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Oxford is home to many students who need a balanced life to thrive. You have many exciting things to do in Oxford, including visiting popular tourist destinations, shopping, and eating at restaurants. The city also has a lively nightlife, with many bars and clubs.
As a mentor at the Immerse Education Oxford summer school for high school students, and a student at the University of Oxford, I thought it only fair if I use my knowledge to help the masses.
What better way to take your mind off academics and refresh yourself than by visiting places and hanging out with friends? So if you’re wondering how much Oxford has to offer, you’ve come to the right place.
Sip Award-Winning Spirits at The Oxford Artisan Distillery
Do you know what the number one thing to do in Oxford is? According to Trip Advisor, it’s going on a tour at The Oxford Artisan Distillery. The place is the first legal distillery in Oxford, located at South Park, Cheney Lane.
If you’re wondering what makes it outstanding, it’s the sustainable farming practice. Oxford Artisan is famous for being the first certified organic grain-to-glass distillery in the UK. Taking care of the environment is at the core of what they do. You can choose from two tour types:
- Distillery Tour
- The Whiskey Tour.
You wouldn’t regret choosing either.
Sightseeing at Pitt Rivers Museum
The Pitt Rivers Museum contains one of the most extensive archaeological and ethnographic collections. It is named after Lieutenant-General Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt Rivers, a British army officer and archaeologist who donated his collection to the University of Oxford. The museum is located on South Parks Road, Oxford.
Related Read: Beautiful Parks In Oxford
The Pitt Rivers Museum is home to many exciting and unique exhibits. If you’re looking for something to do in Oxford, definitely visit the museum. You can do many activities there, including exploring the exhibits, taking a bike or walking tour, and participating in workshops. The museum also has a cafe where you can get a bite to eat.
Learn Spooky History At The Oxford Castle And Prison
There are a thousand years of Oxford History to explore at Oxford Castle and Prison. You can climb St. George’s Tower to have a comprehensive, stunning view of the city. It’s one of the oldest buildings in Oxford.
From there you can go down the steps of an old, candle-lit crypt that is over 900 years old – the remnant of St. George’s Chapel. Legend has it that it’s the place where Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote the Legends of King Arthur. You’ll also hear the history-famous stories of Empress Matilda, Rowland Jenkes, and Mary Blandy.
There are 4 fun experiences on their official website: Spectre Ghost Tour, Oxford History Walks, Jailbreak Escape Room, and Murder Mystery Evening. Trip Advisor gave them the Top 3 rank of Things To Do In Oxford. Do you like exploring quite a spooky history? You may want to give them a try.
Explore Bodleian Library
The Bodleian Library was founded in 1602, making it one of the oldest libraries in Europe. You can find it on Broad Street in Oxford. It has many collections, including the Duke Humfrey’s Library, the Radcliffe Camera, and the Weston Library.
Are you a book-work looking to expand your horizons by visiting some of the best libraries in Oxford? Click on the link for a breakdown from an Oxford student insider!
The Bodleian Library is open to the public and is a great place to do some research or relaxation. Are you a Harry Potter fan?
Then maybe you’d want to visit the Divinity School, where several scenes were shot for The Philosopher’s Stone and The Goblet of Fire. There’s also a cafe and shop for you to hang out in. A perfect spot after a long day of walking.
Eat At Quod Restaurant
You can easily reach Quod Restaurant on High Street from the Bodleian Library. Eating classic European dishes made of fresh British produce is one of Oxford’s best things to do. You and your mates can hang out at its heated Italian garden terrace. So whether you’re up for morning coffee, or afternoon tea, this is a special place to be.
Quod’s Head Chef is Rohan Kashid, who creates daily blackboard special lunches. Does Lamb Rogan Josh sound delicious to you for its usual main dishes? What about Wild Mushroom & Mascarpone Ravioli? If so, maybe you’d like to give Quod a visit.
Visit Christ Church Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral is a beautiful place to visit because of its stunning architecture and history. The cathedral was founded in the 11th century and is one of the oldest buildings in Oxford. It has been modified and expanded over the years, but it still retains its original beauty.
