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Oxford

 

Join our guided day tour to Windsor & Oxford from Cambridge

 

By often being lumped together with Cambridge and referred to as 'Oxbridge', you might expect Oxford and Cambridge to be essentially the same. Undoubtedly, there are similarities - not least the fact they are home to two of the five oldest and finest universities in the Western world, have competed against each other for centuries, and the locals of each city refer to the other as just that, 'the other place'! - but there are many differences that make a trip to each city quite different experiences.

 

View over the Radcliffe Camera from the University Church in the heart of the University buildings in central Oxford

 

Oxford, like Cambridge, is one of the UK’s prettiest cities and historically, like Cambridge, one of the most influential. And just like in Cambridge, watch out for cyclists! The Oxford University buildings include some of the country’s finest architecture, and the city has some excellent museums and a lively atmosphere all year round. While Cambridge is famous for ground-breaking scientists, over half of all British Prime Ministers have been educated at Oxford along with many important statesmen, authors and royalty from all over the world.

 

The Ashmolean Museum is one of the best museums in the UK outside London

 

Some pretty famous people have walked Oxford's pavements in their student days: Benazir Bhutto, Tony Blair, David Cameron, Bill Clinton, Albert Einstein, Indira Gandhi, Hugh Grant, Stephen Hawking, JRR Tolkien, Rupert Murdoch, Prince Naruhito, Aung San Suu Kyi, Margaret Thatcher, Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, Edmund Halley, Sir Christopher Wren… to name only a few!

 

The Sheldonian Theatre (left), designed by Sir Christopher Wren, is the place where Oxford students receive their degrees at graduation

 

But Oxford is quite a lot larger than Cambridge and certainly has the feeling of a busy city dependent on more than just the University than the more laidback bustle of Cambridge. Apart from the high-tech, spin-off businesses from the Universities that both cities have encouraged in recent years, Oxford has heavy industry to add to its repertoire - the Mini car plant, now owned by the German car company BMW, has been a permanent feature of the city for decades.

 

View over college buildings and Oxford High Street from the University Church

 

In our experience of taking passengers between the two cities, a straw poll conducted at the end of each tour almost always gives a 50:50 split of those who prefer Oxford over Cambridge or vice versa. Come and join us and see which side of the fence you sit!

 

Things to see and do in Oxford


Visit the colleges- Christ Church College is the largest and perhaps the most impressive college to visit. Harry Potter was filmed there.


Bodleian Library – The world’s largest academic library with nearly 7 million books and 1 million maps on 105 miles of bookshelf!

 

Radcliffe Camera– A beautiful building, once the Radcliffe Science Library, it is now a reading room of the Bodleian Library.


Carfax Tower – The Anglo-Saxon lookout tower at the central crossroads of the old city with great views over the city.


University Church – Birdseye views over the colleges and the Radcliffe Camera.


Covered Market– Interesting central city Victorian market built and decorated with elaborate ironwork (closed on Sundays).


Punting – Glide slowly and quietly along the river through the city’s parks on a traditional flat-bottomed boat.


Botanic Gardens – The University's botanical research gardens, the oldest physic gardens in Britain founded in 1621.

 

The Bridge of Sighs frames the Sheldonian Theatre and Clarendon Building behind.


Bridge of Sighs – A design based on the original bridge in Venice and at St.John’s College, Cambridge.


Ashmolean Museum – Britain’s first public museum (1672) with the University’s excellent collection of art and artefacts.


Christ Church Picture Gallery– Fabulous 14th to 18th century art including numerous Old Master drawings.


History of Science Museum - Scientific exhibits include Einstein’s blackboard.


Blackwell’s Bookshop– “The Norrington Room” claims to have more books on sale in one room than anywhere else in the world.


Sheldonian Theatre – Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, this is where the University students receive their degrees.

University Museum of Natural History – Zoology, geology, mineralogy, etc.


Museum of Oxford – The story of Oxford from the Ice Age to the present day.


Pitt Rivers Museum – Ethnology and anthropology museum.

 

Oxford Castle - Stand atop the remains of the Norman castle motte.

 

How to get to Oxford from Cambridge?

 

Join our guided day tour to Windsor & Oxford from Cambridge