Unique Places in Oxford

  • Town Hall exterior
    Town Hall exterior
    by leics
  • Impressive staircase
    Impressive staircase
    by leics
  • Mayoral regalia
    Mayoral regalia
    by leics

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Oxford

  • leics's Profile Photo

    Town Hall

    by leics Written Mar 10, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Oxford's Town Hall is such a prime example of late-Victorian pomp, pride and grandeur that it is a 'listed' building (that means only approved changes an be made).

    It's the third Town Hall on the site in St Aldgate's, and dates from 1893. It cost £94000+ to build...a massive sum in those days!

    Inside the building the rooms are decor as just as impressively twiddly as one might expect from the exterior. It's now a popular venue for weddings, conferences and events of all types: you can see a 'what's on' list on the website below.

    There's also a giftshop, a display of mayorial regalia, a gallery and a small museum about the city. There are guided tours of the building available at 11am every Wednesday and Saturday. I think it would be worth taking one of these, for they go into areas not normally accessible to the general public.

    I didn't explore the Town Hall as i might otherwise have done...I had no time. But I did enjoy their sparklingly-clean toilets, which is why I went inside in the first place. And, once there, I realised I'd definitely have to make a return visit to explore more of this rather lovely building. :-)

    Town Hall exterior Impressive staircase Mayoral regalia Museum entrance
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • King_Golo's Profile Photo

    Cycling in Oxford (I) - General tips

    by King_Golo Updated Apr 22, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Oxford is a bicycle town which nobody would deny who has been there. With so many students having to go from college to college between their tutorials, a bike is definitely the main means of transportation. Oxford's traffic is not really bike-friendly, however. If there is a bike path, it is almost always way to narrow and car drivers don't give a damn if they block the whole path or not. Moreover, they seem to compete with each other who can pass a bike as close as possible. If you are daring enough and have time, cycling is a great way to get to know this town.
    Bike shops are found all along Cowley Road, but if you only want to rent a bike try Bikezone in the city centre - it's as central as possible.

    Me and my bike on the way to Wolvercote
    Related to:
    • Cycling

    Was this review helpful?

  • King_Golo's Profile Photo

    Cycling in Oxford (II) - Sandford and Wolvercote

    by King_Golo Updated May 29, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For a nice little bike trip along the Thames I would recommend either going up the river to Wolvercote or down to Sandford. The former tour is a little longer (ca. 12km), the latter not as long (ca. 8km). Both tours start at Folly Bridge.

    For Wolvercote cycle upstream. You will first pass a nice Oxford neighbourhood with many houses just next to the river (which are probably incredibly expensive). Later you will pass Osney Mill Marina where you can check out the yachts of rich Oxonians. Cross Botley Road and soon after you will find yourself in a tranquil inner-city river landscape. You can listen to the birds singing or watch the hippies living on some of the house boats. After 1km you'll have to cross another bridge and now Oxford gives way to nature completely. Along the river banks anglers sit silently while across the river, on Port Meadow, dogs chase birds or children chase dogs... This scenery goes on for the next 4km until you reach Godstow Nunnery, the remains of a monastery. There's not much to see, though, only some walls. Follow the little road behind it to the right, and you will reach a very popular pub (Trout Inn) which is great for a quick drink and a break. Just behind the pub is Wolvercote, from where you can go back to Oxford along the Oxford Canal. There are even more house boats here, swaying softly on its shores. Behind the boats are the gardens of Summertown and Jericho - it must be great to own one of them. The path along the canal will take you back to central Oxford.

    The tour to Sandford takes you downstream along the Thames. To your left you will see Christchurch Meadow and the boat houses of the college's rowing teams. To your right you will pass Iffley Meadow, a nice place for a picknick or a little break. The meadows are a nature protection area, so refrain from picking flowers even if they grow in abundance. A little further on there is Iffley Lock (see another tip), but instead of ending your tour here, you just follow the Thames. After the huge bridge where the Ring Road crosses the Thames, you'll find yourself in peaceful nature: meadows, anglers, boats swaying on the river, many birds of all kinds. Go on for another 2km or so and you will reach Sandford Lock where there is a very nice pub (The King's Arms) which is the end of your tour. Unlike in the first tour you will have to go the same way back.

