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Things to do in Oxfordshire

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
History Museum
“We love to visit when we’re in Oxford. Its free entry and has a super restaurant and roof top bar”
  • 118 locals recommend
Shopping Centre
“Right in city centre. Has roof terrace with views of town. Around 8 restaurants to every taste. Cocktail bar, cinema and of course shops. Convenient underground car park. Although not cheap. ”
  • 48 locals recommend
Park
“Enjoy a walk? Take a picnic 🧺 and enjoy this historic park and beautiful landscape. ”
  • 41 locals recommend
Market
“The Covered Market is a historic market with permanent stalls and shops in a large covered structure in central Oxford, England. The market is located to the north of the High Street towards the western end between Cornmarket Street and Turl Street. To the north is Market Street. Most of the entrances are from the High Street and Market Street (with four entrances from each street). It is also possible to gain access from Cornmarket via the Golden Cross alley, with its small up-market shops. The Covered Market was officially opened on 1 November 1774 and is still active today. It was started in response to a general wish to clear 'untidy, messy and unsavoury stalls' from the main streets of central Oxford. John Gwynn, the architect of Magdalen Bridge, drew up the plans and designed the High Street front with its four entrances. In 1772, the newly formed Market committee, half of whose members came from the town and half from the university, accepted an estimate of nine hundred and sixteen pounds ten shillings, for the building of twenty butchers' shops. Twenty more soon followed, and after 1773 meat was allowed to be sold only inside the market. From this nucleus the market grew, with stalls for garden produce, pig meat, dairy products and fish.”
  • 46 locals recommend
General College & University
“The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation”
  • 44 locals recommend
History Museum
“Excellent natural history Museum with the added bonus of the Pitt Rivers which is an anthropological collection that is amazing and not to be missed.”
  • 45 locals recommend
Pub
$$
“Check out the flea market outside the Magdalen Arms pub on Iffley Road - it takes place on the first Saturday of each month (except some winter months) from 9.30am until lunchtime. There are interesting objects for sale and details can be found on the pub website. ”
  • 47 locals recommend
History Museum
“Fabulous to take the children to, or enjoy yourself if you have an interest in dinosaurs and other fossils. ”
  • 33 locals recommend
College Library
“The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford, and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. With over 12 million items, it is the second-largest library in Britain after the British Library. Under the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 it is one of six legal deposit libraries for works published in the United Kingdom, and under Irish law it is entitled to request a copy of each book published in the Republic of Ireland. Known to Oxford scholars as "Bodley" or "the Bod", it operates principally as a reference library and, in general, documents may not be removed from the reading rooms. In 2000, a number of libraries within the University of Oxford were brought together for administrative purposes under the aegis of what was initially known as Oxford University Library Services (OULS), and since 2010 as the Bodleian Libraries, of which the Bodleian Library is the largest component. All colleges of the University of Oxford have their own libraries, which in a number of cases were established well before the foundation of the Bodleian, and all of which remain entirely independent of the Bodleian. They do, however, participate in OLIS (Oxford Libraries Information System), the Bodleian Libraries' online union catalogue. Much of the library's archives were digitized and put online for public access in 2015.”
  • 37 locals recommend
Bar
“The Rusty Bicycle is our favourite local pub. It does good food during the day and is open late at weekends. The home-made burgers, pizzas and ales are great. It is also on Magdalen Rd. ”
  • 45 locals recommend
Cinema
“A beautiful old cinema situated at the end of Cowley Road. They have a bar selling drinks and snacks inside the auditorium itself. A big favourite with locals. ”
  • 28 locals recommend
Cinema
“Lovely walk along the towpath to The Phoenix Picturehouse for a film. Lots of lovely restaurants in Jericho to choose from afterwards.”
  • 32 locals recommend
Botanical Garden
“The University of Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in Great Britain and one of the oldest scientific gardens in the world. The garden was founded in 1621 as a physic garden growing plants for medicinal research. Today it contains over 6,000 different plant species on 1.8 ha (4 1⁄2 acres). It is one of the most diverse yet compact collections of plants in the world and includes representatives from over 90% of the higher plant families. Simon Hiscock became Horti Praefectus in 2015. His predecessor, Timothy Walker, served from 1988 to 2014.[3”
  • 26 locals recommend
Tapas Restaurant
$$
“A friendly smile, beautifully hand made food, and delicious cocktails are waiting for you at Oxford’s best tapas bar. So come on in, sit back, and soak up the atmosphere. We will be here waiting to make you a drink.”