You can find it at the heart of Oxford, which serves both as a cathedral and a college chapel. Hence, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the smallest cathedrals in the UK. Though smaller in stature, it boasts prominent stained glass windows worth seeing.
One such is called the “Jonah Window” Abraham van Linge painted in 1630. Another one is the “St. Michael Window,” depicting a scene straight from the Book of Revelation.
If you’re looking for things to do in Oxford, don’t miss out on Christ Church Cathedral or visiting any of the many colleges Oxford University has.
Refresh Yourself At G&D’s Ice Cream Cafes
What better ice cream to eat than “Oxford’s Own”? It all began with an Oxford student, George Stroup, who opened “George & Davis” in the summer of 1992. The goal was to serve delicious homemade ice cream, especially to students who stay up late to study. Fast forward today, and it remains as one of the most beloved ice cream shops in the city.
The success allowed the expansion of G&D. You can now find them in three locations: Little Clarendon Street, St. Aldates, and Cowley Road. Each branch may serve different ice cream flavours than what the others are serving. Curious what the flavours are? Vanilla, Super #?*! Chocolate, Coffee, and Monkey’s Nuts are the usual list-toppers.
Tour at Sheldonian Theatre
Sheldonian Theatre is home to beautiful architecture and historical significance constructed between 1664 and 1668. It’s one of the earliest examples of a public building in the English Baroque style and the only surviving work of Christopher Wren from his time as Oxford’s University Architect.
Its famous ceiling painting called the “Truth Descending upon the Arts and Sciences” Robert Streater is worth checking out. You’ll also enjoy experiencing one of Oxford’s best 360-degree panoramic views from within the theatre’s cupola.
You can find the Sheldonian Theatre on Broad Street in Oxford. It’s open to the public, and you can take a guided tour or attend one of its many events. If you’re looking for things to do in Oxford, check out the Sheldonian Theatre.
Picture Taking at Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum
The Oxford Botanic Gardens are a great place to visit if you’re looking for things to do in Oxford. It’s the oldest botanic garden in the UK, founded in 1621 by Henry Danvers, 1st Earl of Danby. The garden is home to many different plants, including flowers, trees, and shrubs—some of which you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
Are you interested in more parks in Oxford? Here’s out list of the best park in Oxford
The gardens are a great place to relax and take a break from the hustle and bustle of Oxford. You can explore over seven glasshouses, each creating a climatic condition to cultivate plants from around the globe.
If you need to see more colourful and vibrant plants for a spark of inspiration, visit the Lower Garden. It’s a perfect place for picnics and picture taking!
Survey the Ashmolean Museum
The Ashmolean is an art and technology museum of the University of Oxford. Its collection includes pieces from Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Pablo Picasso. The museum also has an extensive collection of Egyptian art, including artefacts from the tomb of Tutankhamun.
There are several fun activities you can do at the museum. One is the Spotlight Trail, which guides you along 12 of the highlight objects. The “Shout Out For Women Trail” also features pieces honouring notable women across the centuries.
Need refreshment? There’s also a Rooftop Restaurant and Terrace, and Cafe you can visit to eat and drink.
Walking at Port Meadow
Port Meadow is known as “Oxford’s Oldest Monument,” with burials and settlements dating back to the Bronze Age. Today, it is one of the largest open spaces in North Oxford. When you visit the place, you’ll see the River Thames, a diverse array of cattle, horses, wildfowl, and a stunning collection of wildflowers.
Walking with your friends is a great way to explore the meadow, and there are specific places for picnics and barbeques.
You can also bring your dog with you if you like, as long as they don’t cause any harm to the wildlife. If you’re up for immersion, the place offers regular volunteer opportunities you and your friends can participate in.
There are many exciting things to do in Oxford because it’s a city full of culture, beauty, and history. You need a balanced life to thrive.
If you’re feeling down, why not go on adventures? Go and treat yourself to delicious ice cream from G&D’s. Or you can explore the 900-year old crypt for a spooky experience with your friends. Oxford is yours to explore.