Experience Oxfordshire For Luxury
Oxfordshire is a place with a wealth of luxury. Home to famous literary figures and unique traditions, there is so much to explore. On your trip to Oxfordshire be sure to spend some time strolling the cobbled streets of Oxford, before taking some tranquil time out by the river. Only an hour away from London, Oxfordshire is the perfect destination for rest and relaxation. This 3 day itinerary will guide you through Oxford, a stop at Bicester Village, and some time in Woodstock, on the edge of the Cotswolds.
Day 1 – Oxford
Start your day by exploring Oxford city centre. A city steeped in history, there is so much to explore in Oxford. Get your bearings by pre-booking an Oxford Official Walking Tour for a family-friendly 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. Tours can be booked for private parties, please enquire directly.
Whilst you’re exploring the heart of Oxford, don’t miss the incredible Ashmolean museum, Britain’s first public museum and home to world-famous artefacts and collections. Take a slow morning stroll around inspiring exhibitions, soaking up the culture and history of Oxford.
Nearby are the Bodleian Libraries, among the most famous libraries in the world – for their exceptional collection of books and manuscripts, but also for their historic buildings, some of which have remained in continuous use since the Middle Ages. Take a tour of the libraries, including the Divinity School, a masterpiece of English Gothic architecture, and the medieval Duke Humfrey’s Library. The more modern Western Library offers two free exhibitions featuring notable works from the Bodleian’s collections which are well worth a visit.
Then, walk north from Oxford city centre through University Parks. The beautiful park offers a choice of peaceful walks through. Feed ducks at the pond and discover the park’s Genetic Garden and collection of rare trees, before wandering along the river Cherwell and through Park Town to the Cherwell Boathouse.
Why not make the most of your trip and take part in the quintessentially Oxford activity of punting? At Cherwell Boathouse you can hire a punt! A timeless classic, take your punt and journey upstream or down river, admiring Oxford’s beautiful architecture and landscape from a unique perspective.
After your punting adventure, enjoy a delicious lunch at the Cherwell Boathouse Restaurant, renowned for its creative cooking. Idyllically located on the riverbank, soak up the tranquil atmosphere whilst indulging in fine food and wine.
Alternatively, after punting wander back towards the city centre through University Parks. Back in the city centre, take a stroll around cobbled Radcliffe Square to drink in 360 degree views of the Radcliffe Camera. Opposite Radcliffe Square you will find Quod, a stylish, bustling and contemporary European brasserie perfect for a leisurely lunch in the heart of Oxford.
After lunch, do some shopping in Westgate Oxford – the city’s newest shopping and entertainment centre – where you will find an eclectic mix of global fashion brands, restaurants, bars and a boutique cinema.
During the afternoon, treat yourself to a 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 Randolph Hotel: The Randolph Hotel is an iconic 5-star hotel in Oxford and offers luxurious accommodation, delicious food and a sensuous spa haven in the heart of this world-famous University City. Located in Oxford’s city centre, the hotel is a landmark building with elegance and charm aplenty. Guests will love the Acanthus Restaurant, serving mouth-watering seasonal dishes prepared by their highly skilled chefs.
The Old Bank Hotel: Standing proud on Oxford’s famous High Street, The Old Bank is an imposing Georgian building perfectly located to explore Oxford University colleges. The bedrooms and corridors of the 5-star hotel are all adorned with the owner’s private art collection. You needn’t travel far for dinner; Quod Restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel is a bustling contemporary European restaurant perfect for a leisurely diner in the heart of Oxford, with a view out towards Radcliffe Square.
Malmaison: Set within the walls of medieval Oxford Castle, boutique Malmaison hotel is a converted prison with all the luxurious amenities of a 4-star hotel. Their bedrooms are rather more spacious than your average jail cell! Enjoy dining in their stylish Brasserie, within one of the most unique hotels in Oxford city centre.
Day 2 – Bicester Village
Make time in the morning to wander through Oxford’s historic city centre. Balance on the cobbled Radcliffe Square, see the stunning Bridge of Sighs, and meander along Oxford’s winding High Street, home to small galleries, antiques shops and flamboyant coffee shops.
When you’re ready, travel north of Oxford to Bicester Village. This unforgettable shopping destination is home to more than 160 boutiques of world-famous brands – including Oscar de la Renta, Paul Smith, Belstaff, Gina, Marni, Rupert Sanderson, and Temperley London, with savings of up to 60% on the recommended retail price all year round.
