The only real sights to see in Oxford’s southeastern quarter are the green spaces to either side of Magdalen Bridge – the Botanic Garden to the south, and Magdalen College and its magnificent riverside meadows to the north. Venturing beyond the river, along Cowley or Iffley Rds, will offer you a taste of ordinary Oxford life, but there are no visitor attractions.
Southeast Oxford is a major residential district, with a lot of student housing. The only area that holds much visitor accommodation, however, is along Iffley Rd, where a number of fine old homes have been converted into B&Bs, often charging very reasonable rates. With abundant and generally inexpensive restaurants nearby, plentiful pubs and nightlife, and fast bus connections into the centre, basing yourself here is an attractive option. If you’ve come to Oxford by train, though, it’s a long way from the station.
Cowley Rd has long been famous, among students especially, as Oxford’s go-to destination for good, cheap meals. Those parts of Cowley and St Clement’s roads that lie closest to Magdalen Bridge and the city centre are lined with great-value restaurants. All the major world cuisines are present, along with some you may have never tried or even heard of. Slightly further afield, around a mile out of town, there are also some excellent options on and just off Iffley Rd.
Drinking & Nightlife
The nexus of streets immediately southeast of the centre, across Magdalen Bridge, and Cowley Rd in particular, form the liveliest nightlife district in Oxford. Students throng the various bars and pubs along here, flitting from venue to venue as the night progresses. There are also some fine pubs along Iffley Rd.
Southeast Oxford, being one of Oxford’s principal residential neighbourhoods, holds plenty of shops for locals. There’s a cluster of supermarkets and other typical high-street stores roughly half a mile along Cowley Rd from Magdalen Bridge, for example. There’s no reason for visitors to come shopping here, however.