30 Fun Things to Do in Oxford, England

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30 Fun Things to Do in Oxford, England

Oxford, fondly known as the “City of Dreaming Spires” because of its magnificent skyline of Gothic towers and steeples, is a city steeped in history, academia, and culture. Beyond the world-famous University of Oxford, this city offers a myriad of activities that can delight and inspire visitors. Here are 30 fun things you can do in Oxford:

Visit the Bodleian Library: One of the oldest libraries in Europe, the Bodleian houses more than 12 million printed items. Don’t forget to see the Divinity School’s stunning vaulted ceiling.

Punt on the River Cherwell: Similar to Venice’s gondolas, punting is an Oxford tradition. Rent a punt and glide under the city’s bridges.

Explore the Ashmolean Museum: The world’s first university museum, it showcases an eclectic collection from Egyptian mummies to contemporary artworks.

Walk around Radcliffe Square: At its center stands the iconic Radcliffe Camera, an 18th-century masterpiece of English Palladian architecture.

Shop at the Covered Market: Opened in 1774, this historic market offers a diverse blend of food, crafts, and boutique shops.

Climb St. Mary’s Tower: For a small fee, ascend the University Church’s tower for a panoramic view of the Oxford skyline.

Dine at The Turf Tavern: Hidden down a winding alley, this historic pub has seen the likes of Bill Clinton and Stephen Hawking.

Tour the Oxford Castle & Prison: Delve into 1,000 years of Oxford’s history with a guided tour of its ancient castle and prison.

Visit the Oxford Botanic Garden: The oldest botanic garden in Great Britain, it’s a verdant oasis with more than 6,000 plant species.

Attend a Lecture: Oxford offers numerous public lectures. Check the university’s schedule and immerse yourself in its academic environment.

Stroll Through Port Meadow: This ancient grazing land along the River Thames has remained unchanged for centuries and offers picturesque views and walking trails.

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Marvel at the Pitt Rivers Museum: With a collection of over 500,000 archaeological and anthropological artifacts, it’s a window into global cultures.

Visit Blackwell’s Bookshop: Founded in 1879, this iconic store claims the largest single room devoted to book sales in Europe: the Norrington Room.

Experience an Oxford University Walking Tour: Discover the university’s history, traditions, and famous alumni.

Cycle around the City: Rent a bike and explore the city’s streets, alleys, and parks.

Visit the Museum of the History of Science: Home to an impressive collection, including Einstein’s blackboard and early experimental instruments.

Join a Ghost Tour: Dive into Oxford’s spooky past with tales of ghosts, witches, and haunted places.

Enjoy a Play at the Oxford Playhouse: From classic to contemporary, this theater offers a wide variety of performances.

Attend Evensong at Christ Church Cathedral: Experience the serene beauty of choral music in this historic setting.

Sip a Cocktail at the Duke of Cambridge: This trendy spot mixes old-school charm with modern mixology.

Visit Modern Art Oxford: An ever-changing array of contemporary art exhibitions awaits in this dynamic space.

Explore the Sheldonian Theatre: Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, this theatre has hosted ceremonies and concerts since 1669.

Discover Little Clarendon Street: This lively street is packed with boutiques, cafes, and restaurants.

Relax at University Parks: 70 acres of beautiful parkland that offers a reprieve from the bustling city.

Take a Literary Tour: Discover the haunts of famous authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Philip Pullman.

Experience a Traditional Afternoon Tea: Try The Randolph or The Old Parsonage for this classic British indulgence.

Stargaze at the University of Oxford’s Observatory: Attend one of the public openings and gaze into the cosmos.

Join a Film Screening at the Ultimate Picture Palace: Oxford’s oldest cinema, it showcases both mainstream and independent films.

Delight in the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Trail: Follow in the footsteps of Alice and Lewis Carroll and discover the places that inspired the classic tale.

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Wander around the Iffley Village: Just a short walk from the city center, this quaint village offers a glimpse of old-world England with its Norman Church and traditional pubs.

From historic landmarks and museums to parks, theaters, and eateries, Oxford seamlessly blends the ancient with the modern. No matter your interests, this illustrious city promises a memorable experience.

Explore Blenheim Palace: A short distance from Oxford, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Its stunning architecture, vast gardens, and intriguing history make it a must-visit.

Visit The Eagle and Child Pub: Also known as “The Bird and Baby”, this pub was a regular meeting spot for the Inklings, a group of writers including J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.

Attend the Oxford Literary Festival: Every year, prominent authors, poets, and thinkers gather here to discuss, debate, and celebrate the written word.

Explore Turl Street: Located in the heart of the city, this street is home to three of the oldest colleges in Oxford: Exeter, Jesus, and Lincoln.

Take a Canal Walk: Oxford’s waterways offer a serene and picturesque backdrop. Stroll along the Oxford Canal and enjoy the tranquil ambiance.

Dive into the Story Museum: This innovative museum offers a journey through children’s literature, celebrating the power of storytelling in all its forms.

Go Antique Hunting: The city has various antique shops and markets where you can find unique and historic pieces.

Taste Local Delicacies at Gloucester Green Market: Operating since the 18th century, this market offers fresh produce, food stalls, and local crafts every week.

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Discover Mathematical Bridge: Although not in Oxford (it’s in Cambridge), it’s often mistakenly attributed to Oxford. This iconic bridge has an intriguing legend attached to it.

Join a Morse, Lewis, and Endeavour Tour: Fans of these detective dramas can walk in the footsteps of their favorite characters, visiting filming locations throughout the city.

Visit The Museum of Oxford: Dive deep into the history of the city, from ancient times to the modern age.

Attend a Show at The New Theatre: Whether it’s a musical, ballet, or comedy show, there’s always something happening at this venue.

Sample Craft Beers at Tap Social Movement: A brewery with a social conscience, it offers job training for people serving prison sentences.

Wander Through Holywell Cemetery: A peaceful spot, it’s the resting place of many notable figures and offers a moment of reflection.

Participate in a Workshop at The Oxford Artisan Distillery: Learn about the art of distillation and sample some exquisite spirits.

Revel in May Morning Festivities: An age-old tradition, join the revelers on the 1st of May to welcome spring with song, dance, and merriment.

Attend a Gig at The Jericho Tavern: A historic venue that has seen the early performances of bands like Radiohead.

Discover the Harcourt Arboretum: Managed by the University, this place offers 130 acres of trees, flowers, and exotic plants.

Hop on a Thames River Cruise: Enjoy the picturesque views of the countryside and the city from the comfort of a boat.

Experience the Festival of Light: A magical event held annually, Oxford’s streets and buildings come alive with illuminations, art installations, and performances.

In essence, Oxford is a mesmerizing blend of history, culture, academia, and natural beauty. With so much to offer, every visitor, whether a history buff, a nature lover, a foodie, or an art aficionado, will find something to cherish in this legendary city.