Our comprehensive Oxford Itinerary was put together to give you a true essence of what Oxford has to offer its visitors.
Steeped in rich history and dating back to the Anglo-Saxon period, Oxford is a city world-renowned for its academic prestige and historic buildings, which have led to its name, coined by English poet and Oxford academic Matthew Arnold, as the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’. Today, the majestic city attracts millions of visitors every year, and with so much to see and do, we want to show you exactly how to make the most of your time in Oxford.
9:30 am Kickstart your weekend in the heart of it all, with breakfast at Cafe Creme on bustling Broad Street. After you’ve filled up, head further down the road to explore some of Oxford’s most famous landmarks including the Sheldonian Theatre, the Weston Library, the Bodleian Library, and Radcliffe Square.
10:45 am Start your guided tour around more of Oxford’s iconic sites on an Oxford Official University and City Walking Tour at 10:45 am from the Oxford Visitor Information Centre. Tours are led by professional green badge guides, and include entry to the Divinity School and one of the University of Oxford’s 38 Colleges.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to walk, the City Sightseeing bus tour is a great way to see the city. Listen to your guide as you are driven around with the option to get on and off at 19 stops around the city.
1 pm After your morning tour, it’s time for a well-earned lunch. A great location for views over the city is the Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant.
2 pm Oxford’s museums cater for all tastes. Visitors can choose from the Ashmolean Museum – Britain’s first public museum and home to world-famous collections or art and archeology; the Museum of the History of Science, the Museum of Natural History and neighbouring Pitt Rivers Museum. Alternatively, The Museum of Oxford tells the history of the city and finally, The Story Museum celebrates the power of story. We’ll leave it to you to decide!
6.30 pm A wonderfully unique way to spend your time in Oxford, join one of Bill Spectre’s Ghost Trails on a Friday or Saturday evening at 6:30 pm outside Oxford Castle & Prison’s gift shop or at 6:50 pm outside the Oxford Visitor Information Centre on Broad Street. Illustrated with props and illusions, follow Victorian costumed Bill Spectre as he guides you through the historic city, leaving you with a “deliciously scary tingle down your spine”!
8 pm Your tour will finish around 8 pm at the Sheldonian Theatre. A short walk from here across town will take you to the Oxford Castle Quarter which is home to a selection of restaurants including the 1855 wine bar. Oxford’s prison used to be on this site but is now a boutique Malmaison hotel which is a great place to stay the night in a converted prison cell!
10 am Next door to the Malmaison is Oxford Castle & Prison. Take a guided tour and let the characters reveal their fascinating stories entrenched in the building’s 1,000 year past while you explore the Saxon St George’s Tower and descend deep underground to the 900-year-old crypt.
11 am Head over to Folly Bridge and the River Thames. From here you can try out the quintessentially Oxford tradition of punting at Salter’s Steamers. Hire a punt or be chauffeured by a professional and admire the views of Christ Church in the distance.
1 pm Take a short walk back along St Aldates to Cafe Loco. Here you can have lunch in the cafe or takeaway and enjoy a picnic just over the road in the beautiful Christ Church Meadows with views of the River Thames and cows grazing in the fields.
2 pm Allow a little time for shopping and browse the independent shops along the High Street and in the Covered Market. Close by is Westgate Oxford – the city’s new shopping and entertainment centre – and here you will find an eclectic mix of global fashion brands, high street fashion, restaurants, bars and a boutique cinema. Certainly enough to keep you busy!
From 5.15 pm Bring your time in Oxford to an end with 45 minutes of often world-class Choral Evensong in a beautiful Oxford college chapel. It happens every evening during Term Time and starts between 5.15 pm and 6.45 pm depending on which college you visit.
The best way to travel to Oxford is to use the Park and Ride. There are 5 Park and Ride car parks located on the outskirts of Oxford with frequent onward bus journeys into the city centre.