Guide to Oxfordshire

Stroll cobbled streets, explore film locations and indulge in local fare all in the heart of England. Oxfordshire is a must see.

A 7 day ITINERARY for Oxfordshire

Steeped in Great British history and known for its honey-coloured limestone architecture, Oxfordshire is a living fairy tale.

The Harry Potter Trail

Follow in the footsteps as Harry, Ron and Hermione. From The Philosopher’s Stone comes the Bodleian Library. Start here to view the Divinity Hall, as the gothic Hogwarts Infirmary and the Duke Humphries Library whereby Harry is seen using his invisibility cloak to search for clues within books. From here, head a few streets south to Christ Church. This location is used a lot in the series, with cameos of the stairway, the Great Hall and The Cloisters. Admire the stone architecture whilst tracing where the magic happened!

The Exercise Trail

Oxfordshire has beautiful walks encompassing many towns and villages. A countryside favourite is the Oxfordshire Way. This path runs for 68 miles, but don’t worry, we’re not expecting you to walk it all! Starting at Burton-on-the-Water and ending at Henley-on-Thames, the stroll passes through the heart of the Cotswolds and Chiltern Hills. Before beginning, visit Bourton-on-the-Water’s tearoom to sample some of the Britain’s finest cream teas slathered in clotted cream and jam. After filling up on treats, meander through the blissful countryside and don’t forget to take pictures.

The Tasty Trail

There are some gastronomical eateries within the region of Oxfordshire – perfect for foodies! Start your day by visiting the Woodstock Farmers Market, serving local produce and seasonal pieces perfect for creating recipes within your holiday cottage – well worth a visit! For a light lunch with ingredients locally sourced, visit Reg’s Café in Banbury. From a traditional spud stuffed with a range of fillings like tangy vegetable curry to a chicken salad infused with Chinese, barbecue or Italian spices – whatever you choose it is sure to be unforgettable. Next on the stop for eateries is the restaurant voted number 1 on TripAdvisor; Denis Restaurant. Situated in Bicester, the lavish restaurant delivers a superb quality of food with a spin on Turkish cuisine.

The Retail Therapy Trail

Oxfordshire is fabulous for many lovely shopping areas and within such a beautiful area, it would be a shame not to! One worth visiting is the Marriotts Walk Shopping Centre. Set in the centre of Witney, this rural location has high street outlets including many gift shops to pick up that special present. Head to Bicester Village next; with over 130 luxury collections, this is the ultimate destination for boutique shopping without spending loads! Soak up the surroundings whilst travelling to Castle Quay – by narrowboat! Banbury’s top shopping centre is a must, appealing to those wishing for a more old-fashioned approach to retail therapy. With many antique shops, there is also a quintessentially English pub available for a handy pub lunch or afternoon snack.

The Literary Trail

Oxfordshire has many a famous author inspired by Oxford’s high spires or Burford’s quaint village. Having inspired authors of all ages and many genres, the region offers many places only read about it novels. Aside from the Harry Potter series, Christ Church is a favourite for Lewis Carrolls classic Alice in Wonderland. As well as the college, St Margaret’s well at Binsey was also an icon in the novel. Follow the Thames Path to the idyllic Kelmscott Manor to admire William Morris’ previous home before venturing on a boat trip along the river just like Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat. Beautiful gardens await you at Oxford Botanic Garden. Sit under Tolkien’s favourite tree or visit where Phillip Pullmans’ The Golden Compass vowed to meet up.

The History Trail

Oxfordshire holds many historical wonders appealing to many nations. A visit to Blenheim Palace will take you back to the Baroque era, as well as viewing the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Its extraordinary exterior will have you hooked from the first glance. Home of William Morris, Kelmscott Manor in Kelmscott is a true work of art with an unspoiled structure and original furnishings. Masking as a museum and heritage house, Cogges Manor Farm is worth a visit, preserving farm buildings in a unique site.

The Family Trail

Start your morning with a dip into Oxford’s heated open-air swimming pool, suitable for all ages. Venture to Cotswold Wildlife Park to get up close to many large mammals including lions, rhinos and zebras. Dine at The Oak Tree Restaurant inside the park for a tasty variety of hot and cold lunches. Retreat to Uffington Castle late afternoon to spend quality time flying the kites. Not only is Oxfordshire a peaceful setting, it is also accommodating for the younger generations.

Exploring Oxfordshire’s top heritage sites

Make the most of your Oxfordshire holiday by seeing some of the sights!

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Oxfordshire holidays

Feeling inspired? The beautiful Oxfordshire landscape is waiting!