Have a spot of lunch at Café Wolseley, an all-day café-restaurant, inspired by the iconic London flagship – The Wolseley. Combining British heritage with European grandeur, The Wolseley is one of London’s most admired restaurants in the heart of Mayfair. Café Wolseley at Bicester Village will make your luxury shopping day that extra bit special.
Continue to shop til you drop, making use of Bicester Village’s luxury services that include Hands-free Shopping, an onsite tax refund and money change service, and valet service.
For a truly unforgettable evening, travel from Bicester Village south into the Oxfordshire countryside, to Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons for dinner.
Chef Raymond Blanc’s Restaurant is not only one of the best places to dine in Oxford, but one of the best places to dine in the country. Relish in an unforgettable culinary experience prepared with fresh ingredients from the 2-acre kitchen garden and treat yourself to one of the 600 specially selected wines from around the world.
Stay the night at Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons – the rooms and suites are each a unique example of the best in design and comfort. The hotel is set in elegant gardens in the Oxfordshire countryside and provides an idyllic setting in which to savour magical cuisine.
For something a little more laid-back, The Lion at Wendlebury offers superb food and friendly service along with quality ales and fine wines in a traditional pub setting. They are passionate about their food and use the highest quality, locally-sourced ingredients. The Lion is also home to en-suite bedrooms to stay in, all offering individual character and charm, where you can enjoy utmost comfort and laid-back luxury.
Day 3 – Blenheim Palace
Travel across to Woodstock, at the edge of the Cotswolds. With streets of attractive honey stone buildings, Woodstock is a great place to spend a relaxed morning strolling through the town. If you have time, pop into its sweet bookshops and cafés.
Reserve the afternoon for exploring magnificent Blenheim Palace on the edge of Woodstock. Home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting beautiful Baroque architecture, 2,000 acres of landscaped parkland and stunning formal gardens. Enter the Palace and explore the gilded State Rooms for yourself or organise a private tour to see even more of the Palace.
Treat yourself to lunch in the grand setting of Blenheim Palace. Visit the stunning Orangery Restaurant for lunch or a traditional afternoon tea.
Macdonald Bear Hotel: Spend your evening cosied-up in the centre of Woodstock at the Macdonald Bear Hotel. The 13th century coaching inn combines history and culture with luxurious facilities. The Bear boasts beautiful views of Woodstock, and is a short walk to the gates of Blenheim Palace.
Artist Residence Oxfordshire: Artist Residence Oxfordshire is an idyllic retreat in the heart of the countryside, between Oxford and Witney. This 16th-century inn has six luxurious bedrooms nestled under its cosy thatch. Each bedroom is a calming combination of luxurious linens, bohemian styling, antique furnishings and luxe bathrooms with powerful rainfall showers and some with freestanding bathtubs. Downstairs the Mr Hanbury’s Mason Arms is a welcoming country pub.
Minster Mill: Surrounded by 65 acres of glorious gardens, wildflower meadows and peaceful woodland, Minster Mill is set on the banks of the River Windrush in the picture-perfect Oxfordshire village of Minster Lovell. The 38 luxurious rooms and suites are dressed in sleek, streamlined ‘Skandi’ style with contemporary lighting and fittings, mid-century furniture and individually designed bathrooms. The hotel is a great base to explore the Cotswolds.
Day 4 – Luxury Tour
If you would like to stay an extra day in beautiful Oxfordshire, take a luxury private tour to nearby attractions, including Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath and the Cotswolds. Here are a few recommended tour providers who offer bespoke private chauffeured tours:
Concierge History Tours: Explore England and immerse yourself in its history, all from a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce or Bentley with Concierge History Tours. All tours are bespoke and can be tailored to your interests. Travel to a variety of locations across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and the Cotswolds, and even to Stratford-upon-Avon or medieval Warwick Castle. Choices also include Blenheim Palace, Waddesdon Manor and Hampton Court Palace. Many tour packages, as well as bespoke services, are available, all with fine dining included.
Gulliver’s Guides: Discover the Heart of England and beyond, with tours to the Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath and Stonehenge, as well as Windsor, the Wye Valley and Shropshire. Discerning tours that offer bespoke itineraries such as arts & crafts, great gardens or industrial heritage, all in a luxury private-hire minibus.
Townhouse Executive Travel & Tours: offering personal tours of the Cotswolds and other key destinations in the local area, Townhouse Executive Travel & Tours offer a personalised experience in their fleet of Mercedes cars for 1 to 7 people. Their personalised tours and day trips allow you to create your own trip itinerary and experience the tour at your own pace. They offer destinations including the Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon, Highclere Castle, Blenheim Palace, Bath, and Stonehenge – as well as a brilliant Downton Abbey tour.