Oxford City Guide

  • Oxford City Guide image 1

The City of dreaming spires, students cycling their way to lectures at centuries-old colleges, the Thames meandering its way through the surrounding fields with punts drifting slowly by - the clichés come thick and fast when you think about one of our oldest university towns.

But actually it's unbelievably beautiful, with a history that stretches back more than 1000 years, traditions and architecture to match, and a capacity to charm and beguile visitors, of which there are many (around 10 million a year).

The City is clearly centred around the 44 colleges that make up the University, most with their own stunning medieval architecture, beautiful quadrangles and manicured lawns. But the city is also a bridge with the modern age, on the doorstep of the more modern 'Thames gateway', famed for its booming technology parks and innovative start-ups.

There are bags of olde worlde pubs, many of which list the historical figures who have frequented them over the years (from literary figures to leading academics, Hollywood stars and even Gordon Ramsay bizarrely referenced). Cocktail culture is pretty well ensconced too but the ability to get a good drink can be quite hit and miss - don't worry though, as most bars are within walking distance of each other.

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