fbpx

Our city guide to Oxford

Originally a small town of Saxon England, Oxford grew in size and importance throughout the middle ages and even acted as England’s de facto capital for Charles I during the civil war of the 17th century. It was however as far back as the 12th century that Oxford gained its prestige with the arrival of Parisian religious scholars who established their colleges here. It is these same colleges which evolved over the centuries to create the Oxford that we see today.

Modern Oxford is small and picturesque city, brimming with charm and delighting in an ambience of laid-back academia and thoughtfulness that is hard to find elsewhere in the UK (apart from perhaps in its long term rival, Cambridge). Aesthetically the city is particularly pretty; nestling between the rivers Thames and Cherwell and with a tangle of cobbled streets and squares, surrounded by the historic ivy-clad college quadrangles which overlook perfectly manicured lawns. Much of the architecture and monuments which dot the city date back more than 600 years and the relaxed pace of the city make it all the easier to enjoy. With punting boats bobbing on the Thames and much of the local student population choosing to get around by bicycle you’ll soon slip right in to the peaceful, wistful rhythm.

The main attraction in Oxford is the university itself, a collection of 36 honey-coloured colleges each with their own distinctive architectural features, leaded windows, cloisters, spires, gargoyles and turrets as well as their own chapels and cathedrals. Not to be missed are Christchurch College, Magdalen (pronounced “Maudlen”) college and Merton College though it should be noted that during examination periods public access to the colleges can be limited – after all this is where 13 British Prime Ministers have studied and where the next one may be now. Aside from the colleges there is still much to explore; the Ashmolean Museum offers an excellent collection of antiques, archaeological finds and fine arts whilst Carfax Tower provides the best views over the distinctive skyline of the city and the vibrant student population ensures that there is a healthy shopping and culture and surprisingly varied nightlife in this sleepy city.

When you experience Oxford, however, it remains easy to see how this elegant city helped to inspire some of England’s great works of literature and in particular fantasy tales such as Alice Wonderland, The Lord of the Rings and The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, after Lewis Carol, Tolkien and CS Lewis were all former scholars and dons here. Oxford continues to play a role in modern works with Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse mysteries set against the backdrop of the city and with parts of the university appearing as parts of Hogwarts Castle in the hugely popular Harry Potter series (most notably the Bodleian Library and the Tudor Hall in Christchurch College).

Oxford is surrounded by rolling countryside with the scenic Cotswolds region to the West. Around twenty minutes from the city you find the village of Woodstock which is home to the glorious baroque mansion of Blenheim Palace which was Churchill’s childhood and is set within 2000 acres of stunning parkland – well worth a visit. And around forty minutes South West of the city you can see the stunning Uffington White Horse etched in to the chalk hillside.

A medieval city of elegant beauty and a romantic ambience, Oxford remains as significant in England today as it ever has been.

Related Guides


Warning: Use of undefined constant prod_cat_popular_location - assumed 'prod_cat_popular_location' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/greatb39/adeotravel.com/wp-content/themes/entrada-child/taxonomy-holiday_type.php on line 58

Relevant Tours

Britain Tours - Lake District

A Northern England Coach Tour - Experience iconic English cities and landscapes along with lesser known gems on this journey from London to the beautiful North of England. Discover the contrasts of England's historic cities such as Liverpool, Cambridge and York with the beautiful and remote countryside of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. Your journey includes a host of unique experiences including historic steam-train rides, lake cruises and sampling traditional food and drink. The North of England is a region waiting to be discovered.

  New for 2021  
Tours England - York

Private Tour of the Cotswolds - Discover quintessential England on an exclusive private tour of the historic cities and rolling landscapes of the Cotswolds. Travelling in the company of your local driver, you'll experience the contrasts of this region from the iconic Stonehenge and elegant city of Bath to the countryside life of rural England. Your private driver will share their local knowledge and take you to see the hidden gems of the Cotswolds before inviting you to enjoy a unique experience at a traditional working farm in the heart of the region. Your exclusive overnight hotels will boast both character and quality, the ideal spaces in which to relax after a day touring in the classic Cotswolds.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours of England - Bath

A Castle Tour of England - Enjoy the history and grandeur of an ancient land on this tour of England. By day you'll explore castle ruins, opulent manor houses, historic sites, stunning landscapes and England’s cultural jewels such as Oxford, Stratford, Chester, York and Bath whilst by night you'll live like royalty as you experience historic and characterful castle hotels and country manor house accommodation!

