Beyond the city limits, you will discover buzzing market towns surrounded by stunning countryside offering plenty of walking opportunities for all levels of ability with short and long-distance paths. In addition, the county is only 50 minutes from London by train, so it’s quick and easy to escape from the hustle and bustle of the nation’s capital.
Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with wonderful formal gardens to explore. View the hallways and rooms of the palace with their endless collections of art and furniture. There are many walking routes around the grounds for all ages and abilities and the Butterfly House in The Pleasure Gardens is great for kids. You can spend more than a full day exploring the palace which is why your ticket is valid for a year after your first visit. Our Oxford Club Site is just a 20-minute drive away from Blenheim Palace, the perfect distance for a day out.
The Ashmolean Museum is the University of Oxford’s museum dedicated to art and archaeology. There are so many interesting objects and works including the Alfred Jewel which was made for King Alfred the Great, Guy Fawkes’s Lantern and the reliquary casket of St Thomas Becket.
University of Oxford Museums. As well as the Ashmolean Museum, the University of Oxford is also home to the Pitt Rivers Museum, Museum of Natural History, History of Science Museum, the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments and the Bodleian Library & Weston Library. All of the University of Oxford’s museums offer free entry.
Abingdon County Hall Museum was built between 1678 and 1682 and today you can tour the Baroque building with its fantastic views over the market square.
The Uffington White Horse, owned by the National Trust, is part of Bronze-Age remains. Uffington Castle, sitting on top of White Horse Hill is an Iron Age for, on the highest point in Oxfordshire.
Oxford Botanic Gardens & Arboretum is the oldest in the UK, attracting thousands of people each year. From glasshouses to open spaces, there are plenty of areas to explore. Oxford Club Site is less than a 10-minute drive to the gardens.
Walk along the Thames to Iffley with its 12th-century church and Lock.
Oxford Castle & Prison offers guided tours of the castle which dates back over 1,000 years. St, Georges Tower is one of the oldest buildings in Oxford and offers panoramic views around the city. Under the castle, you can explore the 900-year-old crypt and the castle’s prison.
Many places in Oxford inspired Harry Potter film sets or were filmed on location. Christ Church College inspired the Great Hall and some scenes were filmed on the staircase. New College was used to film some of the scenes with Harry and Draco in the grounds. The Bodleian Library was used in four of the films as the Hogwarts infirmary. Book a guided tour or visit the locations yourself to see the similarities to the buildings in the films.
Formally owned by CS Lewis, The CS Lewis Nature Reserve is a tranquil area with a large pond, full of wildlife and plants to explore. The area is great for walking and wildlife spotting so put your wellies on and enjoy!
Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary takes in donkeys in need and also rescues several other animals. The farm is open to the public year-round and is a great way of seeing the donkeys up close. On a sunny day, a walk around the field with the donkeys is a great way to enjoy the weather.
Experience all of the fun of a farm at Farmer Gow’s. The farm offers a daily programme of experiences such as bottle feeding lambs, egg collecting and trailer rides.
Fans of Inspector Morse and Lewis can take a walking tour of the filming locations used in both shows. Usually around 2 hours long, you’ll have an expert tour guide to remind you of the scenes some of the university buildings were used in.
Other Oxfordshire attractions
With a long history, Oxford has plenty of ghosts in it’s past. Why not take a night-time ghost tour? It’s a great way to see the city and learn about some of its dark past.
There are several places to hire a punt in the city. Punting is a great way to see the city from the water and its great fun trying not to fall in!
Both CS Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were buried in Oxford. You’ll find CS Lewis’s grave in the cemetery of the Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry and J.R.R. Tolkien can be found in Wolvercote Cemetery.
Visit the original 1930s railway shed at Didcot Railway Centre to see the collection of steam engines, coaches and wagons on display. Dogs are welcome as long as they’re on leads so you can take the whole family along. The café, picnic area and facilities on offer all make this a great day out for kids of all ages.
The Cotswold Wildlife Park is a short drive from the city of Oxford but it’s a great family day out, with the chance to see animals from all over the globe. Penguins, giraffes, red pandas and lions are just a few of the species you’ll get to see. See the penguins being fed, interact with the farmyard animals and take a ride on the narrow-gauge railway. There are play areas and plenty of space for kids to roam around. When you’re ready for a break there are kiosks around the park selling refreshments, picnic areas for those bringing their own food and also a restaurant if you’d prefer to sit inside. Our Chipping Norton Club Site is just a 20 minute drive away, making it great for nearby family attractions.