24 hours in the city: the best ways to visit Oxford in one day

It’s actually not possible to experience everything Oxford has to offer in 24 hours. There’s just too much to see and do, but getting a flavour of the city and experiencing some of its most famous elements is certainly achievable. If you want to visit Oxford in one day then you need to be selective.

Here’s a suggested itinerary for that whistle stop tour of the town.

Broad Street

Image courtesy of Ji-Ho Park

Start here, and enjoy browsing in some of the fine bookshops, including the original Blackwell’s. Broad Street is also home to some of the University’s colleges, including the famous Trinity College. Take a quick turn off Broad Street to see…

The Bridge Of Sighs

Image courtesy of Irene

This is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Its distinctive design and intricate brickwork make it a definite must see.

The Museum Of The History Of Science

Take a quick tour around the world’s oldest surviving purpose built museum. You can view an unrivalled collection of scientific instruments from antiquity to the modern day.

The Ashmolean

Image courtesy of Mark Hillary

Having seen the history of science, indulge your artistic side at The Ashmolean. Home to an astonishing variety of art, sculpture, ceramics and textiles from around the world, you could spend the day here, but you’re probably hungry now so on to…

The Eagle And Child

There are many famous pubs in Oxford, but this has to be the most famous. With a history dating back to 1650, this was the pub that J.R.R Tolkien, C.S Lewis and the rest of the famous Inklings literary group met to read their works in progress. You can enjoy some fine pub food and local ales before heading out for the rest of the day.

Oxford University Botanic Gardens

Image courtesy of Tejvan Pettinger

Walk off some of your lunch with a stroll down to the oldest botanic gardens in Britain. You can relax in the garden outside and admire the exotic plants in the glasshouses.

Christ Church College

Any of the various University colleges are worth visiting, but for sheer star power Christ Church has to be at the top of the list. Featured in the Harry Potter films, Brideshead Revisited, The Golden Compass and Alice In Wonderland this is one of the world’s most recognisable buildings. Be sure to take in the hall and cathedral that are situated on the grounds, and wander around the ancient cloisters.

Oxford Castle Unlocked

Image courtesy of shrinkin’violet

A ten minute walk from Christ Church will take you to Oxford Castle. This imposing stone fortress served as Oxford’s prison for centuries and is now a museum that features in-character tour guides who can let you in on the castle’s interesting and at times macabre past. Now you’ve done your sightseeing it’s time for dinner.

The Big Bang

This is a great place to eat after a full day of being on your feet. The Big Bang offers some of the tastiest British cuisine you’ll find anywhere, with delicious twists on old favourites like bangers and mash and roast dinners.

New Theatre

To round off the day why not take in a show at the New Theatre. It is home to some of the biggest productions, from West End musicals to opera and ballet.

After cramming all that into one day, you’ll be ready for bed. Nobody said it would be easy but if you want to visit Oxford in one day it’s definitely possible. So if you’re in the city for a flying visit make sure you take in as much as you can.

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