Travel Guide To Oxford | The Chuffed Store Travel Guide To Oxford | The Chuffed Store
0

No products in the basket.

Search products on the Chuffed store Mobile navigation

Oxford makes your heart sing. It’s a mix of remarkable old architecture, narrow roads, buzzing brains and endless charming pubs.

We’ve teamed up with Oxford locals to put together an inspiring travel guide for you. Bring your camera, pack your sketchbook, get your trainers on….. and let’s go!

 

 

How To Get Around

Oxford is small and therefore easy to explore by foot. If you want to add an extra bit of wizz to your day, hire a bike. Get yourself something upright with a basket from Bainton Bikes or Walton Street Cycles and you will feel like a true Oxford student zooming through the city from lecture to lecture.

Punting is a popular activity in Oxford and includes sitting in a wooden boat, floating down the river, while one chosen subject (or guide) pushes it along with a pole. Go to Cherwell Boathouse, rent a boat, set sail and enjoy the peace and quiet. We really recommend picking up a few bits and pieces for a picnic beforehand and pulling over at some point along the lush river banks for a break. 

 

What To Do

Oxford University is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and although perhaps a little bit touristy, you must go visit some of the colleges around town. Most of them are open to the public – some welcome you for free during certain allocated hours of the day (such as Keble College), and some charge a small fee. 

Exploring the colleges in Oxford, you’ll feel transported back in time. The architecture is breathtakingly beautiful, and you feel the hum of its history as you walk the old college corridors, through which the very first students back in the Middle Ages wandered, too. Here are two of our favourites: 

Christ Church College houses the Great Hall that served as the inspiration for the Hogwarts dining hall, and also provides the majestic staircase that features heavily in the first two Harry Potter movies. After having a peek inside the college, have a wander around its beautiful meadow.

Magdalen College, founded in 1458, is worth visiting for views of its Deer Park and lovely water walks beside the River Cherwell. While you’re there, you may also want to pop next door and visit the oldest Botanic Garden in Britain.

The Radcliffe Camera and Bodleian Libraries are must-sees. They are magical and mythical, and stepping inside the Bodleian Library, you’ll forget time and place. 

University Church, located just opposite the Radcliffe Camera, has a tower with an astonishing view of the town. 

Most colleges have Evensong a few nights a week, where its own choir sings and everyone is welcome to join. Drop in either before or after dinner for a magical, meditative music experience (check times online, they differ depending on the college you choose). 

Open-air theatre is a big thing in Oxford during the summers and you’re likely to find a Shakespeare production running. Oxford Castle puts on performances in their exquisite old courtyard, and so do some of the colleges. This summer you’ll find ‘A Midnight Summer’s Dream’ at Oxford Castle, and ‘Julius Caesar’ at Magdalen College Grounds. Worth every penny (tickets run from £10-£15). There’s really nothing better than a bit of Shakespeare on a golden summer’s night! 

Head to the Natural History Museum, walk past the dinosaurs, turn left at the statue of Darwin and take the arched door straight to the Pitt Rivers Museum. It is home to some of the most important collections of ethnography and archaeology in the world. The display is incredible and it makes you feel like you are in a Victorian time machine. This is when your sketchbook comes in handy – borrow a stall from the information desk and get drawing. You are sure to be amazed and feel super inspired.

If you like wild swimming you must head to Port Meadow. The water is clean, the banks are grassy and you are surrounded by cows – it is magic. From here you can walk to a little village called Binsey with a great pub called The Perch.

 

If you’re interested in picking up a something special from your trip check out the following shops which are unique to Oxford only. 

Objects of Use on Market Street is full of quirky objects for the home and has a very special feel to it. 

The original Blackwell’s Bookshop on Broad Street, founded in 1846, is a must for book lovers. It’s got 3 miles worth of bookshelves!

Sanders of Oxford is a lovely little shop selling antique prints and maps. 

There are pubs on every street corner in Oxford and so it can be hard to choose. But not to worry, we’ve had a few Oxford locals share their favourite with us:

The Turf Tavern is a tiny 13th-century pub hidden away in a maze of back alleys, always full of university students and local families. It’s a hidden secret and very hard to find, but worth the hunt! 

The Rose & Crown is a charming pink haven with live jazz in their courtyard every so often. Also, a so-called Radiohead band member is said to be a regular (but shhh, don’t tell anyone we told you!). 

The Old Bookbinders is, in its own words, “Jericho’s best kept secret since 1869”. Jericho is a lovely, much less crowded area to explore, just a short walk from the busy city centre. 

The Kings Arms is a classic, located right at the end of busy Broad Street and just around the corner from Radcliffe Camera. 

 

What To Eat

North Parade Produce Store is our best tip for picking up bits and pieces for a picnic. They’ve got dreamy seasonal fruit & veg, British farmhouse cheeses, bread, good wines, beers and ciders to quench the thirst, and locally-made cakes. Their cardamom bun is magnificent and you’ll keep going back for their locally-produced gelato which comes in a big glass jar.

Manos Fresh Food Bar, the Greek deli in Jericho, is another great option for picnic treats. Get tubs and tubs of tzatziki, taramosalata, Greek salad, dolmathes, red peppers stuffed with feta, and you’re all set.

Barefoot is famous for their pastries. Order their Chocolate Salted Caramel Brownie.

Branca is a deli and restaurant in Jericho which has got a lovely big back garden for a sunny day. 

Vaults and Garden is the loveliest little café located just across from the Radcliffe Camera on a quiet square with no cars, and with a stunning view of Oxford architecture all around (if you sit outside, that is). It’s a good spot for afternoon tea and scones.

Brew – it’s time to talk about coffee. Oxford’s specialty coffee scene is booming, and so if you’re a coffee lover, you’ll be just fine. Brew is the best of the best, and so we recommend you to start your day there with a wonderful V60. Or, if it’s sunny, try their cold brew! They’ve also got the yummiest vegan Turkish delights so why not pop a few in your pocket for later. 

101 Coffee – for the next coffee stop of the day (because let’s be honest, 1 cup is not enough), head here and enjoy a well brewed oat latte, or whatever it is you fancy. Located on a lively street, it’s a great spot for people-watching.

Green Routes – if you’re vegan (and also if you’re not, actually), you must go and have brunch at Green Routes! There, you’ll find both specialty coffee and, as they themselves put it, an “iconic plant-based brunch”. They’re not kidding. 

Freud Cafe Bar is housed in a former Greek-inspired church with great big pillars at the entrance, which make you feel as if you’ve been teleported to Athens out of the blue. The space is spectacular and has kept parts of its old church interior, hung a sky of fairy lights in the high ceiling, and has some of the loveliest people in all of Oxford working there. Go for an afternoon drink or save it for later in the evening when you feel like a bit of a boogie (open until 2am on weekends)!

 

@bodleianlibraries @pittriversmuseum @theperchoxford @objectsofuse @blackwellsoxford @sanders_of_oxford @2northparade @barefootoxford @vaultsandgardencafe @brewoxford @101coffeeoxford @greenroutescafe @frevdofficial