Home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Oxford is the ultimate college town. With its charming pedestrian- and bike-friendly town center, pretty waterways, and convenient transport links to nearby Blenheim Palace, it’s easy to explore this world-famous university town. Here’s how to spend two memorable days in Oxford.
Day 1: Discover Oxford’s Splendors
Morning: It’s easy to get lost among the mazelike streets of Oxford, so avoid wasting time with a guided highlights tour. A hop-on hop-off bus tour ferries you between top attractions, from Bodleian Library to Christ Church College, while walking or bike tours offer additional insight.
Afternoon: No trip to Oxford would be complete without a river cruise. Have a chauffeur steer you down the River Cherwell in a punt or take a sightseeing cruise along the River Thames. Some cruises include picnic lunches or afternoon tea.
Night: Follow in the footsteps of famous Oxford alumni at storied centuries-old pubs. A guided pub tour takes you to charming haunts with open fires, wooden beams, and cozy snugs. Many pubs serve hearty British fare—including pies, burgers, and fish and chips—alongside ales and ciders.
Day 2: Venture into the Countryside
Morning: Leave the city behind for a trip out to the 18th-century Blenheim Palace, the grand country estate where Britain’s wartime prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill, was born. It’s just a 20-minute taxi journey, or a 40-minute bus ride, from town.
Afternoon: Embark on a half-day tour to the Cotswolds, a rural area of Britain known for its pretty pastoral landscapes and picturesque honey-stone hamlets. Travel between quaint villages such as Asthall and Bourton-on-the-Water before returning to Oxford for the evening.
Night: Experience a different side of Oxford’s nightlife on Cowley Road. This area is packed with ethnic eating options, from Asian and Middle Eastern restaurants to tapas spots and pizza joints. Grab dinner here, then catch some live music at the O2 Academy or the Bullingdon.