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours of England - Bath

A Cotswolds Small Group Tour - Heart of England takes you on a journey through one of Britain’s most iconic and traditional regions, encompassing Oxford, Stratford-upon Avon, Bath and the Cotswolds. On your five day trip we’ll experience Oxford’s dreaming Spires, visit enchanting film locations, explore honey-coloured Cotswold villages, ancient abbeys and stately homes not to mention the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath.

  Improved Itinerary  
England Tours - Cotswolds

Classic Britain Driving Tour - a snapshot of the countryside and historic cities of England, Scotland and Wales. Enjoy the rolling hills and thatch villages of the Cotswolds to the towering mountains and fortresses of North Wales. Pass through the lakes and dales of the English Lake District and the rolling hills of the Scottish Lowlands and Yorkshire Dales. Historic cities to explore on route include Regency Bath, Medieval York, and the capital cities of Edinburgh and London.

  Improved Itinerary  
England Tours of Oxford

A Great Britain driving tour - experience all that is great about Britain on the ultimate tour of England, Scotland and Wales. See it all, from the thriving capital cities of London, Edinburgh and Cardiff to the remote Scottish Highlands, tranquil Lake District an d spectacular Snowdonia National Park. Along the way you’ll experience diverse cultures and histories and see world-famous landmarks including Stonehenge, the Roman Baths, Cardiff Castle, the Cotswolds, Hadrian’s Wall, Loch Ness and Edinburgh Castle.

Tours of England - Bath

A Comprehensive England Coach Tour - Explore England's unrivalled history, heritage and natural beauty on the Taste of England Tour. Combining the Best of Southern and Northern England tours, this journey of discovery takes you from England's South Coast to the remote and rustic landscapes of the North of England. On our journey we'll visit some of England's greatest historic cities such as Bath, Oxford, Cambridge and York and pass through areas of outstanding natural beauty including the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Moors and the English Lake District. On route, we'll not only visit ancient castles and stately homes but will also engage with local traditions and culture enjoying historic rail journeys, lake cruises, and sampling regional food and drink. The perfect tour to gain a true flavour of England.

  New for 2021  
Tours of Wales - Brecon Beacons

A Small Group Wales Tour - join us on a six-day journey of discovery as we explore the history, heritage and natural beauty of the small but fascinating nation of Wales. During this small group tour of Wales from London you'll experience a host of magnificent landscapes and vistas including the rolling green hills of the Wye Valley, the barren moorlands of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the striking mountains of Snowdonia and wild seascapes of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Along the way you'll spot ancient castle ruins, hear local legends and see the contrasting "cities" of tiny village of St Davids and the cosmopolitan capital city of Cardiff. The Best of Wales is a magical tour of an enchanting nation.

  New for 2021  
Tours of Wales - Brecon Beacons

Enjoy an England and Wales driving tour to experience the contrasts of two distinct British cultures on this in-depth tour of two of Britain's intriguing nations.  Enjoy the contrasting vistas of the patchwork fields of the Cotswolds, the rustic Yorkshire Dales, the mountains of Snowdonia and the coastlines of the Pembrokeshire National Park. Not to mention icons of English and Welsh history at Conwy Castle, York Minster, Shakespeare’s Stratford, Cardiff Castle and Stonehenge.

  New for 2021  

Rail Tour of Britain – Travel by train on this rail adventure through Britain touching the highlights of England, Scotland and Wales. Visit the elegant historic cities of York, Bath and Chester and enjoy scenic rail journeys through the rolling hills of the English Lake District, the Scottish Lowlands and the Welsh border Marches. Your trip is rounded off with stays in no fewer than three capital cities in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff and includes selected day-tours to reach more rural sites such as the Cotswolds and Stonehenge.

