour to learn more about the colleges that inspired the city’s nickname ‘City of Dreaming Spires’. Harry Potter fans may well recognise the oldest and largest college – Christ Church – which served as a filming location in several of the movies and its Great Hall inspired the Great Hall of Hogwarts.

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Another family friendly destination is the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Not only is the Victorian Gothic architecture of the building interesting in itself, but with over five million exhibits, including a towering T-rex skeleton, this is a great place to while away an entire day.

If you’re looking for a slightly more energetic activity then you can choose cycling the length and breadth of the city or punting down the River Thames on a barque. From the dual cycle routes in and around the city you can take off for a whole day in the saddle taking in the stunning scenery of the surrounding towns and villages.

Back in the city centre, on foot, the Westgate Shopping Centre is home to many well-known retail brands including John Lewis! During a day packed with retail therapy you can also stop off to refuel in one of the many restaurants, cafes and bars spread over 3 floors. Definitely worth a visit is the stunning Roof Terrace where, weather permitting, you can enjoy a spot of al fresco dining.

If you’re a bit of a foodie, then you will love Oxford’s ever changing selection of street food vendors. The city also hosts an eclectic mix of outstanding restaurants serving food from around the world. From Oli’s Thai (Tip: book weeks in advance) to tapas at Sunday Times favourite Arbequina, to social enterprise Turl Street Kitchen and Mediterranean grills on the terrace of Gee’s, Oxford is most definitely food heaven!

By day, the city has so much to do with walking tours, kid friendly museums and shops a plenty. However, by night, the pubs and bars come alive and visitors can enjoy everything from the prime drinking spot of The Trout Inn on the River Thames to the full stocked bar at Angel’s Cocktail Bar. Oxford’s oldest surviving pub is The Bear Inn and it can be traced back as early as 1242. The Walls of this proud Oxford drinking hole are adorned with tie snippets from the sporting teams, colleges and university clubs as well as the many global visitors who are always keen to add to the collection.

Located in the old Frank Cooper jam & marmalade factory you will find a contemporary restaurant, bar and art gallery dedicated to supporting local artists. Over in the trendy Jericho area of the city, The Old Bookbinders has long been a destination for visitors looking to take to the stage at one of their open mic nights.