    For more pictures see my Thames travelogue.

    The King's Arms in Sandford
    Related to:
    • Cycling

    Was this review helpful?

  • marinarena's Profile Photo

    Spend time along the Thames in Abingdon

    by marinarena Written Aug 27, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Abingdon is one of the little charming towns of Oxfordshire, just due south of the centre of Oxford. If you want to leave the fast pace of Oxford streets, walk about 10 minutes from the centre and you'll find tranquility. Scenery is lovely especially in the main town park where one can catch a glimpse of the train and simply count the different birds swimming in the pond and roaming all about.

    pretty scene of nature, England (Abingdon) Abingdon, Oxfordshire Abingdon, England Abingdon, UK Abingdon Road, near Oxford, UK
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • marinarena's Profile Photo

    Don't miss Marston

    by marinarena Written Aug 16, 2007

    I love to drift into a big town's surroundings residential areas and I did so finding my way to Marston, just east of Oxford's centre. Marston is beautiful with charming brownish brick homes, quiet and very much of a place to raise a family. Just walking distance from the sometimes frantic atmosphere of Oxford streets is the tranquility of Marston.

    horses in Marston (near Oxford), England
    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Etoile2B's Profile Photo

    Woodstock

    by Etoile2B Updated Feb 7, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When I was studying in Oxford the majority of our classes were taught on a small farm in a neighboring community called Woodstock. It was just a beautiful place filled with so many great memories I had to mention it. Woodstock is definitely a small town. Farms pepper the landscape. During our time spent out here we got to see the hay being harvested and used our free time to take long walks and enjoy the countryside.

    Hay Fields in Woodstock.
    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • evaanna's Profile Photo

    Great Jewry in medieval Oxford

    by evaanna Updated Jan 2, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You will find this plaque commemorating the presence of the Jewish community in medieval Oxford right in front of the East Gate, now leading to the Botanic Garden. In the 12th century and even earlier Oxford had a large Jewish population inhabiting the area between Carfax Tower and Folly Bridge with the Synagogue in the middle, on the site of the present Christ Church. The whole area was known as Great Jewry and the names of some of the remaining houses, like Jacob's or Moyses' Halls suggest that they may have been owned by Jews who would keep students in lodgings. The path from Merton College to the Botanic Garden along the old city wall still bears the name of the Dead Man's Walk, as it was the route funeral processions took from the Synagogue to the Jewish burial ground.
    Sadly, already in the 13th century persecutions of Jews started in Oxford together with the foundation of a number of monasteries and lasted until 1290 when Edward III expelled the Jews from England. The only traces of their presence there are some names of places and this plaque outside the Botanic Garden.

    Plaque marking the site of the Jewish Cemetery
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • nickandchris's Profile Photo

    Gargoyles

    by nickandchris Updated Nov 1, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Whilst walking around the fantastic buildings of Magdalen College you can't help but notice the amazingly detailed figures and especially gargoyles on the walls of various buildings. They really intrigued us and some of them were quite grotesque. Almost as if we'd stepped into a horror film!!

    Gothic Magdalen Magdalen gargoyles Magdalen
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Study Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • nickandchris's Profile Photo

    Town Centre Businesses

    by nickandchris Updated Oct 20, 2005

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We were quite amused to find very different businesses named together on plaques down the little alleyways. in central Oxford.
    Psychology, pregnancy and dental services all rolled into one? Not to mention the Thai. restaurant!!!

    Mixed business... Mixed business...
    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Study Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • Nick a Plate from Christ Church Dining Hall!

    by boonkoh Written Mar 11, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When you visit the dining hall in Christ Church, the one where the Harry Potter movie was shot in, you might fancy nicking one of the plates set out on the table. There seems to be only 1 "bouncer" for the whole room, and mostly he just stands there looking at his feet.

    Unique and priceless souvenir!! High quality as well, as they are made by Royal Doulton!

