« ENGLANDDiscover EnglandSoutheast England • Oxford

Discover magical Oxford

Don't write Oxford off as bookish and elite - 21st century Oxford is as fashionable and forward-thinking as it is timeless. While you'll still see gowned students pedaling through town and punting along the river, you'll also find a profusion of modern art galleries and independent shopping boutiques, a thriving music scene and even a bit of magic - the Harry Potter movies were filmed on location here.

Magical Journeys to Oxford, England

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» All Souls College

All Souls College, Oxford

One of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford is All Souls College, though the official name is the Warden and the College of the Souls of All Faithful People Deceased in the University of Oxford. It is primarily a graduate research institution with no undergraduate students. The college's library collection is housed in the Codrington Library building, an impressive building that was completed in 1751 and has been in used ever since. Today the library contains about 185,000 items, of which about one third were published before 1800 …

» Ashmolean Museum

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Not only Britain's oldest public museum but also among the oldest in the world, the Ashmolean is more than just a museum - it's an internationally renowned institution and one of Oxford's most visited attractions. Founded in 1683, the esteemed museum is one of four of the University of Oxford, with a focus on art, archaeology and natural history. Benefiting from a thorough renovation in 2009, the Ashmolean Museum now boasts a 21st-century redesign by award-winning architect Rick Mather …

» Balliol College

Balliol College, Oxford

Balliol College is the oldest continuously operated college in the University of Oxford and was created around 1263. The oldest parts of the college include the north and west sides of the front quadrangle and the medieval hall. The Balliol Library holds a collection of medieval manuscripts that are considered to be the finest and largest private collection to survive in England from the Middle Ages. You can still visit the medieval reading rooms, and the library's collection includes many other early printed books, medieval manuscripts, and rare books …

» Bodleian Library

Bodleian Library, Oxford

The main research library of the University of Oxford and one of the oldest of its kind in Europe, the Bodleian Library is also one of the UK's five "copyright libraries," famously housing a copy of every book printed in Great Britain - a collection that spans more than 11 million works. Founded by Sir Thomas Bodley in 1602, the Bodleian Library, or "the Bod" as it's known to students, is actually a complex of libraries and reading rooms located in the heart of Oxford, including the domed Radcliffe Camera …

» Bridge of Sighs

Bridge of Sighs, Oxford

Hertford Bridge, more commonly known as the Bridge of Sighs, is a skyway bridge linking two parts of Hertford College over New College Land in Oxford, England. The Old Quadrangle, which houses the college's administrative offices, is to the south, and the New Quadrangle, which is mostly student accommodation, is to the north. It was completed in 1914 and is often referred to as the Bridge of Sighs because it supposedly looks like the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy. However, many say it more closely resembles Venice's Rialto Bridge …

» Carfax Junction, Oxford

Carfax Junction, Oxford

The meeting point of Oxford's main throughways, Carfax Junction is the central point of the city and is within walking distance of all the top attractions. The city's principal streets converge here - the pedestrianized shopping avenues of Cornmarket Street to the north and Queen Street to the west; the High Street to the east, which leads to Radcliffe Square and Magdalen College; and St Aldate's Street, which runs south to the Christ Church College …

» Christ Church College

Christ Church College, Oxford

The largest and arguably most renowned of Oxford's many colleges, the hallowed halls and exquisite cathedral of Christ Church College have a long and illustrious history. Founded by Cardinal Thomas Woolsey in 1524, the grandiose complex includes architectural highlights like Sir Christopher Wren's Great Tom bell tower and the Great Hall, where King Charles I held court during the English Civil War. Despite being just one of 38 colleges, for many visitors to Oxford, Christ Church is synonymous with Oxford University …

» Magdalen College

Magdalen College, Oxford

Wandering through the 100-acre grounds of Magdalen College paints an idyllic picture of Oxford university life - punting along the river, watching a game on the cricket lawns, strolling through the deer park or walking the woodland Addison's Trail, a favorite route of Oxford alumnus C.S Lewis. The verdant setting is reason enough to visit, but Magdalen's striking architecture is equally notable, making it a worthy rival to nearby Christ Church College …

» Museum of the History of Science

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford

The Museum of the History of Science functions as both a public museum and a department of the University of Oxford. The museum occupies the world's oldest surviving purpose-built museum building, the Old Ashmolean. There are family-friendly programs and events, gallery tours, talks and lectures, and sessions designed for school groups. The museum has around 18,000 objects in its collection, although only about one fifth of these items are on display at any one time. Digital archives are kept on all items in the museum's collection …

