What to do in Oxford

06 March 2017

Nicknamed the City of Dreaming Spires, the famous city of Oxford is a destination with bags of charm, sophistication and romantic appeal.

Home to the illustrious university and renowned as the playground where literary greats such as JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis drew inspiration and conquered their art, this captivating city offers all manner of fun things to do from exploring castles to trying your hand at punting.

Although scholarly types might feel more of a connection to the city than most, there is certainly plenty to interest a wide variety of tastes. We may just have found your next mini-break...

Things to do in Oxford

Tour the castle

Take a guided tour of the fascinating Oxford Castle where captivating characters reveal the stories of their life within the walls. Climb the Saxon St George's Tower for 360 degree views of the city before descending into the depths of the castle's crypts and dungeons.

An afternoon at the museum

If you are partial to a museum or two, you've come to the right town. From the impressive neo-Gothic building that houses the Museum of Natural History to the curious ethnographic eccentricities that can be found at Pitt Rivers, Oxford is a treasure trove for the museum-loving folk. However, if you just have time for just one, consider the Ashmolean with its magnificent collection of priceless paintings, archeological finds and fine art.

Punt along the river

Relax on the River Cherwell with this traditional Oxford past-time. Hire spots such as Magdalen Bridge Boathouse offer punts, rowing boats and pedalos, so even if your balance isn't up to the standard required to steer a punt, you can still have some fun on the water. Alternatively, hire a chauffeur to ensure none of your party goes overboard - let the professionals handle it.

Related: What to do in Totnes


Where to grab a bite to eat

The epicurean traveller will find themselves spoilt for choice in Oxford. With its wide range of quirky yet high quality restaurants, going out to eat is a treat.

Bring some sunshine into your soul with a visit to the colourful Comie's Caribbean Grill or indulge in the Spanish treats at beautiful Kazbah, where lush Moroccan decor will make you feel you've left England entirely.

Alternatively, treat yourself to the fantastic French and European cooking on offer at Pierre Victoire or stay true to Oxford's roots with a slap-up Sunday lunch at one of the many traditional boozers that can be found in the city. Although it's a little out of the centre, The Perch does a fantastic roast by the river, set in a sumptuous rural setting.


Where to rest your weary head

Book a hotel right in the centre of town to immerse yourself in Oxford life. The Oxford Spires Hotel is set amongst forty acres of gorgeous parklands within a convenient distance of the historic town centre.

If you're after somewhere a little out of town, The Lambert Hotel – an original coaching inn at the foot of the Chiltern Hills – offers a wonderful escape into the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside, a landscape which has inspired poets, artists and writers for centuries.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.