Oxford- A City Guide

Oxford is a city and local government district in Oxfordshire, England,

with a population of 134,248 (2001 census). It is home to the

University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking

world. It is known as the “city of dreaming spires”, a term coined by

Matthew Arnold in reference to the harmonious architecture of the

university buildings. The Oxford suburb of Cowley has a long history of

carmaking, and still produces BMW MINIs.


Oxford was first occupied in Saxon times, and was initially known as

“Oxenaforda”. It began with the foundations of St Frideswide’s nunnery

in the 8th century. The University of Oxford is first mentioned in 12th

century records. Oxford’s earliest colleges were University College

(1249), Balliol (1263) and Merton (1264).

During the English Civil War, Oxford housed the court of Charles I in

1642, after the king was expelled from London, although there was

strong support in the town for the Parliamentarian cause. In the 19th

century the controversy surrounding the Oxford Movement in the Anglican

Church drew attention to the city as a focus of theological thought.

Oxford’s Town Hall was built by Henry T. Hare, the foundation stone was

laid on 6 July 1893 and opened by the future King Edward VII on 12 May

1897. By the early 20th century Oxford was experiencing rapid

industrial and population growth, with the printing and publishing

industries becoming well established by the 1920s.

Places of Interests

Oxford has numerous major tourist attractions, many belonging to the

university and colleges. As well as several famous institutions, the

town centre is home to Carfax Tower and a historical themed ride, The

Oxford Story. In the summer, punting on the Thames (sometimes called

the Isis as it flows through Oxford) and the Cherwell is popular.

Other notable attractions include:

  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • The Church of St Mary the Virgin (the University Church)
  • Martyrs’ Memorial
  • Ashmolean Museum
  • Pitt Rivers Museum
  • Museum of Natural History
  • Museum of the History of Science
  • Science Oxford
  • University buildings
  • The University Parks
  • The University Botanic Garden
  • Cornmarket Street, Oxford
  • Turl Street, Oxford
  • Little Clarendon Street
  • Oxford Covered Market
  • Westgate Shopping Centre
  • Museums and Art Galleries

    Oxford has a large number of museums and galleries open for public.

    Following are the world famous and a major tourist spot in Oxford:

  • Ashmolean Museum, Britain’s oldest museum
  • Pitt Rivers Museum
  • Museum of Natural History, home of (the remains of) the Oxford Dodo
  • Museum of the History of Science, in Britain’s oldest purpose-built

    museum building
  • Museum of Oxford
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Science Oxford
  • Shopping

    Golden Cross, an arcade of first-class shops and boutiques, lies

    between Cornmarket Street and the Covered Market. Parts of the colorful

    gallery date from the 12th century. Many buildings remain from the

    medieval era, along with some 15th- and 17th-century structures. The

    market also has a reputation as the Covent Garden of Oxford, with live

    entertainment on Saturday mornings in summer. In its way, Alice’s Shop,

    played an important role in English literature, it functioned as a

    general store (selling brooms, hardware, and the like) during the

    period that Lewis Carroll, at the time a professor of mathematics at

    Christ Church College, was composing Alice in Wonderland.

    It is

    believed to have been the model for important settings within the book.

    Today, the place is a favorite stopover of Lewis Carroll fans from as

    far away as Japan, who gobble up commemorative pencils, chess sets,

    party favors, bookmarks, and in rare cases, original editions of some

    of Carroll’s works. The Bodleian Library Shop, specializes in Oxford

    souvenirs, from books and paperweights to Oxford banners and coffee

    mugs. Castell & Son (The Varsity Shop), is the best outlet in

    Oxford for clothing emblazoned with the Oxford logo or heraldic symbol.

    Food and Drink

    Oxford offers European and Middle-East and Asian cuisine. Some of the

    restaurants are:

  • Cherwell Boathouse Restaurant
  • Gee’s Restaurant
  • Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons
  • Rosamund the Fair
  • Al-Salam
  • Browns.
  • Except these restaurants Oxford hosts some Traditional and historic pubs

  • The Eagle and Child
  • The Turf Tavern
  • The Lamb and Flag
  • The Bear
  • Education

    The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford, England, is

    the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

    Events and organizations and institutes officially connected with the

    University include:

  • Worcester College, Backs of medieval cottages
  • The Oxford Union Society
  • The Oxford University Press, the world’s oldest and largest

    university press
  • The Bodleian Library
  • Major Research Libraries (including the Sackler Library)
  • Oxford University Department for Continuing Education
  • The Taylor Institution
  • The Oxford University Student Union
  • Oxford University Newman Society — Catholic speaker society
  • The OICCU, the undergraduate Christian union
  • The Oxford University Museum of Natural History (sometimes called

    The Oxford University Museum)
  • The Pitt Rivers Museum
  • The Ashmolean Museum
  • The Bate Collection
  • Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum
  • Oxford University Sports Federation
  • Oxford University Boat Club
  • The O’Reilly Theatre
  • Moser Theatre
  • Rothermere American Institute
  • Said Business School
  • The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art
  • Computing Laboratory
  • Isis Innovation
  • Sports

    Oxford City FC and Milton United FC among others are two famous

    football club and play regular club and league matches. Oxford

    Cavaliers Rugby League Club is the rugby club playing for Oxford city.

    Drayton Leisure Golf Driving Range is the golf course with 9 HOLE (PAR

    3) COURSE and 6 HOLES FLOODLIT. As a city in UK it has a number of

    cricket teams and hosts tournaments like Bernard Tollett Oxfordshire

    Cup, National Cricket Club Championship, The Cricketer National Village

    Championship etc

    Tours and Sightseeing

    There are a number of tour operators in Oxford. The tourist information

    center is also very helpful to find out a way to enjoy the visit

    of Oxford.

    Hotels and Accommodations

    Accommodations in Oxford are limited, though recently, motels have

    sprouted on the outskirts — good for those who want modern amenities.

    In addition, if you have a car, you may want to consider country houses

    or small B&Bs on the outskirts of town

    Some of the notable hotels are:

  • Victoria House

  • Cotswold Lodge

    Classic Hotel
  • Westwood Country

    Hotel Ltd
  • Holiday Inn Oxford
  • The Oxford Hotel
  • Oxford Thames

    Four Pillars Hotel
  • Express by

    Holiday Inn Oxford Kassam Stadium
  • The Bat &

    Ball Inn
  • The Upper Reaches
  • Abingdon Four

    Pillars Hotel
  • Oxfordshire Inn
  • Days Inn Hotel Oxford
  • The Plough at Clifton Hampden
  • Marlborough Arms Hotel
  • Macdonald Bear Hotel
  • White Hart Hotel
  • Transport

    Oxford is located some 50 miles (80 km) north west of London; the

    cities are linked by the M40 motorway, which also links northwards to


    Rail connections include services to London (Paddington), Bournemouth,

    Worcester (via the Cotswold Line), and Bicester. The city also has

    regular train services northwards to Birmingham, Coventry and the

    north. The railway service connecting Oxford and Cambridge, known as

    the Varsity Line, was discontinued in 1968.

    The Oxford Canal connects to the River Thames at Oxford.

    Oxford Airport at Kidlington offers business and general aviation


    Local bus services are largely provided by the Oxford Bus Company and

    Stagecoach South Midlands.

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