  New for 2021  
England Tours of Oxford

A Rail Tour of England – Experience the highlights of England on this concise but attraction packed tour as you traverse the comprehensive English rail network. Enjoy overnight stays in some of England’s best-known heritage cities including Bath, Oxford and York to see iconic sites such as ancient Roman Baths, medieval university colleges and towering cathedrals.  You’ll also experience England’s quintessential countryside as included small-group tours take you in to the heart of the Cotswolds villages and Lake District National Park.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours of London - Tower Bridge

A Small Group Tour of Britain - This Tour takes you from London to Edinburgh providing the full British history and culture experience along the way. Experience the natural beauty of the Cotswolds, Wales’ stunning Snowdonia National Park and the Lake District in between visiting cultural highlights such as Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, the Beatles’ Liverpool and medieval York. Your tour ends in the Scottish capital after a journey through the rolling landscapes of the lowlands.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tour of York England

An England Rail Tour – Make use of England’s extensive and far-reaching rail network to explore the corners of this great nation.  From the capital city of London your journey will take you to England’s farthest reaches in on the Cornish Peninsula and the Lake District. Along the way you’ll visit a host of heritage cites including Plymouth, Bath, Oxford, Chester and York. You’ll take in scenic rail rides along the Cornish Coast and over the Yorkshire Dales and enjoy small-group day tours to reach those less accessible spots including Stonehenge, the Cotswolds and the dramatic scenery of the Lake District.

England Tours - Stonehenge

Discover quintessential England as you explore the patchwork countryside of the Cotswolds and some of England’s most captivating historic cities. Delight in the whimsical academia of Oxford, Shakespeare’s Stratford and the grandeur of the Georgian City of Bath not to mention a host of lesser-known gems such as the eccentrically named Cotswold villages of Castle Combe, Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold and Broadway.

Tours of the Heart of England - Warwick Castle

A Cotswolds Rail Tour – Use England’s rail network to explore the historic towns and quintessential countryside of the heart of England. From the Regency streets of Bath and the medieval colleges of Oxford to the Elizabethan streets of Stratford-upon-Avon, this region is brimming with English history and heritage. You’ll also enjoy day-tours to the rolling hills and chocolate-box cottages of the Cotswolds countryside and over the Wiltshire plains to Stonehenge.

  New for 2021  
Britain Tours - Lake District

A small group tour of England – England’s Rustic Charm is a leisurely tour exploring the highlights of central and Northern England. Departing the elegant city of Bath you’ll enjoy a journey through the rolling hills and honey-coloured villages of the Cotswolds to the ruggedly beautiful landscapes of the English Lake District and Yorkshire Dales. Along the way we’ll visit the dreaming spires of Oxford, the Tudor streets of Stratford-upon-Avon and spend two nights in the medieval city of York. A leisurely journey that will no doubt leave your enchanted by England’s traditional charm.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours England - York

An England driving tour - England Explorer is a comprehensive tour of this great nation taking you from the heart of England to its far-reaching corners including the beautiful Lake District and the coastlines of Cornwall. You’ll experience classic English countryside including the Cotswolds and Yorkshire Dales and a host of historic cities including York, Chester and Bath not to mention a couple of nights in the vibrant English capital city, London.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tour of York England

A Britain Rail Tour – Experience the cities and landscapes of two great nations on this rail journey of discovery through England and Scotland.  Travelling from vibrant London in the South to romantic Edinburgh in the North and back again your itinerary will take you through the historic cities of Oxford, Glasgow and York. Along the way you’ll experience scenic rail-rides through the rolling British countryside and enjoy hand-picked day tours to reach the rural sites and villages of the Cotswolds, the Lake District and Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park.

England Tours - Lake District

English Pub Tour – Is there anything more quintessentially English than a country pub or coaching inn? Our country pubs of England tour offers the opportunity to tour the scenic and historic destinations of this nations whilst overnighting in traditional pubs and inns sure to offer a warm welcome, homely feel and good “pub grub” food and drink.  Your journey will take you through the rolling fields of Cambridgeshire to York, over the Dales of Lake District to patchwork countryside of the Cotswolds.

Contact us