Oxfordshire is a historic and administrative county in south-central England. On the north, it is surrounded by Warwickshire and Northamptonshire. On the west by Gloucestershire, the south is bounded by Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire bounds the east. The world-renowned University of Oxford resides in the county seat of Oxford.
Oxfordshire was established as a county in the initial years of the 10th century and lies between the River Thames to the south and the Midlands to the north. This landlocked county in Oxford is one of England’s most famously built beautiful cities.
Oxfordshire, England, calls out to explore its historic sites, attractions, world-famous university town and the villages decorated with honey & Ambre -coloured cottages, emerald hills and chalk uplands, captivating riverside towns, all surprise at one place, an array of attractions awaits your visit.
Oxfordshire is a place to step into the history and heritage of England. If you cross the region, the River Cherwell and the Thames can guide you to the rich treasures of Oxfordshire.
Follow the River Cherwell across the northern region, with beautiful valleys built from the rich coloured landscape of Hornton ironstone, the commercial cities of Bicester and Banbury.
The Chiltern Hills and the Thames Path are both serene walking paths simultaneously. There are also other great museums and attractions for the entire family & kids to enjoy on a day out in Oxfordshire.
Oxfordshire Uncovered: 12 Best Places & Things To Do
1. Blenheim Palace, Woodstock
A stunning example of Baroque architecture landscaped Parkland and charming gardens.
The UNESCO Blenheim Palace is famed for being the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England given the title of a palace. This World Heritage site was initially awarded to the first Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, for his victory over the Battle of Blenheim. It would later be the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.
From an architectural point of view, this is an excellent example of English Baroque architecture, designed by British architect Sir John Vanbrugh. The associated park is noted for its intricate beauty and symbolizes the great English Romantic Movement.
The site preaches love for nature, and the landscape gardener Capability Brown brought the idea to life.
The Palace is open to view and full of alluring tapestries, paintings, and furniture. The interior decoration reminds you why Blenheim is described as a palace, not just a mansion. Tourists flock towards this place in large numbers, primarily for its exciting activities, making it one of Oxfordshire’s most famous things to do.
After that, an official garden surrounded the Palace, with features such as a breathtaking rose garden, an Italian garden, and a private garden. The place is a treat to the sense of human vision; the estimated total distance is 1.5 km.
Modern tourists visiting Blenheim Palace can spend the day exploring the beautiful castle rooms, wandering the botanic gardens, or moving on to the area with many hiking trails.
There is also an exhibition entitled ‘Walk in the Steps of Churchill, a children’s playground, a giant maze, and a small train. People often choose this as one of the best places to spend Christmas in the Cotswolds.
A beautiful market town located on the River Thames famous for the Royal Regatta.
Famous for its remarkable boat race, it is a beautiful market town with a lot to offer regarding sightseeing. The streets of Henley here are definitely to be walked upon to dive into an experience of the Victorian era, go around the majestic historic market town, its picturesque boutiques, local shops, and the landmark St. Mary’s Church.
The main town centre is well-known for its coffee shops and cafes and is one of Oxfordshire’s most charming places to visit. You can explore the Chiltern countryside near Henley on the Thames as an additional outdoor activity.
Henley-on-Thames is perhaps best known for the annual Henley Regatta, which has been going on since 1839. Not surprisingly, a magnificent museum has emerged in the city to paint the history of rowing and the River Thames area.
2.1. The River & Rowing Museum
The River & Rowing Museum brings visitors back in time with more than 35,000 exhibits. These include artefacts related to rowing history and galleries featuring exciting exhibitions, including the beloved children’s novel ‘Wind in the Willows’ and artist John Piper.
3. Christ Church, Oxford
Throbbing destination of Oxfordshire county, it is one of the constituent colleges belonging to the prestigious Oxford University. A site of religious worship since 1546, it also serves as the film location of one of the immensely loved films of the 21st century. Yes, it’s the Evergreen Harry Potter film franchise.
