15 Best Things To Do In Oxfordshire, England

15 Best Things To Do In Oxfordshire, England

By will

Oxfordshire, England is a beautiful county located to the west of London.
It’s full of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a great destination for anyone looking for an exciting and fulfilling holiday.
From exploring the University of Oxford to taking a trip to the Cotswolds, there’s something for everyone in Oxfordshire.
In this article, I’ll be sharing 15 of the best things to do in Oxfordshire, England, so that you can make the most of your visit to this amazing county.

Visit Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace
Photo by Philip Halling

Visiting Blenheim Palace is a must-do for anyone exploring Oxfordshire – it’s one of the region’s most spectacular sites! Built in the early 1700s, this impressive estate was the birthplace of Winston Churchill and is the only non-royal country house in the UK to be given the title ‘palace’.

The estate covers over 2000 acres of parkland and picturesque gardens, and is a great place to explore for a day out. Inside the house, visitors can see many of the original furnishings, decorations, and artwork that have been preserved over the years. There are also a number of interesting exhibits on the history of the house and its most famous resident, Winston Churchill.

Blenheim Palace is a great day out for all ages, and a must-see for anyone in Oxfordshire.

Explore Oxford Castle

Oxford Castle
Photo by John Myers

Exploring Oxford Castle can be an exciting adventure. It’s a historic fortress situated in the heart of the city that offers fantastic views.

The castle was originally built in 1071 and is now home to a museum and prison. These attractions offer interactive and educational experiences. The site also features a chapel, castle mound, and a 17th-century gatehouse.

Visitors can experience the castle’s many attractions such as guided tours, interactive exhibits, and even a trebuchet display. This provides a unique insight into medieval warfare. The castle’s grounds are also home to a variety of flora and fauna, which can make for a peaceful and enjoyable stroll.

Oxford Castle is a great place to visit for anyone who wants to explore the history of England. Its various attractions provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about the city’s past and the people who shaped it.

Tour the University of Oxford

New College, University of Oxford
Photo by Bryn Holmes

Stepping onto the University of Oxford’s grounds is an experience like no other, offering a glimpse into the university’s centuries-old history and traditions.

Established in the 12th century, the University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

It’s a great opportunity to explore the university’s iconic buildings, including the Radcliffe Camera, the Bodleian Library, and the Sheldonian Theatre.

With over 40 colleges throughout the university, there’s plenty to explore.

Visitors can take a guided tour or explore the university on their own.

The guided tours offer an immersive experience, allowing visitors to learn about the university’s history and students, as well as its iconic architecture.

On their own, visitors can explore the university’s stunning courtyards, cathedral, museums, and other attractions.

Visiting the University of Oxford is an unforgettable experience that should be on everyone’s list of things to do in Oxfordshire.

Check Out the Ashmolean Museum

Gaining insight into the history and culture of Oxfordshire, England, the Ashmolean Museum awaits your exploration. It was founded in 1683 and is the world’s first university museum. The museum houses an impressive collection of art and artifacts. Visitors can explore the works of art spanning world cultures and centuries in its seven galleries. The collection includes ancient Egypt to 20th-century Europe. The Ashmolean even boasts a world-renowned collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings, as well as a vast collection of coins, books, and manuscripts.

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The Ashmolean also hosts a range of events, from lectures and workshops to family activities. Additionally, the museum’s cafe offers a variety of delicious food and drinks, perfect for a leisurely break after a day of exploring. With its unparalleled collection and variety of activities, a visit to the Ashmolean Museum is the perfect way to gain insight into the history and culture of Oxfordshire.

Visit the Cotswolds

Immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of the Cotswolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty in Oxfordshire, England.

The Cotswolds is a picturesque region, with rolling hills, quaint villages, and gorgeous countryside.

There’s plenty to see and do here, so why not take a leisurely stroll through the countryside, or explore some of the many charming villages.

You can also visit the numerous historic monuments in the area, such as Snowshill Manor and the ancient Rollright Stones.

The Cotswolds also has some fantastic pubs, restaurants, and shops, so you can take a break and enjoy some of the local cuisine.

