ABOUT OXFORD - Get the most of your time in our great city
When you arrive in Oxford, stop first at the Oxford Visitor Information Centre, located in Broad Street. Staff at the centre are happy to answer your queries about Oxford and offer the following services:
- Information on attractions, theatres, concerts and other events and entertainment
- Bed and Breakfast reservations in Oxford and elsewhere (for personal callers)
- A comprehensive range of maps, printed guides, postcards and souvenirs
- Bureau de Change facilities
- Information on bus tours and excursions
Views of the City
Getting about Oxford is often helped by seeing it from above first. To get an overview of Oxford City, try climbing up Carfax Tower in the city centre. Other views over the city are available from the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin in the High Street, and St. Michael Northgate, in Cornmarket. All of these vantage points have small admission charges.
Oxford is home to a world famous University of Oxford, and most of the colleges and university buildings are located in the centre of Oxford, within easy walking distance of each other. Don’t miss the Bodleian Library, which has its own shop, and the nearby Radcliffe Camera, which is not open to the public, but is well worth a view from the outside. Nearby, in Broad Street, is the Sheldonian Theatre, a venue for official university functions as well as a variety of concerts (tickets available from The Oxford Playhouse in Beaumont Street). The University also owns the Ashmolean Museum on Beaumont Street (opposite The Playhouse), Britain’s oldest public museum.
“The clever men at Oxford, Know all that there is to be knowed. But they none of them know one half as much, As intelligent Mr. Toad!” Kenneth Grahame
Oxford Visitor Information Centre opening times:
- 9.30am–5pm (Monday to Saturday)
- 10am–3pm (Sundays & Public Holidays in summer)
Telephone 01865 252200
There are plenty of parks and gardens to visit in Oxford if you tire of historic buildings. A popular place for viewing the boat races during University term times is Christ Church Meadow with paths following the River Thames towards the boathouses. Port Meadow and Wolvercote Common are a delight, particularly during summer; and South Park & Headington Hill Park are Oxford’s largest parks, over Magdalen Bridge past the plain, often play host to open-air concerts and circuses.
Pack a picnic and enjoy great open spaces all within reach of the city centre.
The centre of Oxford is dominated by the University colleges, the most famous being Christ Church, Trinity, and Balliol, and along with a plethora of world famous sites and attractions is a magnet for over 9 million visitors each year.
Just north of the city centre is an area with wide tree lined roads and large individual Gothic style period houses, built in the nineteenth century to house college dons and wealthy tradesmen. It is within energetic walking distance (10–20 minutes) or a short bus ride of the University. The most popular areas for visitors to enjoy a good walk, and relax in a cafe or restaurant are Jericho and Summertown.
South Oxford stretches past St. Aldates over the river at Folly Bridge towards Abingdon Road where Grandpont, Hinksey and Rose Hill can be found. To the east of Abingdon Road, is another of Oxford’s arterial routes, Iffley Road starting at The Plain, near Magdalen Bridge, towards Iffley, passing the Iffley Road Track where Sir Roger Bannister famously ran a mile in under four minutes.
East Oxford is an economically diverse community with a large student population, prominent music scene, and vibrant business community. The Oxford Business Park is a hub for multiple business sectors, notably science and automotive, and many global organisations have headquarters or major operations here including Oxfam and BMW.
West Oxford covers a diverse landscape of waterways and islands populated with residential and commercial communities. Heading west from Oxford city centre along the Botley Road is Osney Bridge spanning the River Thames towards Botley.
Oxford is the amongst the world’s most beautiful cities, and all visitors, regardless of age or ability, should be able to enjoy it and engage with its history, heritage and culture. If you have a specific query, or wish to clarify anything, this page will provide you with access information for disabled visitors to Oxford including details of disability organisations locally and nationally.