The City of Oxford, most famous for its University is a popular destination for tourists visiting England, it is located in the South East of England, in the county of Oxfordshire. It was once described by a victorian poet, Matthew Arnold as that "sweet city with her dreaming spires", and has become affectionately know as "The City of Dreaming Spires". The distance to Oxford from the capital of England, London is approximately 60 miles (95 km), Oxford is west of London and has excellent bus and train links with the capital. Oxford's bus and train (Explore the Travel to Oxford Menu) stations are conveniently located in the centre of the city. The bus station (Gloucester Green) is 5 minute walk from the centre and the train station is only 10 minutes away. The centre of Oxford is defined by the Carfax tower landmark, this along with bus and train stations can be found on our tourist map (Explore the Oxford Maps Menu). If you are a first time visitor to Oxford its worth taking a free walking tour of Oxford (Explore our Oxford Tours Menu). There is not a great deal of parking in the city centre so if you are driving it is easiest to use one of the five Park and Ride facilities (parking is free at some of them) that are located on the major routes into the city centre. If you need a hotel in Oxford use the Yellow hotel search box on the right there are plenty of special offers and deals.
The population of Oxford is approximately 150,000 of which around 40,000 are under graduate and post graduate students. With such a large population of students it is no surprise to find out that there are a great selection of places to eat (we have complied a list under the Oxford Restaurants Menu) and drink and accommodation in Oxford to suite everyones budget (Browse the Oxford Hotels Menu). Oxford also has a number of top end hotels including the award winning Mal Maison Hotel which is converted from a former prison, retaining original features such as the cast iron stairs in the communal area.
Oxford is most famous for its university, Oxford University, which has colleges that date back to the 13th century. University College claims to be the oldest college in Oxford, founded in 1249, closely followed by Balliol(1263) and Merton(1264). There is a great selection of information on the University Colleges under the Oxford University Menu. Christ Church College is one of the most popular attractions for visitors to Oxford and boasts truly stunning architecture and beautiful grounds. Oxford University accounts for approximately 20,000 of the students in Oxford, the other 19,500 students are part of Oxford Brookes University which is in Headington. Brookes started life as the Oxford School of Art in 1865, over the years it has undergone many changes becoming Oxford City Technical school in 1891, Oxford College of Technology in 1956, Oxford Polytechnic in 1970 and eventually Oxford Brookes University in 1992.
Oxford has been made even more famous in recent years by the fictitious detective Inspector Morse created by Colin Dexter. All the novels take place in and around Oxford and many of the pubs, colleges and museums feature in the TV adaptation of the novels. If you are looking for some of the sites used in the Inspector Morse series take a look at our Inspector Morse Tour under the Oxford Tours Menu.
The river Cherwell and Thames run through Oxford and the 10 mile stretch of the Thames is known as the Isis. There are two main activities that take place on the river, rowing (you must of heard of the University Boat Race Oxford versus Cambridge?) and punting. There is nothing more enjoyable than hiring a punt and going for a picnic on a hot summers day. Be careful though, punting is not as easy as it looks.