The Cotswolds is a great place to visit, with its breathtaking natural beauty and plenty of things to see and do.

So why not make it your next destination for an amazing day out?

Visit the City of Oxford

Take a trip to the beautiful city of Oxford and explore its rich history and stunning architecture. Oxford is an amazing city with a wealth of attractions to explore.

The city centre consists of the University of Oxford, which is a stunningly beautiful college, as well as a range of shops, restaurants, and bars.

The city is also home to a number of historical buildings, such as the iconic Sheldonian Theatre, the Radcliffe Camera, and the Bodleian Library.

There are also several parks, such as Christ Church meadows, for visitors to enjoy. Additionally, there are a number of museums and galleries to explore, such as the Ashmolean Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the Pitt Rivers Museum.

Oxford is also home to a number of world-renowned academic institutions, such as the University of Oxford and the Oxford Union.

With so much to see, Oxford is a fantastic destination for anyone looking to explore the history and beauty of England.

Go Shopping at Bicester Village

After taking in the sights and sounds of the city of Oxford, why not head over to Bicester Village for a spot of shopping? Located just a short drive away from Oxford, Bicester Village is a one-stop shopping destination that’s perfect for those looking to experience the best in British retail.

Boasting over 130 boutiques from some of the world’s most renowned fashion and lifestyle brands, Bicester Village is the ideal place to pick up a bargain or two. From designer clothing to accessories, homeware and gifts, there’s something for everyone. Plus, with exclusive discounts of up to 60% off the recommended retail price, you can find some great deals.

And after a day of shopping, why not enjoy a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants located in the Village? Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a leisurely lunch, you’ll be sure to find something to satisfy your appetite.

Take a River Tour on the Thames

For a unique view of Oxfordshire, England, float along the River Thames on a tour boat.

The Thames is England’s second longest river, starting from the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire and flowing through the heart of London, eventually reaching the North Sea.

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Taking a river tour is a great way to enjoy the beauty of Oxfordshire without having to leave the boat.

Tours typically begin at a dock in Abingdon and take passengers up to the locks at Oxford, where the river narrows and the scenery becomes even more breathtaking.

Along the way, visitors can take in the sights of the vibrant city of Oxford, as well as the picturesque villages, churches, and wildlife along the banks of the river.

Guides will often provide interesting facts about the history of the area and the wildlife that inhabits it.

At the end of the tour, passengers will have a better appreciation for the region and its beauty.

Enjoy a Walk Through Bladon

I love to take a leisurely stroll through the quaint village of Bladon. The 17th and 18th-century cottages, quaint shops, and the ancient church of St. Martin are a sight to behold. It’s easy to get lost in the history of the village and admire its beauty.

The church of St. Martin is a must-see for any visitor. It’s a Grade I listed building, believed to date back to the 12th century. The interior of the church is also impressive, with its original stained-glass windows and an impressive monument to Admiral Nelson.

There are also several pathways and trails that lead through the village, providing a wonderful opportunity to explore the area and its surroundings. Bladon is truly a wonderful place to visit, and a great way to spend a day.

Tour the City of Abingdon

Explore the breathtaking beauty of Abingdon and take a step back in time to this charming medieval city. Home to one of the oldest bridges in England and the oldest continuously used town hall in the country, Abingdon is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the best of Oxfordshire.

The town is full of history, with the Abbey building dating back to the 11th century and the abbey grounds being home to the oldest continuous music festival in Europe. Visit the beautiful market square and the historic guildhall, or take a stroll along the banks of the River Thames, admiring the picturesque views.

The town also proudly hosts the famous Abingdon Museum, which has an impressive collection of art, artefacts and historical objects. Learn about the town’s fascinating past, with displays exploring its medieval history, its participation in the Civil War and its role in the industrial revolution. Don’t miss the special exhibitions, which change regularly, or the stunning gardens located around the museum.

Abingdon is a perfect place for a day of sightseeing, so don’t miss out on a visit to this beautiful town.