True Potterheads must not wait and be sure to Christ’s Church & enrich themselves with the opportunity of beholding the magical Hogwarts in real & tangible terms: the Gardens offer yet another outstanding chance to immerse in the pure beauty of nature.
Some of the gardens you can visit around Christ church include –
- Memorial gardens
- The Meadow
- Cathedral gardens
- Broad Walk
- Cloister Garden
4. Chiltern Hills, Oxfordshire
Chilterns Area of Outstanding National Beauty is another of the top attractions on the list of Oxfordshire explorers.
The quintessential, uncrowded green expanse of chalk escarpment in the English countryside of Chiltern Hills is an ideal spot to explore & discover entertainment, lovely indulgences, villages, historic market towns, and magnificent panoramic views. Cliffs have served multiple purposes, from cultivation to undisturbed forest areas and moorlands.
People have lived in the Chiltern for thousands of years, and evidence of this can be found in the castles of the hills, burial mounds, and other artefacts in the Chilterns. Chalk grassland is very sensitive to the species and animals that support it; Chiltern Gentian is found locally, while Adonis Blue Butterfly relies on chalk grassland plants.
Short trips and day trips are most popular here, possessing an agri-character. It is tucked away with local customs, the finest traditional dishes and drinks, and ancient woods, promising an interactive experience.
5. Cotswold Wildlife Park, Burford
The Cotswold Wildlife Park boasts over 260 species of animals set in approximately 160 acres of land and stunning gardens; get closer to the flora and the diverse fauna.
As Oxfordshire’s largest and most impressive wildlife centre, Exhibitions include the giraffe’s high-altitude trail so that you can contact these giant giants directly.
There are also Asiatic lions, white rhinos, zebras, giant deer and more. Visitors can tour the gardens, which have been specially treated to connect with the surrounding animal parks and ensure that many flowering plants bloom all year round.
Kids across all ages will surely be thrilled to undertake such an adventure with playgrounds in the woods, treetop treehouses and rope bridges.
6. Didcot Railway Centre, Oxfordshire
Didcot Railway Centre is a railway museum, a former Great Western Railway engine shed and locomotive stabling point in Didcot, Oxfordshire.
One of the main tourist attractions houses a unique collection of carriages, wagons, locomotives, miniature train models, and other ancient artefacts. The steam train ride is a nicely decorated destination, one of the Oxfordshire things that should not be missed.
7. Thames Path
The Thames is probably the most well-known river in England, as it flows through the centre of the capital – but the river that flows through Oxfordshire is much more natural, cleaner, and more beautiful than the London River.
The Thames Path is a National route along the riverbank. It flows through flowering rivers, ranches, past runoff locks and old bridges. Depending on the distance you are travelling, you will pass through quiet rural villages, old school bars and an ancient forest, which may be accompanied by a few ducks or perhaps an otter. The road travels approximately 185 miles everywhere.
The Thames flows from its Gloucestershire source to the Thames Barrier in Greenwich, London. But a few hours walking halfway through a hot day is worth the effort. Travelling through the Thames Path here is one of Oxfordshire’s famous discovery experiences.
8. Minster Lovell Hall
A picturesque ruined manor house beside a lazy river in the lovely village of Minster Lovell in Oxfordshire has sometimes popped into our fantasies. But all my dreamers, open your hearts cause your fantasy can be lived in reality at this location of Minster Lovell Hall.
Located in western Oxfordshire beside the River Windrush, it features on the list of must-visits in Oxfordshire. The hall is accessible from the north, through the adjacent churchyard and a footpath along the Windrush Valley from the east.
The house was built by William Lovell, Baron of Lovell and Holand, in the 15th century. With power & money, William was one of the richest men in England.
Several tragic legends are associated with these captivating ruins of the Middle Ages. It is said that the voice of Lord Lovell can be heard amidst the downfalls to this day.
The ruins of the place are under the conservation of English heritage. Present days, the Lovell Hall serves as an ideal romantic destination for couple walks, family picnics and romantic walks in and around the village of Lovell.
Surrounded by woodlands and tucked behind the ancient churchyard of St. Kenelm’s Church, the ruins inspire many aspiring photographers and painters.
