Oxford Visitor Guide 2024: Everything you need to know

Published by: BouncePosted
aerial view of Oxford

Oxford and its dreaming spires are known around the world. Not bad for a town that started life as a ford across the river where farmers could drive their oxen. Modern Oxford has origins that go back to the ninth century at least. But nowadays, the city is one of the most visited and best-known in the whole of the United Kingdom.

Mostly, that's due to the presence of Oxford University. Founded in the twelfth century, Oxford University has been one of the world's premier centers of learning and research ever since. To this day, the ancient colleges of the University are the city's main attractions. They are also a significant contributor to the local economy.

Whatever brings you to Oxford, you’ll find plenty to do in this famous town. Drop off your bags at an Oxford suitcase storage service and begin exploring for yourself.

A weekend in Oxford

colored boats in canal

7 Best Things to do in Oxford 2024

Oxford is a city cram-packed with history. Its architecture is breathtaking and for those in the know, there are dozens of quaint little pubs, often with unique stories all of their own. Add to this, one of the most famous universities in the world, and you have plenty of reason to pay this beautiful city a visit.

To make the most of your time in the city, why not store your bags somewhere safe and convenient, and travel light? Bounce luggage storage services have plenty of experience in this regard. They have teamed up with local businesses all over the world to make luggage storage both easy and reliable.

Best Distillery Tour - The Oxford Artisan Distillery

The distilling process is quite a fascinating one, especially when it is done in a unique artisan style. The Oxford Artisan Distillery distills a wide range of spirits using their own craft approach and the best regional ingredients. This company offers tours to small groups of not more than six people where you will gain a deeper understanding of how they produce products such as Oxford rye and their organic vodka.

To find out more or to book your tour, call them on 44-1865-767918 or email them at info@theoxfordartisandistillery.com


Best Boat Cruises in Oxford – Oxford River Cruises

There can be few better ways to laze away a few hours than gliding along the Thames while viewing the architecture of Oxford from the relaxing comfort of the water. This company offers a wide range of guided sightseeing tours. You might prefer a floating picnic or evening dining as you cruise and these options are also available. Tours range from thirty minutes to two and half hours and private tour groups are welcome.

To discuss your tour email at info@oxfordrivercruises.com or call them on 44-1865-987147

Best Walking Tour – Escape to Oxford

Few cities offer more in the way of historical experiences. With these guys, you can walk through one of the oldest universities in the world, but they can also expose you to much more than that. Step back in time and learn about the Romans, the Saxons, and even the Vikings as their expert guide leads you on an intriguing encounter with the past. Walking tours can be tailored to your requirements and last from forty-five minutes to two and a half hours.

To find out more about their wide range of walking tour options, email at escape-to-oxford@protonmail.com

Best Walking Tour for Children – Explore Oxford Day Tours

Oxford is truly a city for everyone, and this company is one that hasn't forgotten the younger members of your party. In a city that inspired such diverse things as the Morris Minor and Oxford Marmalade, it should come as no surprise that there is still plenty here to inspire children. They offer walking tours that will educate and amuse, and if you have the time, they can even include a riverside dinner after your informative stroll.

Call them to find out about tours for children or adults on 44-1869-340090 or email them at enquiries@exploreoxford.net

Best Audio Tour - Spencer’s Tours of Oxford

This is one for those who prefer to do it themselves. Instead of joining a structured tour group, Spencer's offers you the opportunity to pick up one of their audio tour maps and design a tour to suit yourself. Learn about Radcliffe Square, visit the covered market or discover Sheldonian and its surroundings, along with much more. You will be free to take your time and design your own route, and will still have all the benefits of a guided tour. 

Book your tour on the contact sheet that goes with this address https://www.oxfordaudiotour.com/contact 

Best City Ghost Tour - The Oxford Ghost Tour

In a city with a history that dates back a thousand years, some of it bloodthirsty, it should come as no surprise that there are some ghost stories to uncover. Your guide on this one is Iain, a graduate of Jesus College who really knows something of the dark side of Oxford’s history. He will lead you to some of the most sinister parts of the city to learn about dark deeds, demons, devils, and death.

