Oxford has become synonymous with its prestigious university - but that can sometimes overshadow the city itself. Oxford is a small but quaint and historic city in England that everyone should visit. Oxford, England is (naturally) not to be confused with the historic and charming literary city of Oxford, Mississippi.
One will see how the town is steeped in some of the richest English histories and packed with visual delights at every corner. One will be guided to the ancient buildings that make up the famous University as well as its charming parks and rivers that surround the University.
What To Know About The Historic University City of Oxford
Oxford is located around 56 miles northwest of London and is home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world. The city is stunning and includes buildings that represent every style of English architecture - all the way from the late Anglo-Saxon period.
- Location: Oxfordshire 56 Miles Northwest of London
- University of Oxford: The Oldest University In The English-speaking World
Oxford dates from the Saxon period (so not as old as London that hails from Londinium - the city that the Romans founded). It was once of strategic significance owing to its commanding location on the upper parts of the River Thames with its junction with the River Cherwell.
The University of Oxford fledged in Norman times. After the middle of the 14th century, the settlement became dominated by its famous university. The town was impacted by the English Reformation and later on grew an industrial industry that has since faded.
Walking Tours of Oxford
One of the best ways to explore Oxford is on food. Walking Tours of Oxford offer fully qualified Oxford guides (they are members of the Institute of Tourist Guiding and/or The Oxford Guild of Tour Guides). Their tours immerse one in the history of Oxford and make for a thoroughly memorable experience.
They offer a broad selection of tours depending on one's interests and preferences. One can learn about many of the well-known people who have called Oxford home - Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Philip Pullman are examples.
- Selection: There Are A Selection of Private and Group Tours
There are even movie attractions where visitors can see where movies like X-Men First Class and Harry Potter were filmed.
They offer trailer-made private tours and group tours including Simply Oxford tours, Christ Church tours, or Morse/ Lewis/ Endeavour tours. The most popular tour is their Simply Oxford university tours.
Simply Oxford tours:
The Simply Oxford walking tours delve into the very best of Oxford. The group size is restricted to just 10 people and operates from February to October. But don't be worried, more tours are added depending on demand. Depending on availability, the tour will also check out a college or university building.
- Group Size: Max 10 People
- Season: February to October
- Start Time: 2.00 pm
- Days Running: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
- Duration: 1 hour and 45 mins
What To See And Explore In Oxford
There are too many attractions in Oxford to do justice here, but if one is planning a self-guided tour of Oxford then these are some things one should keep in mind.
The Bodliean Library:
If one is a bookworm, then this is the place for you! The University of Oxford boasts the largest university library system in the country with 11 million volumes housed on 120 miles (190 km) of shelving. Oxford's library (called the Bodleian Library) is one of the oldest in the United Kingdom. It is even growing at a rate of over 3 miles of shelving every year as it adds a copy of every book published in the United Kingdom.fx That being said the British Library is even bigger.
- Bodleian Library: 11 Million Volumes With 120 Miles of Shelving
Oxford Has Many Galleries and Museums:
Oxford is also home to many galleries and museums - most of them have free admissions and are major attractions in the small city. Most of the museums and galleries are departments of the University of Oxford that dominates the city.
The world's second-oldest (after Kunstumseum Basel established in 1661) university museum is also in Oxford called the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archeology. It is Britain's first public museum housed in a building terracing its origins back to 1678 to 1683. It has been owned by the University of Oxford since 1677.
It houses impressive collections of art and archeology including works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Turner, and Picasso.
Other significant museums include the University Museum of National History (with skeletons of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops - and the most complete dodo), the Pitt Rivers Museum, and the Museum of the History of Science.