  • 34 locals recommend
Field
“Christ Church Meadow is a well-known flood-meadow, and popular walking and picnic spot in Oxford, England. Roughly triangular in shape it is bounded by the River Thames (the stretch through Oxford being known as "The Isis"), the River Cherwell, and Christ Church. The meadow provides access to many of the college boat houses which are on an island at the confluence of the two rivers. The lower sections of the meadow, close to the Thames, are grazed by cattle, while the upper sections have sports fields. Broad Walk is at the northern edge with Merton Field to the north and Merton College, dominated by the tower of Merton College Chapel, beyond that.”
  • 31 locals recommend
History Museum
“Fabulous all year round, free entry especially great if the British weather lets you down.”
  • 38 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Pub
“Check out the flea market outside the Magdalen Arms pub on Iffley Road - it takes place on the first Saturday of each month (except some winter months) from 9.30am until lunchtime. There are interesting objects for sale and details can be found on the pub website. ”
  • 47 locals recommend
Tapas Restaurant
“A friendly smile, beautifully hand made food, and delicious cocktails are waiting for you at Oxford’s best tapas bar. So come on in, sit back, and soak up the atmosphere. We will be here waiting to make you a drink.”
  • 34 locals recommend
Thai Restaurant
“Thai restaurant with a small daily changing menu. Highly rated, and tends to be booked up several months in advance. But there are rumours of a couple of unreservable tables, so patrons turning up early on the night they wish to dine may be lucky.”
  • 38 locals recommend
Café
“Situated on the cosmopolitan Cowley Road along with a vast array of restaurants of all cuisines, something for everyone. Short walk from bus stop at St Clements. Lively nights and busy days. ”
  • 21 locals recommend
Pub
“The Turf Tavern (or just "the Turf") is a popular but well-hidden historic pub in central Oxford, England. Its foundations and use as a malt house and drinking tavern date back to 1381. The low-beamed front bar area was put in place sometime in the 17th century. It was originally called the Spotted Cow but the name was changed in 1842, likely as part of an effort to extinguish its reputation as a venue for illegal gambling activities. The pub is frequented primarily by university students (of both Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University). It is located at the end of a narrow winding alley, St Helens Passage (originally Hell's passage), between Holywell Street and New College Lane, near the Bridge of Sighs. Running along one side of the pub is one of the remaining sections of the old city wall. Due to the illegal activities of many of its original patrons, the Turf sprang up in an area just outside the city wall in order to escape the jurisdiction of the governing bodies of the local colleges. The Turf Tavern is also where former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke set a Guinness World Record for consuming a yard glass of ale in 11 seconds in 1963. Local legend also has it that former U.S. president Bill Clinton, while attending Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, infamously "did not inhale" during an evening of carousing at the pub. Additional celebrities and public figures who have dined or drunk at the tavern include Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Blair, CS Lewis, Stephen Hawking and Margaret Thatcher. It also served as a hangout for the cast and crew of the Harry Potter movies while the nearby colleges were used as locations throughout the filming of the series. It was also featured in the show Inspector Morse. The pub inspired The Lamb and Flag, a fictional drinking establishment featured in Jude the Obscure, author Thomas Hardy's final novel. It is also reportedly haunted by "Old Rosie," the ghost of a young woman who allegedly drowned herself in a nearby moat after her lover failed to return from the English Civil War. The Turf is still a frequent gathering place for the Rhodes community in Oxford as the site of Turf Tuesday every week during term.”
  • 28 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Gee’s Restaurant offers locals and visitors a uniquely rustic, Mediterranean dining experience set in an iconic Victorian Glasshouse…Enjoy a house cocktail at the marble topped bar, dine in the light-filled conservatory amidst olive trees and plants, choose from a daily evolving seasonal menu inspired by the regional dishes of Spain and Italy, cooked on the wood fire oven and charcoal grill…”
  • 20 locals recommend
Steakhouse
“Nestled on the High Street in Oxford, this is one of my favourite places to eat. Formerly was the ‘Old Bank’. Either serving breakfast, lunch and dinner . Ideal if you are sightseeing in Oxford and want to have a nice lunch or whatever you fancy.”
  • 15 locals recommend
Restaurant
“We like to do things a bit differently here, so let's get the boring bit out of the way first Mmmm Burger Do we source the highest quality meat for our burgers? Yes Do we make our burgers by hand every day? Yes Do we cook food to order? Yes Do we have a secret recipe? Yes Do we use local suppliers? Yes BUT SO WHAT? Because, to be honest, any burger joint worth their pickle should be doing that anyway. Great Burgers ain't rocket science! Of we don't bring you a juicy, lip-smacking, belly filling burger than satisfies your soul we aren't doing our job properly. But Atomic Burger is about more than great foot We want to make you smile. We want to take you back to that time as a child when burgers could be as big as your head, summers lasted forever and simple things made you smile. So sit back and enjoy the music, look at the toys you always wante, argue about who the best superhero is and slurp milkshakes until you get a brain freeze. Enjoy life the Atomic Way and HAVE FUN!”
  • 20 locals recommend

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