Oxford, founded sometime in the ninth century, expanded in the Middle Ages as a center for learning, first for theology, then medicine and then prince. The small city of Oxford is a huge school. Every few yards a new college jumps on you. The towers, old buildings and courtyards make Oxford a beautiful place to stroll.
The university is made up of 38 colleges and each college is separate and responsible for itself. While you can go to New College or Exeter College, you still get an Oxford degree. Here every college teaches all subjects, although there is a separate department for science and medicine.
At the Visitor Information Center on Broad Street, you can sign up for all kinds of guided hikes. The most popular are around the historic colleges at the University of Oxford and they leave every day at 11:00, 13:00 and 14:00. This tour does not run in Christ Church or New College, both of which are included in this list.
Tolkien spent much of his career in Oxford, shooting scenes from the Harry Potter films all over the city The Visitor Information Center organizes theme hikes that point to Tolkien’s former haunt, or take you to New College, some of which were Hogwarts in Harry Potter. Two companies that I recommend for free hikes are Footprints and Strawberry Tours.
As the primary research library of the University of Oxford, the Bodleian is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. It currently has one of the largest collections of books in the world, with over 12 million items in the collection. Oxford University’s main research library is the second largest library in the United Kingdom.
One of the most spectacular sights is the Perpendicular Gothic Divinity School, with a sublime fan vaulting from the 15th century. You can make a self-guided visit or participate in one of three guided tours of the library and adjacent buildings, each of which varies in detail. There are up to four exhibitions in the library at a time, often featuring rare illuminated manuscripts.
It was built in English Baroque style, which was a short-lived style that is rarely seen today. It is also the birthplace and ancestor of Sir Winston Churchill, who lived in the palace as a child. Home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.
Blenheim Palace is a masterpiece of baroque architecture with over 300 years of history to discover. And the palace itself houses some of the finest collections of antique furniture in Europe. Blenheim Palace is located in Woodstock, just 13 km from Oxford. Britain’s largest palace, offering visitors a precious time, every time.
Founded in 1683, this is Britain’s oldest public museum and the world’s first university museum. It houses an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian art as well as an impressive collection of Eastern Art. More than 330 years after its founding, the world’s first university museum continues to develop.
In 2011, the Ashmolean Museum unveiled new galleries for ancient Egypt and Nubia and in 2016 a new wing was opened for 19th-century art. The most extensive Minoan collection outside Crete, the Anglo-Saxon Abingdon sword. New purchases are made from year to year, so no two visits to this extraordinary museum will be the same.
University of Oxford Botanic Garden
The Gardens are one of Oxford’s most beautiful places to enjoy the scenery and the slower pace of the city. They are also the country’s oldest botanical gardens, opened in 1621. There is a walled section, greenhouses and a section along the river. Among the oldest scientific gardens in the world, the Botanical Garden of Oxford University was first established in 1621.
The garden squeezes 8,000 plant species on just 1.8 acres, which make up all nine-tenths of the higher plant families. Here you can explore the Walled Garden, with a formal layout and 17th-century stonework, a rock garden, a moorland garden, a rose garden and a range of exquisite borders.