Oxford is simply a stunning city, one of the oldest and well known University towns in Europe and famous the world over for its unique place in history.
The University, founded in 1091, is the oldest University in the English speaking world. Today, the numerous independent colleges are dotted around the beautiful old centre and it is these, along with beautiful monuments and churches, that give Oxford its distinctive character. For a lot of the year you can see the students milling around and there are guided tours available to see around the colleges and some of the amenities such as Christopher Wrens Sheldonian Theatre or the beautiful Bodleian Library. There's a touch of the Harry Potter about some of the college buildings and parts of the films were filmed here too.
There is absolutely masses to do here aside from looking around the college buildings. Oxford Castle and Prison is a great attraction and well worth a trip with the kids. Book on a tour and have a look around this extraordinary place that held prisoners (in pretty grotty conditions!) from 1071, and learn about the true-life stories and characters through exhibitions and re-enactments. The Castle regularly has events here for all the family - archeological digs for young children, or spooky, lantern led tours in the Winter.
Oxford is also home to some world class museums. The well known Pitt Rivers museum in the centre is home to thousands of cultural pieces and artwork from around the world, and the glass cabinets are tightly packed with treasures from all corners of the globe. The displays change every few months but are divided into subjects such as 'magic', 'ritual', 'Weapons', 'body art' or 'treatment of dead enemies'! You might see anything from a human skull to ancient South American jewellery. It is an archeologists treasure trove and it feels like Indian Jones has just opened his house to the public. Don't miss it. There is also an excellent Science Museum in Oxford too.
Just being in Oxford is a treat, from walking through the cobbled streets, exploring the Botanic gardens, climbing the Carfax Tower for stunning views across the City or taking a punt down the river. Leave plenty of time to properly explore this wonderful historical city.
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