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Things To Do In Oxford, England


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Vivette Kajal

Oxford University Museum
Photo by Matt Brown on Flickr

Oxford may be popular for its universities and colleges, but it is also recognized as one of the best destinations in Europe for a holiday retreat.


Perched amidst the lush greenery and picturesque landscapes, Oxford is always a wonder for those who visit this magnificent strip of land. And hey, if you’re any good at academia, then you can pin your hopes really high on sliding your feet down in the university’s colleges.


Oxford City has so much more to offer, the university is just one exciting part of it. There are plenty of enchanting tourist attractions in Oxford that never fail to take our breath away.


Oxford City as a tourist destination may come as a surprise to some of you, but once you visit the city, you can’t help but understand and appreciate its wide appeal.


In this guide, we’ll share some ideas on the things to do in Oxford, should you ever find yourself there. And if you’re in London refer to this article on how to travel from London to Oxford.


There are many exciting points of interest in Oxford. Let’s take a look at a few.



Be Thrilled At The Oxford Castle 



The Grand Oxford Castle

Photo by Douglas Neiner on Flickr


Castles are an inevitable part of the English land. The Oxford Castle takes you back to the medieval world of beautiful horse carriages, aristocrats, kings, and queens. So, if you fancy traveling back in time learning a bit about history, visiting Oxford Castle would be a great idea. 


A long time ago, the castle was really important to the city since it was the main defense point of the country. Later it was converted to a prison and now in the present century, it stands tall with pride as a great symbol of the past. A reminder of what once was. 


Tourists love to take a stroll inside the castle to get to know a little bit more about how life went on inside this mighty castle. There are several tours that might interest you if you are a history buff. You can book the castle tours well in advance by visiting the official site.



Get Access To The Bodleian Library 

The lovely Bodleian Library

Photo by Wikimedia Commons


If you are an ardent reader and a literature enthusiast, there couldn’t be any other better option for you. You will be really fortunate to visit one of the largest libraries in Europe.


The Bodleian library is considered as being the research hub of all the great scholars and students of Oxford University.  Due to this very same reason and considering the profound age of Oxford University, we can conclude that this is also one of the oldest libraries in Europe. 


Most of the people talk very highly of the virtual era in which we live. But when some argue that books are soon going to be a less fancied and less discussed topic, that would be really disheartening for all the book lovers. 


The collections of the Bodleian Library is so exhaustive and elaborate, therefore, the frequent visitors of this library claim that nothing can beat it, not even the present digital invasion. Do you agree? 



Visit The Most Famous Radcliffe Camera

Radcliffe Camera at night

Photo by Wikimedia Commons


Radcliffe Camera is not new to us. It is a photographer’s dream and probably one of the most iconic buildings in Oxford. Often known as the ‘heart of Oxford’, this famous structure has always intrigued tourists from all corners of the world. 


The Radcliffe Camera is a part of England since the 16th century. 


For all those wondering what is it, this is the first circular library, which is quite distinct and really unique in England for its intricate and dome-shaped architecture.  


While paying a visit to this grand place, do not forget to see the ‘Bodleian Library‘ and ‘Bridge of Sights’ which are just stone’s throw away.



Relax At The Serene Oxford Botanical Garden

Lovely Oxford Botanical Garden

Photo by Eorgrebnev on Flickr


If you are out on a vacation in Oxford and are feeling slightly overwhelmed after looking at all the architectural marvels within the city (it does get mundane after a while – that’s only normal), you can head on over to the Oxford Botanical Garden to relax and soothe your eyes by looking at all the greenery. 


Always credited as one of the pioneers in the space of the Botanical gardens in Britain, this place is a must-visit. The garden features a large variety of green plants that you can check out and take a look at. 


You can also get some insight on various species of these plants, some of which have been around since the inception of the Oxford Botanical Gardens. If you are very keen on knowing more, consider taking some of the walking tours provided by the management. 


It is open to the public from morning 9 am to evening 6 pm. This timing may vary in several months. So make sure to do your research well so that you don’t have to leave with an empty heart after arriving here.



Get  A Revelation At The Oxford University Museum 

Mighty Oxford University Museum

Photo by Wikimedia Commons


This place is a sure bet any day! Out of all the other places in Oxford, this museum gets some brownie points from us for the comprehensive collection of natural specimens. All confused? Well, let’s explain a bit more elaborately.


They have millions of insects and animals for display, all made from natural specimens.


Numerous exhibitions, conferences, and informative videos are witnessed here every month. If you need some insights into how animals, birds, and insects evolved, this is the perfect place to enhance your knowledge.


The building of this museum itself is so huge and imposing, designed with a perfect touch of the Victorian era. The first thing which would never go unnoticed when you step inside the museum is the alluring ironwork of the roof, we tell you, splendid it is! 


The Oxford University Museum is world-famous for its state of the art natural collections and if you miss this place, all we can do is mourn with you. 


The Oxford University Museum is also known as The Oxford University Museum of National History.



Experience Tranquility In The University Church

The beautiful university church

Photo by Wikimedia Commons


At the heart of Oxford is the most famous church of the city, The University Church of St Mary the Virgin. Similarly, this is the only church that has its presence in the city since the 12th century. 


In the past, the church has been the podium for many seminars and lectures. It was here that most of the extremely talented and wonderful people were accorded with awards and recognitions.


Designed by Nicholas Stone, this church is now one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.  So take some time out of your busy schedule and pay a visit to the University Church. You needn’t be a believer to appreciate the baroque style architecture of the church. 



Take A Stroll Inside The Covered Market

The oxford covered market

Photo by Shrinkin’violet on Flickr


The quintessential English market you can never afford to miss. Shop for a wide variety of veggies, cookies, whiskeys and all that makes you happy inside the covered market.  Yes, you heard us right! 


Do not frown when you hear market because this market is the cleanest and tidiest of them all. It was solely started in the 16th century to get rid off all the other unclean and cluttered markets.


Till date, it has paid complete justice to it, the only concern, if at all, would be that it is slowly getting sophisticated by accommodating more air-conditioned shops. This might lead the market to lose its title of being a “classic example of an English Market”, in the future. 


The market pays complete justice to its name because it’s in an enclosed space. The entire area has permanent stalls and great shops. You can even spend an entire day here to tick off the items in your shopping list. 


Here, we have covered the best places to visit in Oxford. We are pretty sure you are really excited to start planning your trip. It is a beautiful land and you need to witness this at least once in your lifetime. Therefore, pack your bags and hurry for some Oxford moments.


And if you’re planning on covering every city in England, be sure to check out York on your way too. Here are the best things to do in York that you shouldn’t miss out on.