Oxford is the capital of the county of Oxfordshire and one of the main cities in Britain. It is called "the city of dreaming spires", and the architecture and beauty of the area are so impressive that even Hitler planned to move the capital of England here if it was conquered. Unapproachable and majestic, cold in appearance and friendly for locals — Oxford is proud not only for its famous university but also can amaze tourists of all ages. So what does this place hide? I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Districts of Oxford
Oxford is considered to be one of the most recognizable cities in Britain. Indeed, it is simply impossible to confuse its outlines with other cities. It's all because of its unique, preserved ancient architecture. Even if you don't consider yourself a fan of "antiquity", you should still visit Oxford for at least a couple of hours. The grandeur of local attractions will make a lasting impression on you.
Population of Oxford
A brief history of Oxford
During the reign of King Henry II, this place became a full-fledged educational institution. According to world rankings, Oxford University remains one of the best educational institutions. It has given the world 50 Nobel laureates, among them: Baruch Blumberg (discovered hepatitis B virus), Thomas Stearns Eliot (a founder of modernism style in poetry), Howard Walter Florey (discovered penicillin and its healing properties), John Galsworthy (a prose writer, playwright, author of "The Forsyte Saga"), and many others.
The city itself attracts tourists with its aristocratic, Victorian style, old streets, cobbled paving stones, markets, museums, and pubs. The capital of Oxfordshire is located on the banks of the Thames, 90 km from the main city of the Foggy Albion, London.
There are unique buildings from the past centuries: the Radcliffe Camera, Magdalen College, Oxford Cathedral and College. The architectural style of the buildings gravitates towards the Gothic and Renaissance. There is also the largest library and the oldest museums with paintings by Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and other famous artists.
Local galleries have more than 250 Greek statues, and when you get to the botanical garden, you can learn how medicines were created in the old days. Here everything is inspired by science, ancient and real England, which you have read about in books and seen in movies.
It is impossible not to mention pubs. The oldest drinking establishment is located here. It has been operating since 1650 — The Eagle and Child pub was hosting famous writers John Ronald Reuel Tolkien and Clive Staples Lewis, and today tourists from all over the world are hurrying here.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
The best time to visit Oxford
Admission to many colleges is paid or not available to tourists. There is no single price, as institutions put up a fee, and some of them let in for free on certain dates. If you want to save money, pass the security guards quietly, pretending to be students; passes are rarely asked here.
The cheapest way to get to Oxford from London is by Megabus. The fare is around a couple of pounds. Tickets need to be bought in advance at the bus station's ticket offices.
Would you like to eat something cheap and tasty? Visit places near colleges. They have democratic prices for students and a good selection of dishes.
You can see the city from a bird's-eye view by climbing to the roof of the University Church Mary the Virgin.
Want to bring something Oxfordish from your trip, but you don't know what? At The University of Oxford Shop, you can buy cups, clothes, notebooks with the university' logo. And Blackwell's of Oxford has a vast selection of books and regular discounts.
What should a tourist do in Oxford?
- Explore the old town. Rain or sunshine — Oxford is beautiful in any weather. The main streets of Cornmarket street and High street are crowded with tourists, but if you turn the first corner, you'll find yourself in the small streets where no one can stop you from discovering architecture.
- Take a picture on "Bridge of Sighs". The Bridge of Sighs connects the two parts of Hertford College and is considered to be one of the cinematic attractions. Its name comes from its resemblance to the Venetian Bridge of Sighs of the same name.
- Return to the university. The University of Oxford has 38 colleges, some of which offer a chance to look in and feel like a student again. New College has free concerts in the chapel, and Christ Church is a beautiful area.
- Visit the largest library in the UK. The Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera, consisting of two buildings, are connected by an underground tunnel. Here you can take incredible pictures.
- Try the signature treats. The small town is famous for its home-like cooking style: fish patties, roasted duck with spicy sauce, and sebastes are the main treats on the tables of locals.
- Buy souvenirs on High Street. Here you'll find boutiques and artisan stalls where you can find old antiques.