With its sprawling university colleges, lively shopping streets and world-renowned museums, there’s plenty to see and do in the City of Dreaming Spires. Its well situated for exploring nearby sights like Blenheim Palace, the Cotswolds or Stratford-upon-Avon, and to help you plan your itinerary, here are some ideas for how to spend three days in Oxford.
Day 1: Take a walking tour of the city
A walking tour of Oxford’s top attractions is the perfect introduction to the city, so to get your bearings, start off by climbing the 124 steps to the top of the St Mary’s Church tower, where the views span the entire city. Next door is Radcliffe Square, home to the historic Bodleian Libraries, the domed Radcliffe Camera, the Sheldonian Theatre and the Bridge of Sighs. Spend the afternoon exploring the legendary Christchurch College, where notable alumni include Albert Einstein, Lewis Carroll and Sir Christopher Wren. More recently, the Great Hall was used to film scenes from the Harry Potter movies.
Day 2: Spend a day at the museum
Pay an early visit to the busy Oxford Covered Market, where you can enjoy a full English breakfast with the locals, then pause to watch the bells ringing out from the neighboring Carfax Tower before taking a stroll down the pedestrianized shopping boulevard, Cornmarket Street. Enjoy lunch at the newly refurbished terrace restaurant of the Ashmolean Museum, then spend the afternoon browsing the extensive exhibits at England’s oldest public museum.
Day 3: Discover Oxford’s green spaces
Admire the historic architecture of Magdalen College, celebrated for its unique carved stonework, then make the most of the surrounding 100-acre parklands. The most popular walking trail is the Addison’s Trail, named after Oxford alumnus Joseph Addison and a favorite of Lewis Carroll, but the nearby deer park and the Oxford University Botanic Gardens are equally idyllic. Finish your day with a quintessential Oxford experience–punting along the Cherwell River.