Discover Oxford, one of England’s most intriguing and beautiful cities. Steeped in history and home to Oxford University, the world’s most famous university, this Midlands city is a treat to visit and there are plenty of exciting attractions and beautiful buildings. The ‘city of dreaming spires’, a name given to the city by poet Matthew Arnold, is a pleasure to walk around and its pedestrian friendly streets and beautiful parks have been trodden by many famous and influential people. The city puts academia centre stage and has done so for over 900 years. Accommodation in Oxford varies from upmarket bed and breakfast accommodation to rooms suitable for any budget and you'll find a wide range of options available to you. If you're interested in renting private accommodation, Wimdu provide a good selection of offers for you in this great city.
- The first college at the University of Oxford was formed in 1249!
- At Christ Church College, the bell in the clock tower strikes 101 times at 9.05pm every evening. This was traditionally the time students were summoned to return from the city to their colleges
- Hitler was intending on using Oxford as capital if he conquered England. This intention spared the city from being bombed!
- Although the first college opened in the 13th century, it wasn’t until 1878 that women were allowed to attend the university
Where to Stay in Oxford - Accommodation, Bed and Breakfast and Rooms
Oxford is a very easy city to get around, small enough to explore on foot or by bike, so don’t be too concerned about exactly where you are staying. Wimdu offers rooms, bed and breakfast and other accommodation throughout the city, so take a look at the selection and go from there. If you are travelling as a group or a family, be sure to use the search options so you can specify if you need extra bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms, or children’s facilities.
Things to do in Oxford
Aside from the University and its many facets, Oxford has plenty to offer curious visitors to the city. Check out Carfax Tower, the last remaining part of the 13th Century St Martin’s Church. The tower still contains a ring of six bells which chime every quarter of an hour. It’s worth climbing to the top of the 23m tall tower for a view of Oxford’s skyline. The University Church of St Mary the Virgin is another of Oxford’s beautiful churches and is the largest in the area. You can also get a view from the tower which is also open to the public. The University Museum of Natural Science is one of Oxford’s best museums and contains collections of zoological, entomological and geological specimens assembled over three centuries. The museum is well laid out and the building it is housed in is also something of a marvel to behold. Also of interest in the city is the Morris Motors Museum, which has a collection of vintage cars that were built in the city by Morris who are most famous for designing and building the Mini. The Mini Factory is still located in Oxford in the Cowley area of the city.
Oxford wouldn’t be the city it is today without the university and its formidable reputation. Many of the world’s most influential people have studied at Oxford including Oscar Wilde,Richard Dawkins, Rowan Atkinson and Bill Clinton. The city is home to 22,000 students who each attend one of the university’s 30 colleges. Oxford’s first college opened in 1249 and many of the original 13th century buildings still remain around the town. A lot of the university grounds are open to the public and you can get a real feel for what it is like to study at this great seat of learning. Visit the Bodleian Library, the university’s main working library. It is located at the heart of the university and is housed in some of the city’s most spectacular buildings. The library has a fascinating history and guided tours will take you behind the scenes and into some of the oldest teaching rooms. Christchurch College will be of interest to Harry Potter fans as many scenes from the films were shot in the college. Trinity college also has beautiful architecture, a quaint chapel and stunning gardens - an air of sophistication pervades these fine buildings.If you can find bed and breakfast accommodation, or rooms near the university, you will have a lovely time
Eating and Drinking in Oxford
No trip to Oxford would be complete without a visit to the Turf Tavern pub. This 13th century ale house is a well-known drinking establishment hidden out of the way in the city centre. Finding it is not that easy, but when you do you’ll be rewarded with a cosy atmosphere, great tasting beer and traditional English food. Many English public houses used to host entertainment such as cock fighting and the Turf Tavern’s old cock fighting area has been converted into a beer garden. Oxford is full of cosy pubs that are steeped in history – we also recommend you try and hunt down The White Horse, The Eagle and Child and The Bear. Many of the city’s best restaurants and bars surround the old castle area and you’ll find the spot a good place to sample Oxford’s nightlife.
Oxford is located 60 miles northwest of London and there are good train and bus links with England’s capital. Heathrow Airport is the closest major airport to Oxford and it takes roughly an hour to travel from the airport to the city. Both Heathrow International Airport and Gatwick Airport are linked to Oxford by The Airline Coach Company and the service operates 24 hours a day. The best way to reach Oxford is by coach and they are comfortable and affordable. Getting around Oxford is straightforward – most streets in the city centre are pedestrian friendly and the centre is small enough that you can walk around it easily. Parking is expensive in Oxford as the council want to discourage traffic in the centre. If you would prefer to get around Oxford by public transport, the city has a good bus service serving all major routes. The city is very flat meaning cycling around is a pleasure – there are many bike hire shops so look out for them, or a lot of the bed and breakfast accommodation will offer bike hire as well, so check with the host of your rooms.