Experience A Weekend in Oxford
On a trip to Oxford be sure to squeeze in a visit to a world-class museum before a picnic in one of the city’s tranquil parks. Stroll along Oxford’s pastel-hued High Street lined with independent boutique shops and coffee bars, or take a leisurely punt along the river. Take a walking tour of Oxford city centre, where ornate University of Oxford buildings in distinctive golden stone can be found around every corner. Make sure that you leave time to explore and enjoy the eclectic variety of places to eat and drink, from chic five-star restaurants to buzzing pubs and cafés. This two day Oxford itinerary will show you the highlights of this historic city.
Kickstart your weekend in the heart of it all. Get your bearings by climbing the tower of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin for the highest view over Oxford’s skyline. As you exit the church, take a stroll around cobbled Radcliffe Square to drink in 360° views of the Radcliffe Camera, part of the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries.
To maximise your time, pre-book an Oxford Official Walking Tour for a guided walking tour around more of Oxford’s iconic sites and locations. Tours are led by accredited guides and usually include entry into one of the University of Oxford’s 39 colleges.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to walk, the City Sightseeing open top bus tour is a great way to see Oxford. Listen to your guide as you are driven around, with the option to hop-on and hop-off at 20 different stops across the city.
Allow a little time for shopping and browse the independent shops in the Covered Market. The whole family can choose a picnic for the afternoon; why not try a freshly made sandwich, pastry, pie or even Greek souvlaki?
Whilst in the heart of the city, don’t miss Oxford’s incredible museums. Choose from the Ashmolean Museum, Britain’s first public museum and home to world-famous artefacts and collections, the History of Science Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and neighbouring Pitt Rivers Museum, the University of Oxford’s quirky museum of anthropology and world archaeology.
Fill your evening with world-class Choral Evensong in an Oxford college chapel. These take place every evening during University of Oxford term-time and start between 5:15pm and 6:45pm depending on which college you visit. We recommend joining the Choirs of the grand Christ Church Cathedral for an unforgettable evening.
Relax in the elegant Randolph Hotel, an icon of Oxford. Enjoy a tipple at the famous Morse Bar in the hotel, before heading to the Acanthus Restaurant for outstanding seasonal British cuisine.
Start your day with an exhilarating morning on the water. Take a punt on the river – a truly timeless Oxford tradition – from Cherwell Boathouse to see the city from a different perspective. Alternatively, from Folly Bridge take a chauffeured cruise down the River Thames from Salter’s Steamers or Oxford River Cruises and admire the views of Christ Church College in the distance.
Take a guided tour of Oxford Castle & Prison and discover the fascinating stories of the building’s 1,000-year history. Explore the Saxon St George’s Tower and descend deep underground to the 900-year-old crypt.
Close to Oxford Castle & Prison is Westgate Oxford, the city’s newest shopping and entertainment centre – and here you will find an eclectic mix of global fashion brands, restaurants, bars and a boutique cinema. Grab lunch with a spectacular view of Oxford’s dreaming spires on Westgate’s rooftop terrace – we recommend lunching at Cinnamon Kitchen for modern Indian cuisine, Victors for modern American small plates, Pho for some healthy and hearty Vietnamese street food, or perhaps The Alchemist for their theatrical cocktail menu.
Spend a family-friendly afternoon experiencing the world of children’s stories at the newly-transformed Story Museum.
For a more grown-up afternoon, treat yourself to an afternoon tour of The Oxford Artisan Distillery. One of the world’s very few craft distilleries, they use ancient heritage grain to create the finest spirits. Discover the principles and production processes that make their spirits, from their bespoke copper stills to the grain they grow themselves. Finish with a chance to taste their wonderful spirits.
The Oxford Artisan Distillery’s ‘Physic Gin’ is created using botanicals from the Oxford Botanic Garden. Wander down from the distillery to the historic Botanic Garden to experience an oasis of green in the city centre. The UK’s oldest botanic garden, founded in 1621 as a physic garden growing plants for medicinal research, Oxford Botanic Garden features a formal walled garden, exotic plants in glasshouses and lush herbaceous borders.
From Oxford Botanic Garden, wander up Oxford’s winding High Street, bordered with imposing college walls and independent shops, restaurants and cafés. Opposite University Church and Radcliffe Square you will find Quod, a stylish, bustling and contemporary European brasserie perfect for a leisurely dinner in the heart of Oxford.
Take a moonlit walk around central Oxford and see the historic University buildings from a different perspective, without the bustle of the city around you. Stroll along the winding lanes often used as shortcuts by students dashing to classes. Stop for a relaxed drink in one of Oxford’s sophisticated bars, or settle in for a cosy evening in a historic pub.