14 Places You Must Visit In Oxford On Your Day-Trip

Oxford, one of the most beautiful and architectural city in England, is known worldwide as the home of the University of Oxford. Anyone who has been to Oxford would have fallen in love with its stunning English architecture, history and culture. Take a day-trip to Oxford from London to go on a Harry Potter walking tour, visit museums and libraries, punting, exploring gardens and even wandering through a castle. Here are 14 places that you definitely must visit in Oxford.

1. University of Oxford 

Photo Credits: Wikipedia

As most of you would have known, Oxford is a city that revolves around its prestigious university, University of Oxford, the oldest University in the English-Speaking world. This specific iconic building featured in the photo above is situated just next to Radcliffe Camera.  One thing to note is that University of Oxford consists of many colleges, museums, gardens under its cluster, so if you are thinking of visiting the different colleges in Oxford, check out their website for more information.

 

2. Bodleian Library

Photo Credits: Hitched

Photo Credits: Wikipedia

Most of the visitors to Bodleian Libraries, the largest university library system in United Kingdom, are Harry Potter fans for a reason. The Hogwarts’ library is filmed in Univeristy of Oxford’s Duke Humphrey’s Library,  one of the special collections reading rooms at Bodleian Library. Do book your tickets online in advance to avoid disappointment. Click here for the Mini Tour and  Standard Tour bookings and information. You either book tickets online 2 weeks in advance or get them on the day itself at the Great gate ticket office.

While being there, you can get a peek into the popular Divinity School, where Hogwarts’ infirmary was filmed. It  is the oldest teaching and examination hall of the university, and today, it is known for its intricately designed ceiling, and as a popular wedding venue in Oxford.

Address: Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3BG

Getting there: 16 mins walk from Oxford Railway Station

Visiting Fee: 

Oxford’s Duke Humphrey Library (in Bodleian Library): £6 for 30 mins, £8 for 60 mins

The Divinity School: £1 for 10 mins

Opening Hours:

Bodleian Library: Monday-Friday: 9:00-19:00, Saturday: 10:00-16:00

The Divinity School: Monday-Saturday: 9:00-17:00, Sunday: 11:00-17:00

 

3. Radcliffe Camera

One of Oxford’s iconic architecture has got to be the Radcliffe Camera; with its recognizable dome-shaped structure and circular building. The Radcliffe Camera is part of the Bodleian Libraries of University of Oxford, and houses reference collection books for History, English and Theology. However, since it is a working library, access is only granted to students and scholars. Nevertheless, it is still a worthy sight from the exterior.

Address: Radcliffe Square, Oxford OX1

Getting there: 16 mins walk from Oxford Railway Station

Visiting Fee: No entry

 

4. University of Oxford Botanic Gardens

Photo Credits: Wikipedia

The University of Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in Britain and it houses the most compact yet diverse collection of plants in the world. Enjoy a morning walk in the garden, breathing in fresh air and nature scents before starting your day of sightseeing.

Address: Rose Lane, Oxford OX1 4AZ

Getting There: 23 mins walk from Oxford Railway Station

Opening Hours: Daily from 9am (seasonal closing times)

Visiting Fee:  £5 for adults (Free to children under 18 when accompanied by a paying adult)

 

5. Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Oxford’s Museum of Natural History provides you with a vast collection of zoological and geological specimens, including fossils, stuffed animals, skeletons and geodes. Right at the foyer of the museum when you step foot into the museum, you will see various skeletons and specimen of animals, such as the Dodo bird and Dinosaur specimens. Even if you aren’t a fan of biology and the study of animals and fossils, you can definitely appreciate the amazing architecture of the museum, with its see-through high-ceiling design.

Address: Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW

Getting There: 22 mins walk from Oxford Railway Station

Opening Hours: Daily 10am-5pm

Visiting Fee: Free

 

6. Christ Church College & Cathedral

Photo Credits: Architectural Digest

Photo Credits: Christ Church

Christ Church is both a beautiful college and  an ancient Cathedral. If you are visiting this beautiful compound, it is advisable to head down in the morning as sometimes their dining hall is closed to visitors during or after lunch time, or closed for weddings and private events. Check the specific opening timings for the hall, cathedral and quads before heading down. Take the staircase that students at Hogwarts had to climb in order to get into the Hogwarts’ dining hall via Christ Church’s staircase. The Hogwarts’ Great Hall is also modeled after Christ Church’s Great Hall in the film. Harry Potter fans, you can even plan your own Harry Potter walking tour in Oxford.

You may enter Christ Church through their visitors’  entrance via Meadow Gate from St Aldate through the Memorial Garden and Christ Church Meadow. Check out their website for more timings and tickets information.

