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What travelers to Oxford are saying

Oxford is easy to get around and is well worthwhile visiting. The Hop on Hop Off Bus is a good way to get your bearings and get a bit of history but from then on it is easy to walk around the city and explore. We took part in one of the many city...
Garry F. 3 May 2015
Got delayed in our travels so arrived late and only had a short time there so didn't get to see it at it's best. Would like to go back and have a better look.
Joe H. 24 Apr 2015

Oxford Rundown

Oxford is the UK’s oldest university city, even older than its arch rival Cambridge, and in the words of Miss Jean Brodie, home to the crème de la crème. The city is rampant with ‘Dreaming Spires’, medieval churches and golden sandstone college buildings, but as well as being a bastion of the establishment and all things traditional, Oxford is a hub of light industry and technology. The student population is big but doesn’t totally dominate the city, which is always busy with office workers and tourists.

The University of Oxford was founded in the 12th Century and boasts 40 colleges and buildings, including the famous Bodleian Library, which is just a tad smaller than the British Library, and world class museums including the Ashmmolean, the UK’s oldest public museum. You almost feel as if you know the place when you arrive, Oxford’s magnificent Gothic facades having been a feature in many films Christ Church, in particular has featured in Brideshead Revisited and the Harry Potter films. Christ’s’ college chapel is Oxford Cathedral, the smallest cathedral in the UK.

Oxford’s Top 10

10. The Oxford Playhouse is where high brow productions are staged.

5. Oxford Castle Unlocked Visit a medieval motte and bailey, and listen to grisly tales from an 11th Century crypt.

9. The New Theatre is rife with ageing rock stars and blockbuster theatrical productions.

4. Balliol College Founded in 1263 and thought to be the oldest in Oxford.

8. OK they may seem a bit naff but the City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-Off buses are a great way to take in all the sights in Oxford.

3. The Old Library Where JRR Tolkien spent hours writing Lord of the Rings. TS Eliot also hung out in this 13th Century building.

7. Have a Drink to Chief Inspector Morse at the tiny White Horse public house. It was the TV detective’s favourite haunt.

2. Magdalen College Pronounced ‘Maud-lin’ to those in the know. Now you know too.

6. Carry on up the Isis on a cruise along the Oxford part of the Thames, passing college boathouses and riverside pubs on the way.

1. The University Museum of Natural History – includes a dodo skeleton, and shrunken heads from the Caribbean! Unmissable.

Oxford Events

Eights Week features four days of racing on the Isis (as the Thames is known in Oxford). Head down to cheer on the rowers during June.

Oxford Castle Flower & Gardening Festival is free and full to the brim with workshops, demos, and floral surprises in June.

Summer Music in the Ampitheatre is a concert of classical music and chance for a picnic in the ornamental gardens at Waterperry, Oxford, in late June.

July sees the famous London to Oxford Bike Ride, a 60 mile race which takes place at the beginning of July.

Oxford Bike Week brings cycling enthusiasts galore to the city for Bikers’ breakfasts, Bike Doctor sessions and lots more, at the end of June, with various meeting places.

The Oxford Moonlight Stroll starts at St Edward’s School before heading into Oxford’s centre, taking in all the landmark attractions on the way. Takes place in July for charity.

The Cowley Road Carnival is a summer highlight in Oxford, and one of the biggest community events in the SE of England. There will be music, stalls, processions and family activities at South Park during July.

The Out to Graze Festival is a weekend of music featuring reggae, funk, D’n’B, House, Hip Hop – basically there’s something for everyone, at this Oxford July event.

Truck Festival takes place in late July at Hill Farm just outside Oxford. This is one of the best independent small festivals in the UK (now in its 134th year!). Think Woodstock meets village fete.

Oxford Castle Food & Wine Festival Celebrate what keeps us alive (well the food bit anyway) in September.

When To Go

Oxford has a mild, maritime climate throughout the year, with no real highs and lows.

Temperatures in summer range from around 10-22 °C, but there is the occasional long hot summer. In winter expect to see temperatures of 1°C with temps during a really cold spell dropping below zero.

Oxford experiences the same amount of rainfall in general, as the rest of the UK with showers a possibility any day of the year. Pack plenty of waterproofs just in case.

Getting There

London Heathrow and Gatwick are linked to Oxford by The Airline Coach Company, a service which runs 24/7. The fares are very reasonable, at just £19 for a return ticket from Heathrow.

Trains run from London Paddington every half hour at a cost of £20 one way, and journey time of an hour. Cheaper tickets can be obtained if you book well in advance.

Oxford is close to the M40 and M25 (or highway to hell if you prefer), but if you’re driving be aware that parking in Oxford is a nightmare and very expensive.

General Information

The home of the venerable University of Oxford, one of the most important academic institutions in the world, is a terrific town, with many wonderful points of interest to discover. The town of 150,000 people in South East England is less than 100 km from London but feels resolutely distinct from the vast metropolis that is the capital city. Most points of interest in Oxford center of course, on the historic university. With roots that extend back to the 10th century, the campus is peerless when it comes to vital museums, collections and pristine period architecture. Worthwhile landmarks in association with the university include the Radcliffe Camera, Ashmolean Museum, Pitt Rivers Museum and Museum of the History of Science. The heart of Oxford is the wonderful, if not diminutive, City Centre. A perfect location for pedestrians, a trip to the top of Carfax Tower for superb views of the city is a must.


