Oxford 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:
- The Church of St Mary the Virgin (the University Church)
- Museum of Natural History
- Museum of the History of Science
- The University Botanic Garden
- Cornmarket Street, Oxford
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
- Museum of Natural History, home of (the remains of) the Oxford Dodo
- Museum of the History of Science, in Britain’s oldest purpose-built
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.
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
- Cherwell Boathouse Restaurant
- Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons
Except these restaurants Oxford hosts some Traditional and historic pubs
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
- Worcester College, Backs of medieval cottages
- The Oxford University Press, the world’s oldest and largest
- Major Research Libraries (including the Sackler Library)
- Oxford University Department for Continuing Education
- 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)
- Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum
- Oxford University Sports Federation
- Oxford University Boat Club
- Rothermere American Institute
- The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art
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
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
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
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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