Oxford is famed for its fantastic wealth of history from its University but you do not need to be Einstein to realise behind all the text books and PHD students there is a great city to match. The quality of the University speaks for itself but with stunning architecture and rich depth of history the city has it all. There's plenty to explore within city limits but venturing to surrounding neighbourhoods will yield plenty of surprising finds. The city a little like nearby neighbours Cambridge offers a slightly quieter experience, still with a lot of choice for daytime activities.
Only 50 miles from London on the M40 (optimistically, a 50 minute drive), it's best to leave the car at the hotel and walk around Oxford's narrow city-centre streets. If you fancy setting out on a bicycle – the mode of transport most favoured by Oxfordites – keep in mind dedicated bike lanes are sporadic. On the plus side, most trains allow bicycles onboard for free. Buses operate out of hubs at the rail station and St Aldates; a £6 Plus Pass allows unlimited travel for 24 hours.
Must see/ Must do:
• Punt with friends along the River Cherwell
• Sight-see at some of the 38 colleges that make up the University of Oxford
• Take a guided walking tour of notable city locations.
• Hunt bargains at the Covered Market
• Shop for souvenirs at the official University of Oxford shop.
• Eat ice-cream from Oxford institution G&D's.
History and Culture:
The city of Oxford never really mentioned without the University. The University dripping in history of academic brilliance, to name a few, Tony Blair, Stephen Hawking and JPR Tolkein, but the list goes on. Founded in the 12th Century, Oxford is the oldest English-speaking University. The architecture and the 38 colleges that make up the University are worth the trip alone, passionately preserved. The city is a bustling student community that like to work hard and some students would argue play harder….
The students in Oxford create a real buzz in the city. Apart from the famous Oxford University you have Oxford Brookes University who from experience certainly aren’t shy to socialise. The nightlife scene is geared toward students with some venues operating a student only policy. However, there is a large selection of pubs and clubs that will wet your appetite to start sinking the libations and start warming up those talked about dancing shoes. Venues include the Bridge and Lava & Ignite. For the quieter groups a few quality ales in the many old styled pubs may be just the trick……
Eating & Drinking
The food in Oxford is mostly pub grub and student fare, there are a few culinary stand outs that will prove to tickle your taste buds and line those stomachs. The Mitre is a 750 year-old pub that serves good food at affordable prices. Take a tour of nearby Hook Norton Brewery – one of a diminishing few family-run breweries left. Or for something really special, make a booking for the two Michelin star Le Manoir au Quat'Saisons in neighbouring Great Milton.
The main sporting events of the year are the Oxford vs. Cambridge matches. These occur over a number of sports and raise the normally reserved and educated locals to beer guzzling followers of the cause. A large contingent usually make the trip up to Twickenham to watch the rugby match that is a great excuse to try and get one over on the old foe Oxford something that if combined with a Stag do could work extremely well!