If you are hoping to visit Oxford for the summer, you will be happy to know that this regal county town is more than just a pretty place to look at.
With over 150,000 people that make up its bustling, Oxford is the only city in the area of Oxfordshire.
Known colloquially as the City of Dreaming Spires, this beautiful place is only 56 miles (or 90k km) from London and 61 miles (98 km) northeast of Bristol.
Most visitors know Oxford as the location of Oxford University, though it has much more to offer, including lively pubs, fun nightlife, and world-class museums.
And once you get yourself some reliable luggage storage in Oxford, we suggest that you add these seven things to your to-do list while on vacation in Oxford this summer.
One of the most beautiful places to visit is Christ Church. Christ Church is considered one of the most well-known of the colleges of Oxford University, given that it has been responsible for educating top-notch philosophers and world-class leaders.
Founded in 1546, the location has an incredible tower named Tom Tower, as well as a portrait-lined dining hall and richly colored stained-glass windows in its cathedral area.
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In addition to its indoor area, Chris Church also has an incredible Memorial Gardens and a Christ Church Meadow. Both locations are very popular with visitors who are interested in relaxing, taking a leisurely walk, or spending an afternoon picnic.
Popular culture fans might remember the college that Christ Church is a part of from being featured in Harry Potter.
As such, it quickly became one of the most popular places to visit in Oxford. It is so popular now that it is likely the case that if you do visit, you just might need to book timed tickets in advance.
If visiting in the fall instead of the summer, you can also check out the location’s self-guided visit. But if you plan to take the self-guided visit in the summer, just note that it may entail 30 people per minute moving.
In addition to the Christ Church, visitors to Oxford also like to check out the Ashmolean museum. Founded in 1683, the Ashmolean is considered the oldest public museum in England.
While it is a museum today, the building was initially used to house a massive collection of antiquities. These included various forms of art and archaeology.
Today, the museum’s exhibit is vast and spans huge geographical and temporal space. These exhibits include elements from ancient Egypt, modern China, and Medieval Italy.
Among the items available, the museum has Guy Fawkes’s lantern, the studies that Michelangelo conducted to create the inside of the Sistine Chapel, a Stradivarius violin, and a deerskin mantle of the Native American leader Powhatan from the early 1600s.
In addition to all of the impressive collections that you can see at the museum, visitors can also visit the museum’s rooftop restaurant.
Not only will visitors find an incredible view of Oxford, but they can take in those sights while enjoying a quick snack, a relaxing afternoon tea, or a heftier meal.
An added bonus is that all of this can be done for free, given that the Ashmolean does not have an admission price to enter.
Bridge of Sighs
Of all the sights in Oxford, one of them is considered the most photographed location in the city.
It is known to visitors as the Bridge of Sighs (just like the very famous bridge located in Venice, Italy), though its official name is Hertford Bridge.
The bridge itself – a walkway – joins two buildings together: Hertford College and New College Lane. On any given day, visitors can watch as plenty of people travel across the bridge.
Museum of Natural History
For those who are especially in love with museums, we recommend also visiting Oxford’s museum of natural history. Visitors can enjoy an array of exhibits at this free museum.
Known historically as the location that hosted one of Charles Darwin’s famous debates about his theory of evolution, today, visitors can enjoy much more at Oxford’s Museum of Natural History.
One of the special exhibits here is focused on the dodo, a bird that has been gone for over 350 years (it likely died in 1662).
University of Oxford Botanic Garden
In addition to exhibits on nature, Oxford also hosts the world-famous University of Oxford Botanic Garden, which was founded in 1621.
Considered one of the oldest botanic gardens in the United Kingdom, this location is filled with gardens, plants, flowers, and glasshouses with items from all around the world.
Most visitors will find it interesting that this botanic garden inspired Oxford professors and authors Lewis Carroll and J.R.R. Tolkien to create their world-renowned work that everyone now loves so much.
Harry Potter Locations
Our final recommendation for those visiting Oxford in the summer is a note specifically for movie buffs.
For those who may be fans of the Harry Potter series, you might feel upon visiting that Oxford is an awful lot like Hogwarts.
If you’re thinking this, there’s a good reason for that. In addition to the fact that some of the buildings in the film echo Oxford’s Gothic and Romanesque style architecture, a number of the film’s scenes were actually filmed there.
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