A visit to Oxfordshire countryside shall include this place without any second thoughts, explore the charms and beauty of Minster Lovell village lined with cottages made of thatch wood.
9. Bodleian Library, Oxford
The Bodleian Library happens to be one of Europe’s oldest libraries. The library is the primary research library at the University of Oxford. It is also Britain’s second-largest library after the British Library.
It is one of many libraries at the University of Oxford and the largest of the 29 Bodleian Libraries at Oxford. Any bibliophile out there? Undoubtedly, one of the most exciting things to do in Oxfordshire is delve into the world of books. You’re sure not to miss this majestic experience.
Guided tours are readily available and promise insightful and engaging times around the library, experiencing its 600-year-old history. Not to forget, it is also the filming spot for the first two Harry Potter movies, which you would remember as the Divinity School & Hogwarts Library.
Visiting such an extraordinary location is a breathtaking experience; it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that this is the most magnificent thing to do in Oxfordshire.
10. Chipping Norton, the Highest Town
Situated on the highest point in Oxfordshire, Chipping Norton was once a wool trading centre in Cotswold and was awarded the Royal Charter by King John in 1205. Medieval Guildhall and St Mary’s Church showcase the prosperity that the wool trade brought.
It is famous for its classic stores and various shopping options, including the mainstream market. Chipping Norton maintains a robust and vibrant market for the city. There is a good selection of restaurants and entertainment of the highest quality theatre, famous for its pantomime and world-class tourists.
Chipping Norton is an outstanding base for sightseeing: easily accessible by road and rail, right at the edge of the Cotswolds and between Oxford and Stratford over Avon. It is a perfect choice for days out in the Oxfordshire countryside, so be sure to plan a visit here.
11. Burford Visit In Oxfordshire
With its Medieval bridge, ancient stone houses, and the impressive sights of Tudor and Georgian architecture, Burford is often referred to as the ‘Gateway to the Cotswolds’ and has an extensive history dating back to Anglo-Saxon times.
The 16th-century Tolsey building, once a gathering site for ancient merchants, now houses the Burford Museum – an impressive local museum reflecting the village’s social and industrial history.
Popular events include Leveller Day, with reconstruction based on the experience of the Burford Leveler martyrs and the biennial Burford festival, which provides retail outlets, music, literary events, special lectures, workshops, and other events for Cotswold Heritage Day.
Burford also has a good ride nearby. Here is the Burford route and a route map that includes walking along the Windrush River.
12. Shopping At Bicester Village
One among many market towns in Oxfordshire, Bicester can correctly be called the epitome of shopping experiences in Oxfordshire, England.
Nestled in the heart of Oxfordshire’s fascinating countryside, Bicester Village is home to more than 160 stores from leading British and international fashion and international companies – including Soho Home, Manolo Blahnik, Charlotte Tilbury, Vivienne Westwood, Mulberry, Smythson and more.
Also, a host of fun open boutique venues, including Jil Sander, showcasing lightweight jackets, spring dresses and colourful accessories, new skincare from 111SKIN and sensible makeup from Benefit Cosmetics – all offer year-round savings at recommended stores and affordable prices.
Enjoy a relaxing day in the peaceful open country of Oxfordshire thanks to our purchase choices, which are designed to put your safety and well-being first. Eat in their outdoor gardens and discover new spring menus at the Farmshop restaurant.
Also, enjoy the delicious fresh food, including beautiful Biscuiteers ice-cream biscuits, eclairs with beautiful flowering themes at Maître Choux and artisan sandwiches at Oliphants.
Our Take on Oxfordshire Uncovered
Explore the rich tapestry of Oxfordshire, where history meets nature in a symphony of charming villages, historic landmarks, and captivating attractions.
The list of places to visit in Oxfordshire above is enthralling and captivating. Packed with romance, history, thrilling adventures, nature trails, safari parks, a beautiful village, charming riversides, impressive Libraries, and many historical sites surrounding the countryside, it is indeed an experience worth diving into.