    Priceless Souvenir!
    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • School Holidays
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • ultchuk's Profile Photo

    Wolvercote Cemetery

    by ultchuk Written Aug 7, 2004

    One of the reasons I was in Oxford was to visit the grave of J.R.R. Tolkien. Take Banbury Road to the end. It's just passed the roundabout. A map od the cemetery and a sign will lead you to his grave. More txt coming asap

    Entrance Wolvercote cemetery

    Was this review helpful?

  • ultchuk's Profile Photo

    The Eagle and the Child

    by ultchuk Updated Jul 13, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When turning north from Broad Street, from Magdalen street and going into st. Giles on the left you will come across a famous pub: The Eagle and the Child. It was here where J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, would meet regularly with the Inklings (including C.S. Lewis).
    Inside there is a commemorative plaque. In his early years in Oxford Tolkien and his family lived just around the corner, in St. John's Street and Alfred Street (now Pusey Street)

    The Eagle and the Child
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • ultchuk's Profile Photo

    Grave of J.R.R Tolkien

    by ultchuk Updated Jul 13, 2004

    A few days in june brought me finally to the grave of the author of one of the most beloved books of the 20th century: The Lord of the Rings. The most moving moment for me was of course when I reached Tolkien's grave (and that of his wife Edith) at Wolvercote Cemetery in the North of Oxford. Altough it's a bit outside of Oxford, it's not difficult to find. (take a bus in the direction of Summetown)
    From the entrance of the cemetery there are signs showing you the way to their grave. On the tombstone was written, as youc an see if you look more clearly at the pic, under their names, Luthien and Beren. For those familiar with Tolkien's work well know names.

    Grave of J.R.R. Tolkien
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • KittyLou's Profile Photo

    Lincoln College Oxford

    by KittyLou Updated Jul 12, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I am told this is one of the smaller colleges. In the summer it is rented out to the Breadloaf School of English, a program of Middlebury College (Vermont, USA).

    Because of a connection to Middlebury College we have had a chance to visit and attend "High Table". The food in earlier visits was wonderful. My last visit was June 04 and I would say the quality of prepration had gone down but it is still as good as many public places a tourist hits by chance, so if you have any friends who attend Lincoln College ask them to take you to dinner, or lunch.

    As my photo shows, one of our visits was during exam time for Oxford students.

    studying
    Related to:
    • Study Abroad

    Was this review helpful?

  • GeorgeW's Profile Photo

    Visiting an 'Open Garden'

    by GeorgeW Updated Jul 11, 2004

    On Saturday and Sundays, and sometimes in the week many homes and colleges open their gardens for charity. The 'National Gadens Scheme' is countrywide and several Oxford colleges and gardens in the locality of Oxford participate in the scheme.

    You can see some beautiful gardens and see local people enjoying the flowers and having tea and cakes. All this at very reasonable prices and for charity.

    Check the local paper 'The Oxford Times' 'Weekend' section for details of 'What's On'. The paper comes out every Friday and is available in the library and all news shops. See also on their web page

    http://www.thisisoxfordshire.co.uk/oxfordshire/whats_on/

    and search by date.

    Tea and Cakes - delicious and all for charity

    Was this review helpful?

Oxford Hotels

See all 107 Hotels in Oxford

Latest Oxford Hotel Reviews

Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons
909 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 9, 2014
Nanford Guest House
316 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 7, 2014
St. Michael's Guest House
18 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 15, 2013
Holiday Inn Oxford
496 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 8, 2014
Bath Place Hotel
171 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 8, 2014
Newton House
97 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 24, 2014
Richmond Hotel
50 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: May 28, 2014
The Victoria Hotel
62 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jun 3, 2014
Burlington House Hotel
306 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 2, 2014
Foxcombe Lodge Hotel
68 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Sep 25, 2013
Travelodge Oxford Peartree Hotel
22 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 7, 2014
Old Bank Hotel
707 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 3, 2014
Marlborough House
244 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 7, 2014
The Tree Hotel Oxford
244 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 6, 2014
Oxford Belfry
945 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Jul 7, 2014

Instant Answers: Oxford

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

89 travelers online now

Comments

Oxford Off The Beaten Path

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Oxford locals.
Map of Oxford