Just reading the word Oxford conjures up images of Gothic buildings, rowing on the Thames River, Punting on the Cherwell, Students with colourful scarfs riding bicycles down cobbled stoned streets etc. etc. Back in the Second World War Oxford was spared the ravages of bombing raids and so boasts to be one of the best examples of dramatic architecture in England. History oozes out of the walls and gardens of the 44 colleges, Chapels and stores that fill the centre of the City. Buskers play music on many a corner alongside performers of all kinds as future leaders learn their trade attending lectures from professors who wouldn’t look out of place in a Harry Potter story.
Visiting Oxford could not be easier. You can choose coach travel from London and back leaving every ten minutes or, you can catch a train from Paddington Station which whisks you through beautiful countryside with river views.
Coach travel : http://www.oxfordtube.com/londontube.aspx
Train : http://www.thetrainline.com/
What to do in Oxford
Every day the city is buzzing with activity. There are many things one can do to fill the day. If you wish to walk about the place you’re in for a treat. The River Thames slices through Oxford just behind Christchurch College and its Meadow. The colleges practice rowing on this stretch of the Thames and in spring and summer the banks are lined with geese, ducks and swans. You can rent out a punt on the river Cherwell or go on a Thames cruise; you can have a picnic, feed the ducks and take some photographs too. Whatever you fancy there’s something for everyone.
The Covered Market
The English weather can be unpredictable. Oxford has a few attractions that are ideal on a rainy day. The covered Market is full of small shops and businesses. Grab a coffee, eat the best pies in the land at Pie and Mash, browse at souvenirs, visit a charity shop or just wander about in the dry and take in all the sounds, smells and aromas of a typical British Market.
Oxford has a wonderful museum or two which are definitely worth a visit. The Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers museums are fantastic and a must on any visitors list if it’s raining. The New Theatre by the bus station has daily shows that are well worth seeing and the galleries dotted all over the place invite the curious to feast their eyes on names like Picasso or Dali.
The Oxford Canal
The Oxford canal runs for miles out of town and makes for a pleasant bit of exercise after a big lunch. Along its banks you can gaze at colourful narrow boats or go for a cycle ride. Many a folk enjoy sitting by a lock and watching the world go by. You may bump in to an art student painting a scene or a fisherman patiently waiting for a bite on his line.
The White Horse Pub
Pubs are part of the British Culture and many in Oxford are very old with interesting histories. Real ale drinkers will enjoy a few pints in Oxford. Try out the White Rabbit by Gloucester Green or The Lamb and Flag, 12 St Giles’. If you want a real quaint pub that attracts tourists try The White Horse, 52 Broad St. This famous pub is in the centre of town surrounded by college buildings and picturesque shops.
It’s a sunny day in mid-summer and you wish to see as much as you can in comfort and style. Why not take an open topped bus tour around the City. Tickets are easy to purchase. Alternatively you can find a guide hanging out on one of the tourist streets and do it all on foot for only a few pounds sterling.
If you have your own transport why not go for a drive around the Oxfordshire County. It is full of chocolate box villages and pubs where you can stop for a while and relax. There are many attractions to stumble upon too. Hidden away you can find fabulous restaurants and manor houses with gardens to visit and enjoy. If you really like gardens then visit the Botanical Gardens in the city.
For the younger traveller
Oxford has a few good music venues. Catch a pub band down most streets at the weekend or book tickets at The O2 on Cowley Rd to see some bigger names. Cowley Rd caters for students and locals so you can find all kinds of food, drink and entertainment there at reasonable prices. Buses run up and down this road all day. It’s easy to walk to but it’s also easy to catch the bus. Presently Oxford buses sell a 24hr ticket for just £4. You can travel on as many buses as you like within the ring road within the time stated. Bargain! If you fancy a bit of ice skating Oxford has a rink near the train station. Check it out.
Oxford has all types of accommodation. Go online and check out Bed and breakfast at a guest house, a stay at a small hotel or even luxury rooms in an exclusive Hotel. If you like something different then try a night at oxford prison, now a splendid hotel for around £100 a night. Remember it’s only a short journey to London so you may choose to stay in the capitol and visit for a day.