» Oxford Castle

Oxford Castle, Oxford

With its lone tower and man-made grassy mound, the once mighty Oxford Castle is now a shadow of its former self. But the striking landmark still offers a fascinating insight into the city's grim and gory history. Originally built by William the Conqueror in 1071, the Norman Castle was later converted into a prison and execution tower, linked to the county court by an underground passageway and remaining in use until as late as 1996 (although the last public execution was held in 1863) …

» Oxford Covered Market

Oxford Covered Market, Oxford

Whether you're meeting friends for coffee or bartering over artisan produce, wandering around Oxford's bustling central market serves as a lively introduction to the city. Drawing a steady stream of both locals and tourists, the Oxford Covered Market has been at the center of local life since it opened its doors in 1774, and today remains in its original building, designed by architect John Gwynn. Dozens of permanent stalls are found here, including butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers …

» Oxford Town Hall

Oxford Town Hall, Oxford

Set in the heart of Oxford, the Oxford Town Hall is both a historic Victorian building and a popular meeting, conference and wedding venue. Opened in 1897 by the Prince of Wales Edward VII, the town hall is also home to the Museum of Oxford, the only museum that tells the story of the town's history. The museum opened in 1975 and, in 2012, a new interactive Explore Oxford exhibit opened to truly bring Oxford's history to life. In the first part of the exhibit, visitors look around a Victorian era office to experience how the area evolved over 3,000 years …

» Radcliffe Camera

Radcliffe Camera, Oxford

With its striking neoclassical dome looming over the neighboring Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Camera (or Radcliffe Room in Latin) is one of Oxford's most iconic sights and one of the most photographed of all the university buildings. Funded by Royal physician John Radcliffe and designed by architect James Gibbs, the "Rad Cam" was completed in 1749 and was originally used as the university's principal science library. Today the Radcliffe Camera is part of the Bodleian Library complex …

» Sheldonian Theatre

Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford

Built by master architect Sir Christopher Wren, whose later works included the iconic St Paul's Cathedral in London, the Sheldonian Theatre stands out among Oxford's many landmarks with its grand semi-circular design reminiscent of a classical Roman theater. The Grade I-listed building has been one of Oxford's principal venues since it opened its doors in 1668, and it even hosted the first performance of Handel's third oratorio Athalia …

» Trinity College

Trinity College, Oxford

One of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford, Trinity College was originally founded as a training house for Catholic priests in the 16th century. It was a center of educational reform in the 19th century and over the years has produced three British prime ministers. The college was an all-male institution until 1979 and today has a very small student body, with just around 400 students. The grounds are surrounded by an iron palisade and consist of four major quadrangles, a large lawn and extensive gardens …

» University of Oxford

University of Oxford, Oxford

The University of Oxford, located in Oxford, England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the second oldest surviving university in the world. It is not known what the exact date of its foundation is, but there is evidence of the university's existence dating back to at least 1096. In 1209, due to disputes, some academics split from Oxford and formed the University of Cambridge nearby. Oxford is made up of 38 constituent colleges, and the university buildings and facilities are spread throughout the city center …

» University of Oxford Botanic Garden

University of Oxford Botanic Garden, Oxford

A tranquil pocket of greenery stretching across the banks of the River Cherwella, the University of Oxford Botanic Garden is the UK's oldest botanical garden, dating back to 1621. Located on a five-acre plot on the Magdalen College grounds, the diminutive garden makes up for its small size with an impressive variety of plant and flower species - more than 6,000 different ones from around the globe. Renowned as one of the world's most biodiverse areas, the garden hosts everything from giant rhubarb to the common stinging nettle …

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Its Dreaming Spires have inspired luminaries like Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll and J.R.R. Tolkien, and its prestigious university has churned out generations of high-profile politicians, Nobel Prize winners and expert scholars, making Oxford the quintessential British university town. The historic colleges are inseparable from the modern city, and everywhere you turn, you'll find grand medieval buildings, looming gothic towers and winding cobblestone lanes …

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When they are accessible to the public, the thirty university 'castles' of Oxford are a must-see. Scattered all throughout town and altered with historical buildings showing the impressive architectural character of several periods. Visit also the Bridge of Sighs, based on the Ponte dei Sospori in Venice …

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