Visit the Museum of Oxford

Discover the rich history of Oxford at the Museum of Oxford, where visitors can explore centuries of the city’s past in its fascinating galleries.

The museum’s galleries display collections of items related to Oxford’s unique history, such as the University’s historic artifacts and documents, as well as the city’s Roman past.

The museum also houses the city’s oldest surviving Saxon door, as well as an original 18th-century print from the time of the English Civil War.

Visitors can also learn about the city’s history through interactive exhibits and audio-visual displays, such as the city’s famous bridges, the Oxfordshire Sewers, and the Oxford Union.

In addition to the permanent galleries, the Museum of Oxford also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

These exhibitions can range from ancient artifacts to modern art, offering visitors the chance to explore a wide range of topics related to Oxford’s history.

Explore the Walled Garden at Waterperry

Nestled in the picturesque Oxfordshire countryside, Waterperry’s Walled Garden offers visitors an opportunity to marvel at its beautiful and historic gardens.

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The 8-acre site features a variety of plants, flowers, and trees. It also has a stunning formal garden, a wildflower meadow, an orchard, a pond, and a sheltered walled garden.

The garden is also home to a number of sculptures, including a bronze of the famous Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Visitors can explore the garden at their own pace or take part in one of the guided tours.

The garden is open to the public from April to October and is well worth a visit for anyone interested in the history and beauty of Oxfordshire.

Take a Trip to Woodstock

Take a trip to the quaint and historic English market town of Woodstock, located just a short drive from Oxfordshire!

From the charming streets of this market town to the historic Blenheim Palace, Woodstock is full of incredible sites to explore.

Blenheim Palace is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and the home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough. The palace is surrounded by 2,000 acres of parkland, designed by the famous landscape gardener, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.

You can take a guided tour of the palace to learn more about its history, or explore the surrounding gardens on your own.

Woodstock is also home to the oldest pub in England, the Bear Inn, which dates back to 1242. This ancient pub is the perfect place to grab a pint and enjoy a traditional English meal.

Visit the Church of St. Mary the Virgin

Immerse yourself in history at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, a stunning 15th-century building in Woodstock. This grand church stands in the heart of the town, and it’s hard to miss. It has an impressive spire that reaches up into the sky, and its walls are decorated with intricate carvings.

Inside, the church is adorned with stained glass windows, intricate sculptures, and beautiful artwork. The church has been around since the early 1400s, and its long history is reflected in every corner. Visitors can explore the building, take a guided tour, or simply sit in the peaceful atmosphere and appreciate the stunning architecture.

There’s also a café nearby for those who need a snack or a cup of tea after their visit.

The Church of St. Mary the Virgin is a must-see for anyone visiting Woodstock, and it’s a great way to get a glimpse of history.

Spend Time at the Nature Reserve at Shotover Country Park

Experience the beauty of nature at Shotover Country Park, a stunning nature reserve in Oxfordshire, England. Located just outside of Oxford, it provides visitors with a great opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city without having to travel too far.

The park is a haven for nature lovers, with plenty of wildlife to observe and explore. There is a variety of different habitats, including grassland, woodland, and wetland, which can be explored on foot or by bike.

As you wander around the park, you’ll be amazed by the sights, sounds, and smells of the natural world. There are plenty of trails to choose from, so you can decide what type of experience you want to have. These range from easy walks to more challenging hikes, and you can even take a guided tour with a knowledgeable guide.

Along the way, you can observe a variety of plants and animals, as well as take in some of the stunning views. The park is also a great place to have a picnic or just relax and take in the scenery.

With so much to see and do, Shotover Country Park is the perfect place to spend time and appreciate the beauty of Oxfordshire.

Conclusion

Overall, Oxfordshire is a great place to visit. There’s something for everyone with so many amazing historical and natural attractions. From the spectacular Blenheim Palace to the stunning Cotswolds and the University of Oxford, it’s easy to see why Oxfordshire is so popular with tourists.

And with plenty of things to do, you’re sure to find something you’ll love. Whether you’re looking for a day of sightseeing or an adventure in the great outdoors, Oxfordshire is the perfect destination.

About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.