Oxford is a privileged place, one of the world’s most famous university towns - it’s steeped in history, studded with august buildings and yet maintains the feel of a young town, thanks to its large student population. The elegant honey-coloured buildings of the 39 colleges that make up the university wrap around tranquil courtyards along narrow cobbled lanes, and inside their grounds, a studious calm reigns. Just as in Cambridge, the existence of ‘town’ beside ‘gown’ makes it more than simply a bookish place of learning.
The city is a wonderful place to ramble: the oldest colleges date back almost 750 years, and little has changed inside the hallowed walls since then. But along with the rich history, tradition and lively academic life, there is a whole other world beyond the college walls. Oxford has a long industrial past and the working majority still outnumber the academic elite.
The university buildings are scattered throughout the city, with the most important and architecturally significant in the centre. Jericho, in the northwest, is the trendy, artsy end of town, with slick bars, restaurants and an art-house cinema, as well as the wonderfully tranquil Port Meadow, while Cowley Rd, southeast of Carfax, is the gritty, ethnically diverse area packed with cheap places to eat and drink. Further out, in the salubrious northern suburb of Summertown, you’ll find more upmarket restaurants and bars.
Best places to stay in Oxford
England - Oxford, Cotswolds & Around (Chapter)
Dotted with gorgeous little villages, this part of the country is as close to the old-world English idyll as you'll get. It's a haven of lush rolling hills, historic colleges, rose-clad cottages, graceful stone churches, thatched roofs, cream teas and antique shops.
Ten of England's oddest sights
England: seat of the royals, replete with cream teas and pastures green? Not quite. When you venture beyond England’s noble heritage and classic sights, there’s a motley crew of eccentric, unexpected and even raunchy attractions - if you know where to look.
Great Britain - Oxford, Cotswolds & Around (Chapter)
Dotted with gorgeous little villages, this part of the country is as close to the old-world English idyll as you'll get. It's a haven of lush rolling hills, historic colleges, rose-clad cottages, graceful stone churches, thatched roofs and splendid architecture.
Oxford destination guides
While Cambridge, England, has produced an astounding number of Nobel Prize winners, Oxford’s contribution to the literary world – particularly to that of fantasy and children’s literature – is unparalleled, with many of the city’s historic landmarks and streets playing a role in the lives of writers like JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, .
Oxford, Cotswolds, Stratford-on-Avon and Warwick Castle Day Trip from London
A region officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty can’t possibly be a bad place to spend a day. On this 10-hour day trip from London, you’ll visit this so-named English area, the Cotswolds, as well as Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick Castle.
Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and Oxford Custom Day Trip
Travel to Windsor, Stonehenge and Oxford. Our custom day trip guarantees unbeatable low prices, deluxe coaches, experienced guides and the flexibility to add walking tours or entrance tickets along the way.
Old school: Europe’s historic college towns
Ah, those halcyon student days. Picture cafes buzzing far past midnight with wine-fueled debates on the nature of love and mortality. Ancient libraries rich with the scent of arcane knowledge.