At the heart of Oxfordshire are the so-called dreaming spires of the university city of Oxford. World renowned, Oxford is a multicultural hive of activity drawing a transient population of academics and tourists to its eclectic offering of walks, talks, concerts and gigs (lectures and tutorials aside).
From its Cornmarket buskers to its colleges’ evensong services and every musical genre in between – you won’t be short of an evening’s entertainment. Add its theatres to the mix and your options range from West End tours to arthouse productions in venues big and small. Same goes for the cinemas in town too.
University life and the River Thames dominate the city’s reputation – think Boat Race and Bumps (both recognised rowing events in the Oxford calendar, one rather more prestigious than the infamous other), May Day (dawn chorus and the now banned jumping off Magdalen Bridge into the river) and then the very much land based Town & Gown 10K run.
Outside of university life, skip the everyday high street brands to delve into boutiques and cafes of independent and local producers. If food’s your thing, venture to East Oxford’s Cowley Road and its plethora of authentic international delis and restaurants.
Westward you’ll find Woodstock and the spectacular Blenheim Palace with its pleasure gardens and family friendly events. And don’t miss neighbouring Bladon, where Sir Winston Churchill is buried in the churchyard.
Further west beyond Witney and into Burford you will arrive at the eastern edge of the Cotswolds. Indulge in the pretty Cotswold stone villages like Kingham and market towns like Stow on the Wold. Discover rural Oxfordshire life, glorious country walks in the rolling Cotswold Hills and cosy public houses aplenty. And if you’re in or around Chipping Norton, this is the country seat of the ‘Chippy Set’, so get celeb spotting too.