Address: St. Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1DP

Getting There: 15 mins walk from Oxford Railway Station

Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-4.15pm | Sun 2pm-4.15pm

Visiting Fee: £7-£9 for Adult ticket (depending on season)

 

7. University Church of St Mary the Virgin

Capture excellent panoramic views of the Oxford city from the University’s own church, from the tower. Situated right at the doorstep of Radcliffe Square, enjoy a great view of the Radcliffe Camera and the Oxford colleges while sipping a cup of English tea at the church’s garden cafe.

Address: High Street / Radcliffe Square, Oxford, OX1 4BJ

Getting There:  16 mins walk from Oxford Railway Station

Opening Hours: 

Cathedral: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm | Sun 12pm-5pm (In summer, it closes at 6pm)

Gift Shop & Tower: Mon-Sat 9.30am-5pm | Sun: 11.30am-5pm

Visiting Fee: £3-£4 for the gift shop and tower

 

8. Bridge of Sighs

Not to be mistaken with the Bridge of Sighs in Venice where you could row a boat beneath it, the Bridge of Sighs in Oxford is one of the iconic architecture in Oxford which connects two parts of Hertford College. Nothing more than just a bridge along the street, but definitely a pretty photo opportunity spot for tourists.

Address: Hertford College, Oxford

Getting There:  15 mins walk from Oxford Railway Station

 

9. Carfax Tower 

The second best view of the Oxford City, after University Church of St Mary the Virgin, has got to be at the top of Carfax Tower. However, you have got to work your way up by climbing 99 steps up the tower.  The 23 metres-high belltower has been the landmark of Oxford for its marvelous 360-degrees bird’s eye view of the city. The entire climb would take around 15-20 minutes before you enjoy an uninterrupted time at the top.

Address: Queen Street, Oxford, OX1 1ET

Getting There:  12 mins walk from Oxford Railway Station

Opening Hours: 10am-4.30pm

Visiting Fee: £2.70

 

10. Sheldonian Theatre

The Sheldonian Theatre is the official ceremonial hall of the University of Oxford. It is the venue where students are admitted to the University, where they receive their degree. Concerts and events are held at the theatre as well. You can also enjoy one of the best 360 degree panoramic views of Oxford from the Cupola.

Address: Broad St, Oxford OX1 3AZ

Getting There: 15 mins walk from Oxford Railway Station

Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-1pm, 2pm-4.30pm (closes at 3.30 in winter)

Visiting Fee: £3.50 for adults

 

11. Oxford Punting

What better way to end off a day-trip to Oxford than a punting ride at Oxford’s Magdalen Bridge Boathouse. The starting point is situated underneath Magdalen College tower. You can choose either to hire traditionally crafted punts, rowing boats and pedals or hiring a chauffeured boat. We got ourselves a chauffeured punt so that we can concentrate on capturing beautiful photos along Oxford’s stunning River Cherwell which passes by Oxford’s famous Botanic Gardens, Christ Church Meadows and College, Magdalen College and St Hilda’s College.

Address: The Old Horse Ford, High Street, Oxford, OX1 4AU

Getting There: 22 mins walk from Oxford Railway Station

Opening Hours: Daily from 1 Feb-30 Nov, 9.30am-9pm

Visiting Fee: £32 for 30 minutes of chauffeured punt

 

12. Choral Evensong

Photo credits: Experience Oxfordshire

Choral Evensong is one of England’s greatest cultural creations. Everyday during term-time, Oxford college chapel choirs will sing beautiful choral music in Choral Evensong (a service that is free and open to the public). Considering that Oxford has a high concentration of top-level Choral Evensong singing, this is one itinerary that choral-music lovers and choral singers cannot miss. Here’s the service timetable of Choral Evensong in Oxford.

Opening Hours: 45 minutes service daily between 5.15 and 6.45 pm

 

13. The Covered Market

 

The Covered Market, centred in the middle of Oxford City, is a popular spot for tourists, as it is easily accessible from High Street, Market Street or Golden Cross in Cornmarket Street. At the market, you can find a wide range of local crafts, food and drinks. In between your sightseeing, do stop by for a quick meal and shopping before heading off to your next destination.

Address: Market St, Oxford OX1 3DZ

Getting There: 13 mins walk from Oxford Railway Station

Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 8am-5.30pm | Sun 10am-4pm

 

14. Oxford Castle unlocked

Photo Credits: Oxford Castle Unlocked

If you are very much interested in history and adventure, then castle exploring might be just right for you. You will be led by costumed character guides around the castle, exploring the rich history of Oxford and the castle. Beyond learning the history, visitors get to climb the Saxon St George’s Tower, one of the oldest buildings in Oxford for yet another stunning panoramic view of Oxford, explore the underground remains of St George’s Chapel, as well as the confines of the castle prison. As admissions to the castle is only allowed via guided tours, plan and book your tour before you head down.

Address: 44-46 Oxford Castle, Oxford OX1 1AY

Getting There: 8 mins walk from Oxford Railway Station

Opening Hours: Daily 10am-4.20pm

Visiting Fee: £10.95 for adults

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