Ian also offers a range of other tours so call him to learn more on 44(0) 743-484-5596 or fill in the contact form here  https://oxfordwalkingtours.guide/

Best Cotswold Tours – Cotswold Exploring

This company offers to let you move a little further afield by taking you into the charming Cotswold countryside which is surely one of the most beautiful areas in the UK. Whether you are after a simple taster tour, a whole day in the Cotswolds, or a dive deep into Shakespeare country, their qualified guides will make your outing an informative and enjoyable one. It would be a shame to visit Oxford without sampling some of the rural beauty that surrounds it.

To find out more call 44(0) 186-934-0090 or email them at enquiries@cotswoldexploring.co.uk 

A weekend in Oxford gives you enough time to see some of the city's best-known attractions. While you may be only scratching the surface of what the city has to offer, you can get a sense of the atmosphere of the town in just a couple of days.

  • Visit the world's oldest University Museum at the Ashmolean. The main building dates back to 1845, but the museum itself was founded more than 300 years ago.  Home to an impressive collection of Egyptian artifacts, the museum also contains work by Picasso, Cézanne, Leonardo da Vinci, and the world's only brand-new Stradivarius violin.
  • Go punting on the river Cherwell. Explore the city from the water the way generations of students have done: in a flat bottomed boat propelled by a pole. Drop off your bags at an Oxford luggage locker and take part in this age-old tradition.
  • Visit one of Europe's oldest libraries at the Bodleian Library. Housed in an impressive Gothic building, the library is worth visiting for the architecture alone. It's the perfect place to bask in the scholarly atmosphere Oxford is famous for.

Oxford lockers

The presence of the University brings tourists and academics alike to Oxford from around the world. Plus, the city is home to the thousands of students studying at the University. As a result, Oxford's ancient medieval heart can get very crowded, especially in the summer months. Drop off your unneeded bags at a bag storage shop in Oxford to make your trip easier on yourself. The lighter you travel, the more you will be able to see.

Off the beaten path in Oxford

Oxford gets plenty of tourists. However, it has enough quirky attractions that if you're looking to escape the crowds, you can still find plenty to do that lies off the beaten path. Leave your belongings behind with an Oxford luggage storage service and explore some of these lesser-known attractions.

  • The University of Oxford Botanic Garden was laid out in 1621. Home to 8,000 different plant species, the garden is a perfect place to take a break from the city and get some fresh air.
  • Go for a walk along the Thames Path, and you'll feel as though you're a long way from the city. Designated as a national trail, this path lets you explore the countryside outside of Oxford and visit some of the quaint villages in the area.
  • Listen to evensong in a college chapel. You don't need to be religious to appreciate this ancient tradition that takes place almost every day around six p.m. Each college of the University has its own choir to sing in the chapel every evening as part of a haunting tradition that's been going on for centuries.

What to do alone in Oxford

storefronts along a street

With a young population of students and plenty to keep you occupied, Oxford is a great place to explore by yourself. Whether you're traveling for work, education, or for pleasure, you can drop off your belongings at an Oxford luggage locker and see more of the city for yourself.

  • Take a walking tour to explore some of the city's most iconic locations. See the most impressive colleges and learn about the role Oxford has played in British literary heritage, including such popular classics as the Lord of the Rings, the Narnia series, and the Harry Potter franchise. A walking tour will teach you more about the history of the buildings you're seeing and allow you to mix with other travelers as you learn together.
  • Get to the heart of the city's culinary scene at Oxford's covered market. This impressive structure dates back to 1770, and is still the home of a lively mix of traders selling their wares from stalls. You'll find plenty of great food here, and will be able to shop like a local.
  • Travel the world without leaving Oxford at the Pitt Rivers Museum. In the glory days of the British Empire, many of the world's most notable explorers and anthropologists studied at Oxford. Often, they sent some of their fascinating finds home to the University to be housed in this museum. You'll see relics from just about every culture in human history as you explore this unique Museum.

The best souvenirs in Oxford

Oxford University has its own souvenir shop where you can pick up branded merchandise such as hoodies and fridge magnets to commemorate a visit. Alternatively, you could visit Watson's, a high-end gift shop that stocks an impressive selection of Harry Potter merchandise, among other Oxford souvenirs. On the other hand, a high student population means Oxford has an enviable collection of vintage stores. Embark on a treasure hunt at shops like Unicorn and Reign for one-off items you won't find anywhere else.

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