Author Sushant Published on October 23rd 2019
Oxford is the City of Dreaming Spires and has one of the oldest universities in the world with many museums, some stunning architecture, and there is no shortage of things to do in this Fantastic British City.
This is a great city to spend the day in and but if you're short on time, it’s very possible to do a day trip to Oxford from London, getting there by Bus or by Train.
The city is famous for its Universities and places in history, 38 colleges make up the historic University of Oxford – the oldest university in the English-speaking world.
For over 800 years, it has been a home to royalty and scholars and is an established city since the 9th century. With the mix of ancient and modern, there is a lot that the city has to offer to its tourists, from visiting historic buildings, colleges or museums, going out for a drink, watching a show or shop till you drop, Oxford has it all.
Most things to see are directly or indirectly associated with the University. Once you have arrived in Oxford the only practical way to get around is to walk, though many of the locals prefer bicycles. Everything you will want to see is in a compact central area and is well signposted and it’s also easy to pick up a street map to find yourself around.
To help you plan, here are some ideas for things to do on an Oxford day trip, based on my recent visit.
Take a walking tour
It is an excellent way to explore Oxford, the place is a maze and with a walking tour, you can learn about the history of the city, as well as see some University Colleges. Make sure you take the Official University and City Tour, it starts at the visitor center and is run by the official Oxford Tourism Board. The guide takes you through some of the highlights of Oxford, including the covered market, the high street, the Radcliffe Camera, the Bodleian Library and several University colleges.
It is a wonderful way to quickly get a handle on the layout of Oxford, the history of the town, and to learn more about the university colleges.
Imbibe a Beverage
Oxford has no shortage of fantastic watering holes, some of the famous ones are The Eagle & Child, The White Horse, the Lamb & Flag, and the King’s Arms. You must visit The Turf Tavern, one of the oldest pubs in Oxford and has a lovely outdoor beer garden with a wide selection of beer as well as food.
Originally built in the 10th century, the castle served first as the main defensive center of the town, back when castles were genuinely useful for that, before being used as a prison from around the 14th century.
Now, the surviving castle complex serves several functions, with part of it being a hotel. To learn more about history take an Oxford Castle Unlocked tour, giving you access to the Motte (a big earth mound), St George’s Tower, the crypt and parts of the prison.
The University Church
The University Church has a long and rich history that one must experience. The church is open to visitors throughout the year and guides are usually on hand to answer any questions you may have. You can also climb the tower for the highest view over Oxford and the Vaults and Garden café offers an opportunity to sit down with a coffee, tea, and locally sourced food.
A day tour in Oxford city is enough to explore the city thoroughly as it is very compact and easily walkable. Even if you’re staying in London, you could easily do a day trip to Oxford as it’s only an hour by rail from central London, and still, take in a good many highlights.