Vanbrugh House




From famous tourist spots to local favourites, Oxford is jam-packed with exciting activities. Our luxury hotel is sharing some of the best things to do in our city.

Find a new favourite plant at Oxford Botanic Gardens

Explore the oldest botanical garden in Great Britain, which is also one of the oldest scientific gardens in the whole world. The University of Oxford Botanic Garden was founded in 1621 for medicinal research. Containing over 5000 different species of plants, we’re sure you’ll find a new favourite!

Watch a gig at Jericho Tavern

There’s nothing better than a bit of live music to add some energy to your night. Oxford plays host to many talented music artists, either local or from further afield! The Jericho Tavern has put on many famous artists over the years, including Radiohead and Mumford and Sons. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, variety of drinks and delicious food.

Go behind the scenes on an exclusive walking tour

Walk in the footsteps of legends on an immersive Oxford walking tour. Expert local guides have access to restricted areas, telling secrets that only they know. Choose between a nighttime ghost tour or a personalised walking tour with Vanbrugh House Hotel’s exclusive tour packages.

Discover ancient wisdom at the Ashmolean

The Ashmolean Museum was founded in 1683 and houses a fantastic collection of art and archaeology. From ancient mummies to impressionist art, you can easily spend hours meandering around the exhibitions. Stop for a drink and a snack at their rooftop bar and cafe for spectacular views of the dreaming spires.

Have a dip in Port Meadow

A large, open space alongside the Thames, Port Meadow is a favourite for picnics, barbecues and of course, wild swimming. Dip your toes in or go for a full swim, it’s up to you! Be careful and familiarise yourself with the wild water code to stay safe. There’s no better way to spend a relaxing afternoon in Oxford.

Attempt to self-drive a punt

Travel down the Cherwell on a traditional riverboat, taking in the gorgeous scenery. If you’re feeling adventurous, get stuck in and steer yourself for an incredibly fun experience. For a more luxurious experience, try our chauffeured breakfast punting tour, and get out on the river before anyone else.

Visit the Headington Shark

How did it get there? Why was it put there? We don’t know, but it’s an Oxford treasure. An ordinary home suddenly bore a massive shark that stuck out of the roof, giving it global fame. It’s almost unbelievable until you see it, and photographs definitely don’t do it justice.

Watch a film at the independent cinema, Ultimate Picture Palace

Oxford’s only independent cinema, the Ultimate Picture Palace shows a mixture of indie and mainstream films. It’s actually one of the oldest cinemas in the UK, sitting inside a beautiful Art Deco building from 1911. The original box office can be seen outside, and inside it’s like stepping back in time.

See how the other half live at Blenheim Palace

A world heritage site with over 300 years of history, Blenheim Palace is an archaeological and historical marvel. Enjoy afternoon tea, stroll through the manicured gardens, and admire the magnificent country house and its fineries. Although you can’t sleep over at the Palace, you can enjoy a similar experience at our boutique hotel, which was designed by the same architect!

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