Oxford – Plenty happening outside the university

People can be forgiven for believing that a short break in Oxford is all about visiting all those historic university colleges and Inspector Morse’s favourite pubs. The reality is that there is also a wide variety of other fun activities to be enjoyed in the city and the surrounding area.

Provided the weather is reasonably clement, you just have to take one of those famous punting trips on the 2 rivers with which Oxford is blessed, the Cherwell and the Thames, or the Isis as it is known in the area. Each flat bottomed punt holds up to 5 people including the punter. A bottle of Pimms or Champagne is considered obligatory if the experience is to be optimised. You can hire your punt from Howard C & Sons at Magdalen Bridge or from Salters Boat Hire next to the Head of the River pub on Folly Bridge.

If you are feeling even more adventurous, why not consider hiring a comfortable canal boat and exploring the Thames and the South Oxford Canal which meander through local countryside and through the city itself. College Cruisers are a family firm and their boats are painted in traditional Oxford Blue. They are located at Combe Road Wharf.

For really sensational views of the City of Dreaming Spires and Blenheim Palace, why not book a balloon flight from adventureballoons.co.uk ?  Lift off is from Oxford’s South Park.

If you have children aged over 8 or are just simply young at heart yourself, Outdoor Lasertag is a fun way to exercise and the harmless infrared guns they use cater for all levels of fitness and are sturdily built with life-like sound effects, realistic weights and real scopes. This is just one of the novel activities available at the Culham Adventure Park, a few miles outside the city.

The park also boasts Oxfordshire’s first ever Tree-Top High Ropes course with Rope Bridges, Tarzan Swings and Zip Slides set high in the trees in 50 acres of woodland. There is full safety training for all new participants and this is a great way of kicking off birthday, stag and hen parties (ideally before anyone starts drinking).

For anyone with any energy left, Oxford has its own ice-rink and is one of the few locations where speedway and greyhound racing take place. Both are staged at the Greyhound Stadium in Sandy Lane and are well worth trying once if you’ve never been before.

Visit hotels in Oxford and explore this beautiful city.

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