Oxford is known as the “City of Dreaming Spires” for its wealth of stunning architecture. The historic buildings are associated with the 35 colleges which make up the oldest university in the English speaking world. This beautiful city is compact and crammed full of interesting buildings, churches and green spaces. The River Thames runs through the town, known as the Isis along this stretch, which is ideal for picnics, strolls and boating.
Oxford is set in beautiful countryside for walking, cycling and touring by car from your well-located holiday rental. The city has a host of museums, galleries, theatres, parks and shops, including the world famous Blackwell’s Bookstore, to keep all the family happily amused. Many of the pubs in Oxford have interesting connections such as the Eagle and Child which was a favourite haunt of J.R.R.Tolkien and C.S.Lewis.
The best way to learn about Oxford’s unique history is by taking a walking tour with a local guide. Not only will you learn about the many college buildings around the town centre, but the tours have access to some of the churches, gardens and colleges not open to the general public.
Evidence of gruesome historical events can be seen on a visit to Balliol College, founded in 1263. Look for the blackened burn marks by the cross on Broad Street where Archbishop Cranmer and two other bishops were burned alive by Queen Mary in the mid-16th century for their protestant faith.
Hire a boat and drift down the River Thames, known as the Isis along this stretch. Take a picnic and enjoy a romantic punt along the gentle meadow-lined waters. You can even hire someone to do the punting for you!
This is the oldest public museum in Britain and was started when Elias Ashmole gave his collection of priceless artworks to Oxford University. Along with paintings by Monet, Manet and Renoir are an Egyptian mummy and the Alfred jewel, a crystal dating back to the times of King Alfred.
The grandest and largest college in Oxford University is Christ Church. The 800 year old chapel is also known as Oxford Cathedral and has some magnificent artworks and treasures.
Carfax Tower is all that remains of the old Carfax Church which was demolished to make way for the road. Climb the steps up the 72-foot high tower and see spectacular views of Oxford and the surrounding countryside.
Oxford enjoys mild winters and fairly dry summers from its inland postion in southern England. Winters rarely see snow and summers average highs of 72°F (22°C). The winters see slightly more rainfall than the summer months.
The closest airports to Oxford are London Heathrow Airport and London Luton Airport which are both 39 miles from your holiday rental in Oxford.
Those wishing to drive through the lovely Oxfordshire countryside can easily reach Oxford along the A40 from the M5, from the M4 which runs to the south of Oxford, or from the M40 out of London.