A historic city filled with modern vibrance
It might be called the “city of dreaming spires” but there’s nothing sleepy about Oxford. Stepping onto a train to Oxford will whisk you to a city that is a heady mix of history and forward-thinking culture. Although its rich past is evident in the architecture, statues and museums that dot the city, it’s also a vibrant, young city, filled with students and the liveliness they bring. With a range of restaurants, bars and shops to suit all tastes, you’re sure to leave Oxford wanting more.
Oxford Station is conveniently located just a 10-walk from the city centre. The walk will take you past several beautiful colleges and the castle, but alternatively you can take a 10-minute bus ride.
A compact city, Oxford has a surprising array of shopping options available for those in search of something unique or simply some retail therapy.
You’ll find most of your high street favourites concentrated around Cornmarket and Queen Street. Nestled between the two is Clarendon Centre, offering a wide range of shops all under one roof, so you can shop at your leisure whatever the weather.
However, if you’re looking for something more Oxfordian, you’ll not be short of options. You could spend hours dipping in and out of boutique stores discovering local designers, crafters and artists. Choose between the cool streets of Jericho, the historic Covered Market with its many delights and the diverse Cowley Road.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that Oxford is the perfect place to shop for antiques and books. For the former, our top choice is Antiques on High, where a traditional looking shopfront hides a treasure-chest of amazing vintage finds. For the latter there’s nowhere better than Blackwell’s - an Oxford institution. And it’s also well worth dropping by the Oxfam Bookshop for some second hand finds!
When it comes to food and drink, Oxford offers a huge variety. With a choice of cuisines that span the globe, there’s nothing better than following your nose and discovering the amazing dishes on offer.
Heading down Cowley Road will open up an array of wonderful sights and smells, and is one of the cheaper areas of Oxford to pick up something to eat. With plenty of choices, from authentic Thai to Spanaish tapas, this area has it all – including a cheeky Nandos!
However, we couldn’t just leave it there, as we have some favourites in Oxford that we simply couldn’t wait to share with you. St Giles Café has been a student haunt for generations but has recently received a smart new makeover. Don’t just take our word for it on this one – WH Auden was also a fan! For something more upmarket, we’d recommend heading to the Rooftop Restaurant at Ashmolean where you can enjoy delicious food with a view!
If you’re interested in making the most of the local produce, head to the Covered Market and pick up some of the tasty local cheeses, breads, and perhaps even a beer, before heading out to the river to enjoy a delicious lunch.
It’s hardly surprising that Oxford has a lot to offer culture vultures of all types. Whether you’re looking for theatre, art or comedy, this city has it all. From cheap and cheerful student nights to beautiful professional productions, it’s hard to capture the full range of the cultural offering of the city in a few sentences – but we’re going to try!
When it comes to museums, Oxford offers something of an embarrassment of riches, and there really is something for everyone. One of our favourites is the Pitt Rivers Museum, with its quirky selection of interesting objects. However, Modern Art Oxford is also a contender. This gallery opened in the 1960s and has offered visitors an amazing array of stunning and avant garde art ever since.
From the New Theatre to the Oxford Playhouse, and the Oxford Revue to The Glee Club, there’s theatre and comedy nights across the city whenever you choose to visit. With so much on offer, it’ll be tough to make a choice, so keep an eye out for your favourites.
Of course, you haven’t truly had the full Oxford-experience if you don’t go punting!
Oxford Station has step-free access throughout and is fully accessible to those with a range of needs.
When considering onward travel from Oxford Station, you may choose to use the reliable bus network, with regular buses stopping at the station. Alternatively, the taxi rank is conveniently located nearby. Parking is also available at the station.
For further information about Oxford Station, check out our station guide.
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If you want to explore Oxford and all it has to offer, you’ll want to stay longer than a day! So, make sure you book a great value hotel in Oxford before you arrive.
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