Oxfordshire Attractions

Oxfordshire offers visitors a range of local attractions in the region offering visitors a choice of interesting and charming places to discover. The county includes a choice of attractions including museums, galleries, historic buildings, theatre, concerts and local events. Oxfordshire’s location means the scenic English countryside and the great outdoors are all within reach located close to the towns and cities offering visitors with a choice of things to see and do in the county.

We have outlined a number of interesting attractions and places to visit for visitors to Oxfordshire, these include:

The historic city of Oxford has a relatively small centre that is a big hitter when it comes to tourist attractions, the crowds flock here to see the sites. Oxford University has helped put Oxford on the world map and ensures this town is famous the world over as home to one of the most celebrated universities in the world. The university is not one central college with a central campus. In fact the university consists of over 30 colleges that are scattered around the city, these colleges are independent entities but fall under the Oxford University umbrella. The various colleges range in size from the large and more visible to visitors to others that are much smaller and hidden away on small side streets. Many of the colleges are open to visitors however it is wise to always check the opening times to avoid disappointment.

Christ Church is the largest college in Oxford it is currently the only college in the world with a cathedral within its walls. There have been a number of famous students to this college, including Albert Einstein who studied for a brief period in the 1930s. The College has helped produced a large number of British Prime Ministers, a number of Cabinet ministers, Bishops and civil servants. Visitors can see the great hall and the cathedral, Christ Church is also known as the setting for `Hogwarts' in the Harry Potter films. Visitors can tour the colleague and see the famous sites including the Tom Tower and the Cathedral spire, a visit here forms one of the highlights to visiting Oxford.

Broughton Castle is located in Broughton a few miles from the market town of Banbury. The historic house is home to the Fiennes family, visitors can tour the castle during the summer months. Highlights include the Great Hall that includes the original medieval hall that dates back to the 14th century. The Dining Room include oak panelling and historic details from the 14th and 15th centuries. There is a historic 14th century church on site for visitors to see along with a number of impressive gardens where visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll in scenic surroundings.

Cotswolds Wildlife Park & Gardens are located in Burford Oxfordshire. Visitors can see a range of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians from around the world. The park started back in 1970 and currently has one of the UK’s largest zoological collections. The park is well known for its bird collection and includes Ostriches and Penguins. The park includes giraffes, lions, leopards, crocodiles and a number of snake species. The Children’s Farmyard allows children to see the animals up close, whilst there are a regular feeding and question and answer sessions where knowledgeable keepers answer questions from the public. The park also stages a number of events throughout the year.

The Oxfordshire Museum is located in Woodstock. The museum charts the history of the Oxfordshire area and includes a number of galleries for visitors to explore that include a number of displays, artefacts and exhibitions covering a range of areas including Victorian and Roman Oxfordshire, the countryside and a fascinating picture gallery. The museum includes a number of temporary exhibitions that are constantly changing. The museum charts local history, archaeology, art and the local landscape making it a great place to learn more about the county.

The River & Rowing Museum is located in Henley-on-Thames. The museum opened back in 1998 focusing on both the River Thames and Rowing, the two things Henley-on-Thames is best known for. Visitors can explore three galleries that showcase Rivers, Rowing and Henley-on-Thames and includes boats of all sizes including famous Olympic gold medal winning boats and a range of artefacts, displays and exhibitions. The museum hosts a range of temporary exhibitions including arts and photography, there are also regular events held here with family days and craft workshops.

Didcot has always had strong railway links and hosts the Didcot Railway Centre located next to the railway where you will find among the largest collection of steam engines and a rebuilt station. For fans of steam railways there are “Sunday Steam Days” during the summertime. Long Wittenham, located close by has the Pendon Museum, where you can see model size recreations of a 1930s village and a model railway. Abingdon is a town lying on the River Thames, it is famous for its Abbey from the 7th century. The Abbey buildings are a popular place to visit in the town where you can learn more about the local history of the region.

Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology was established back in 1683 and has the distinction of being the oldest museum in the UK and one of the oldest in the world. Located in Oxford city centre, the museum houses collections of antiquities and art works that have both great national and international importance. There is a huge range spread over several hundred years ranging from the ancient civilisations of Egypt, Rome and Greece to Renaissance Europe to the 20th century. The museum also features a Far Eastern collection along with sculptures, paintings, ceramics, coins, glass and musical instruments, there is plenty to explore here for visitors.

Blenheim Palace is one of the best known attractions in Oxfordshire, it is located in Woodstock a few miles outside Oxford. The palace is one of the largest houses in the UK and its importance is recognised with its World Heritage Site status. Visitors are greeted with the impressive palace and the grandeur of the historic site. The palace is home to 11th Duke of Marlborough and the birthplace of former prime minister Sir Winston Churchill, it is imposing with a wonderful sense of history and offers an interesting place for tourists to explore.

Located in over 2,000 acres of scenic parkland, the palace is set in a most memorable scene with lawns and gardens surrounding it, there is also a lake on the grounds. Inside the Palace there is some very intricate detail in the carvings and the hand painted ceilings. There are also porcelain collections, tapestries and paintings shown in the rooms here. The state rooms in the palace are an impressive sight and for many visitors is one of the main highlights of the palace.

An intriguing attraction is Uffington White Horse, where the mysterious White Horse is carved into the chalk hillside above the village of Uffington that is located approx 22 miles from Oxford. This has led to an array of possible interpretations of the carvings indeed some believe that it may be a dragon and not a horse. There are also conspiracy theories and the theory it was done as a signal to extraterrestrials. It is thought it dates back to the Bronze Age, but again this is open for debate. There is of course the question of why it was built and there is so far no definitive reason for this either, theories are abound relating to a tribal emblem or perhaps a Celtic symbol of the goddess Epona, whose job it was to protect horses. The horse is 374 feet from end to end.

It is recommended that prior to visiting Oxfordshire; visitors do their research and ensure any sights and attractions they plan on visiting are actually open on the days you intend on coming. The transport is also worth checking as maintenance and engineering works can mean a restricted service on public transport and the road network.

The county of Oxfordshire has plenty to offer visitors, whilst the most famous attraction is the city of Oxford and Oxford University, the county includes a number of interest towns and cities for visitors to explore. Places of interest include a choice of historic attractions, including museums, galleries, castles and parks for visitors to see. Oxfordshire is a place where visitors can enjoy a short break, weekend away or a longer stay and its location makes it easy to visit London, the Midlands and the Cotswolds.

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