Located towards the northwest of London, Oxford is the second most popular city in the United Kingdom. The city is known for its medieval streets, ivy-covered stone buildings, and ancient libraries & churches. These attractions draw tourists from different parts of the world.
Besides exploring numerous city attractions, there are various things you can do while you are in this beautiful city. So, if you have plans to visit Oxford, here are some of the things you should see and do.
Pitt Rivers Museum
At Pitt Rivers Museum, located towards the east of Oxford University Museum of Natural History, you can see a rich collection of anthropological and archaeological exhibits. Spread over three floors, you have the opportunity of a lifetime to explore embellished moccasins, African pottery, Hawaiian feather cloaks, Japanese Noh Masks, and much more.
The museum also has a wide collection of fascinating artifacts, weapons, various miracles of craftsmanship, equipment, and instruments. It is amazing to see how so much stuff has been crammed into the museum, and you will have to spend several hours to explore the vast collection – but you will surely it.
Built in 1667 and designed by Christopher Wren, Sheldonian Theatre is undoubtedly an architectural marvel. The theatre, named after the chancellor of the university at that time, Gilbert Sheldon, has a total sitting capacity of 950 people, and it is also the ceremonial hall of the University of Oxford – a place where the students matriculate and graduate. The moment you enter the theatre, you will be impressed by the painting by Robert Streater.
Reaching the eight-sided cupola, you get to enjoy a panoramic view of Oxford. The design of the theatre was inspired by the Roman Theatre and it features a geometrical flat floor made up of wooden beams and is known for its long-term solidity. The theatre still holds various concerts and it is also used for college ceremonies.
Christ Church Picture Gallery
Oxford University is known to possess a wide collection of Old Master paintings and drawings, held at Christ Church Picture Gallery. The picture gallery is known to have an impressive collection of 300 paintings and 200 drawings. You get to see paintings from some of the major names like Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Durer, Veronese, Tintoretto, Michelangelo, Rubens, and Raphael.
The displays here usually change every three months so that the tourists get to see all of the collections over time. Here, you also get to see a rich collection of Italian art (from the 14th to the 18th century). The Italian panel paintings were a gift from W.H.T. Fox-Strangways.
Shop ‘Til You Drop at Oxford
If you want to enjoy shopping, the city has two malls (Westgate Centre and The Clarendon). You can also explore Queen Street and Cornmarket from where you can purchase jewellery, electrical goods, and the most up-to-date trends in fashion. If you are looking for some high-end boutiques and antique shops, then you need to visit High Street.
Moving from the showrooms towards markets, the 18th century Covered Market is worth visiting, and you can easily access it from High Street. Mark Street and Golden Cross are the traditional suppliers here, and you can purchase a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you are eyeing deep nourishment for the body, then you need to head towards Magdalen Road. You will find a wide variety of spas here including Isis Hair and Day Spa, Thy Spa, Ice Hair & Spa, and Victoria Nail Spa.
Not many people are aware of the fact that the pubs in Oxford are some of the oldest in the country. Make sure you have explored some of the best pubs like King’s Arms, Lamb & Flag, Eagle and Child, The Bear Inn, and The Turf Tavern. If you are visiting on Sunday, make sure you try a Sunday roast.
- King’s Arms – You will find this pub at the Holywell Street and Parks Road. The pub got its name from King James I, who was closely linked with Wadham College. Owing to its central location, the pub is frequently visited by tourists and the students.
- Lamb & Flag – This pub is located on St. Giles, and it is managed by St. John’s College. This is the place where Thomas Handy wrote Jude the Obscure, and the location was also visited by C.S. Lewis (of The Chronicles of Narnia fame).
- Eagle and Child – This pub is famous for being a meeting place of the Inklings, a group that included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien.
- The Bear Inn – Located at the corner of Boar Street and Alfred Street, The Bear Inn is one of the oldest houses in Oxford. At the pub you can see a selection of tie snippets dating back to the 1950s.
Enjoy a Cycling Tour
If you are looking for the best way to explore Oxford, then you can opt for an Oxford Bike Tour. Oxford University has over 30 colleges spread across the town, and it is easy to explore all of them with the help of a cycle.
On a bike tour, you will see the Pitt Rivers Museum, Hertford College, St. John’s College, Port Meadow, The Cherwell Boathouse, Magdalen College, Blackwell’s Bookshop, University College, and The Queens College.
Visit Oxford Ice Rink
The ice rink is a great place to visit for the whole family. Everyday, general sessions, family sessions, and lessons for kids are held. Since it is located in the heart of Oxford, it can be easily reached from anywhere. You and your kids can also be a part of Ice Disco sessions – and trust me, this one is fun.
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Adam Smith is a content writing professional at alwaysreview, an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Previously, Adam worked as a marketing manager for a tech software startup. He graduated with honors from California University with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.
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