  • University of Oxford
  • Carfax Tower
  • University Church of Saint Mary the Virgin
  • Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology
  • Modern Art Oxford
  • Activities

  • Oxford Folk Festival
  • The Covered Market
  • Oxford Pride
  • Oxford Literary Festival
  • Oxford Castle Ghost Fest
  • Restaurant

  • Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons
  • Luna Caprese
  • Gee’s Restaurant
  • Cherwell Boathouse Restaurant
  • Loch Fyne
  • Nightlife

  • The Bear
  • The Old Tom
  • The Eagle and Child
  • Wheatsheaf
  • The Royal Oak
  • Climate

    Oxford has a maritime temperate climate, with mild conditions throughout the year.

    • Winter (December to February) 1-7°C
    • Spring (March to May) 3-17°C
    • Summer (June to September) 10-22°C
    • Fall (October to November) 4-14°C

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    Hotels in Oxford

    Recommended hotels

    From US$227

    1 Macdonald Randolph Hotel

    4 stars
    5.0 / 5 4 reviews

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    Presenting highest level of comfort and quality service in a traditional environment, Macdonald Randolph Hotel will certainly make your stay truly a relaxing and enjoyable one. GeneralMacdonald... More

    From US$189

    2 Mercure Oxford Eastgate Hotel

    4 stars
    4.6 / 5 7 reviews

    73 High Street Map

    Rate includes up to 40% off, Breakfast and more

    Mercure Oxford Eastgate Hotel offers you all the expected facilities and comforts along with the added value of an attentive service. GeneralDuring leisure, you can explore the city and its... More

    Comfortable after long flight
    When I arrived at the hotel from the airport, Manager carried my luggage to my room. Room was clean, moderately warm and comfortable.
    26 Aug 2014

    3 The Old Bank Hotel

    4 stars
    5.0 / 5

    92-94 High Street Map

    Situated in the heart of the shopping, theatre and cultural district, Old Bank Hotel Oxford makes for an ideal base for travellers while in Oxford. This elegant boutique hotel features art... More

    4 CBH Cotswold Lodge Hotel

    4 stars
    4.0 / 5

    66a Banbury Road Map

    Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, has a wealth of architectural gems. The jewel in its crown is the world-famous University, with a history spanning some nine centuries. Cotswold Lodge is set in... More

    From US$122

    5 BEST WESTERN Linton Lodge Hotel

    3 stars
    4.6 / 5 5 reviews

    Linton Road Map

    Save 10% on your stay

    BEST WESTERN Linton Lodge Hotel Oxford prides itself by offering a friendly atmosphere and modern lodging. This property is well connected to the city attractions. GeneralBEST WESTERN Linton Lodge... More

    Great location at a good price
    We really enjoyed our stay, staff were great, hotel had a great cafe & restaurant. They didn't mind us purchasing our food in the restaurant and then taking the food to our room ourselves to reduce...
    26 Nov 2013
    From US$141

    6 Ethos Hotel Oxford

    4 stars
    3.9 / 5 7 reviews

    59 Western Road Map

    Stay 2 nights and Save 10%

    Ethos Hotel Oxford is in a quiet location, just a few minutes walk to the city centre with its historic pubs, bistros and restaurants. It also has the Thames Path National Trail, Salter's Steamers... More

    European vacation
    Our stay at the Ethos Hotel was very pleasant. The room was of a high quality and the staff were very accommodating. The location is superb, just a short walk to the centre of Oxford and some...
    4 May 2015
    From US$90

    7 Eynsham Hall

    3 stars
    4.2 / 5 12 reviews

    Park Road, North Leigh Map

    Eynsham Hall Hotel Oxford is designed for ultimate comfort and relaxation and is the ideal place for an enjoyable as well as a memorable holiday. GeneralEynsham Hall Hotel Oxford has a conference... More

    OK stay for the price paid
    Character property, but needs updating. Room with no air conditioning in summer is not very pleasant at all! The room is not exactly spacious for a couple with 2 large luggages!
    4 Sep 2015
    From US$121

    8 Holiday Inn OXFORD

    3 stars
    4.5 / 5 2 reviews

    Peartree Roundabout,Woodstock Road Map

    This property provides all the modern comforts and facilities that is needed for a wonderful and relaxing vacation. GeneralThe hotel also provides conference facilities for those guests travelling... More

    From US$121

    9 Oxford Hotel - The Hotel Collection

    4 stars
    3.6 / 5 5 reviews

    Godstow Road Map

    Offering host of amenities, Oxford Hotel Puma Hotels Collection is a perfect venue for a pleasant as well as relaxing stay. GeneralThe hotel provides a well-equipped conference centre with all the... More

    Fabulous one night stay
    We came to Oxford for the University Open Day and stayed for B&B. Room was spacious, clean ,beds comfy, breakfast delicious and staff helpful AND BEST OF ALL AIR CONDITIONING IN THE ROOM.
    7 Jul 2015
    From US$87

    10 Holiday Inn Express OXFORD - KASSAM STADIUM

    3 stars
    4.1 / 5 8 reviews

    Grenoble Road Map

    This property with quality accommodation is an ideal place for a peaceful and relaxing stay. GeneralBusiness travellers can avail the conference facilities for organising their commercial meetings... More

    Overnight stop on our UK Trip
    This was a one-night stop on our journey around the UK. The room was clean and comfortable, although there was only one chair so one person had to sit on the bed. The hotel is on the outskirts of...
    25 Apr 2015
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