Whether you plan to spend just a few hours or days exploring, here are some of our favourite things to do in Oxford...
Oxford’s museums are unparalleled. With over 10 museums within walking distance of our Oxford hotel, spend the day exploring some of Britain’s greatest treasures and works of art.
Discover hidden treasures in the famous Ashmolean Museum, the most important museum of art and archaeology in the heart of Britain. Founded in 1683, the University of Oxford’s museum showcases an incredible collection ranging from Egyptian mummies to contemporary art.
Other museum highlights include:
The Pitt Rivers Museum of anthropology and archaeology has plenty to set the imagination running wild, including a collection of shrunken heads.
The Bate Collection for the music lover. The Museum brings together over 2,000 western orchestral musical instruments.
The Museum of Oxford sheds a historical light on the beautiful medieval city.
Modern Art Oxford Museum will keep contemporary art enthusiasts at the forefront of artistic developments in the UK.
For children, there is The Story Museum, celebrating the use of stories to help children learn and develop.
Oxford's winding alleyways, streets and arcades are crammed with boutiques and unique shops for you to leisurely browse throughout the day. Located on the hotel’s doorstep you have a great excuse to treat yourself.
As you might expect in such an academic city, bookshops are a speciality. Spend the day in cavernous Blackwell’s or Oxford University Press searching for the perfect book in the city from which many famous authors drew their inspiration on such as Lewis Carroll with Alice in Wonderland.
Spend the day at Christ Church Meadows, a pasture between Oxford's two primary rivers, the Cherwell and Thames. The meadows provide an escape from the usual city bustle while remaining in the city. Enjoy a slice of Oxfordshire countryside life in the meadows which even has its own herd of cows.
Venture down to the water and explore the area by punt which are available to hire. The Cherwell Boathouse is a family run boathouse taking its name from the Cherwell River and at the lower end of the high street you will find the Magdalen Bridge Boathouse which rents out punts, rowing boats and pedalos.
Oxford is known to house some of the best theatres in the UK. A must see is The New Theatre Oxford which hosts some of the biggest shows and names from comedy shows to operas.
At night, immerse yourself in Oxfords flourishing arts scene. Oxford Playhouse and its Burton Taylor Studio present and produce a wide variety of performances from contemporary dance and music to poetry and comedy.
For something out of the ordinary venture to The Old Fire Station to see quality art aimed at adults which takes a risk, asks questions and entertains while the North Wall Centre is an arts hub for live music, theatre and film screenings.
Spend the day at the grand stately home of Blenheim Palace just 10 miles away. It was built in the early 18th century for the Dukes of Marlborough, the aristocratic line from which Sir Winston Churchill was descended.
Explore Waddesdon Manor. The 19th century mansion built by the Rothschild family, is just over 25 miles away.
Another impressive country house, only 25 miles away is Kelmscott Manor. The former residence of the pre-Raphaelite painter William Morris.
Fantastic place to stay, this hotel in Oxford is in the perfect location! Our room was beautiful and spotlessly clean, breakfast was beautifully cooked. Lovely friendly staff, a warm welcoming place to stay - I will be returning.
Oxford, also known as the City of Dreaming Spires is one of the UK’s most popular destinations with over 1000 years of history for you to explore.
This stunning medieval city has something to offer everyone regardless of age or interest.
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Lovely hotel in a wonderful central location. We could easily walk to most places of interest with many restaurants. We had booked a superior double, which was on the second floor and quiet as requested.
The staff were happy to help with our luggage. Standard of room excellent with a lovely bathroom and walk in shower.
Assistance pleasantly provided by helpful staff - good restaurants, parking, ice, taxis etc. Good breakfast choice included in tariff. Loved our stay and would certainly return.
The experience was superb from start to finish. Lovely deluxe room with private garden. Excellent for a special treat. The hotel is in a great location and Oxford has plenty of lovely coffee shops and restaurants to keep you nourished.
The hotel suite is very nice and spacious. We love every detail in the room, especially the shower in the bathroom! The complimentary breakfast is also very good with nice service! Definitely will stay over again if we come back to Oxford!
My husband and I came to Oxford to celebrate our wedding anniversary. From the moment we arrived at the hotel all staff were very accommodating and friendly. We were kindly given a room that required no steps (The Sir John Vanbrugh Suite) given that I am heavily pregnant. In addition, we were given a welcome drink to celebrate our anniversary as well as a lovely card- a really nice touch especially given that it was so long ago since I'd mentioned it in our booking!
Breakfast the next morning was fantastic - really fresh ingredients and friendly staff. The location of the hotel is excellent. We used the park and ride option for parking which really was very easy and much cheaper than the multi storey.
Our room looked out onto the main street but noise definitely wasn't a problem. The best part of the room was either the very comfy bed or the enormous bath! Thanks to all staff for making our stay so relaxing and enjoyable!
I recently spent one night at Oxford and since I'm not driving and I plan to take the train, I want to stay in a decent hotel at the city centre and close to train station. Vanbrugh House Hotel ticks all of the above.
Staff are super helpful and friendly, I arrived on the day with big snow and my train was cancelled so I have to get off at Didcot Parkway and take a bus. By the time I arrived, it was only 12 noon but the staff kindly check me in early. They also helped carried the luggage (together with me, of course) to go up the stairs.
The hotel was recently renovated and positioned as a boutique hotel, the size of the room is very okay as I'm travelling sole and it's very comfortable. Shower facilities are great so as the washroom amenities are very high quality. Breakfast, traditional English breakfast with unlimited cereal plus toasts was excellent. Would definitely stay here again.
Our stay at the Vanbrugh House Hotel was enjoyable. The hotel is located in the centre of Oxford, giving us the opportunity to explore Oxford right outside the front door. The staff were very helpful and courteous, and after a day of touring it was relaxing to have a glass of wine at the hotel.
What a fabulous hotel. The staff, location and rooms are excellent. The staff couldn't do enough to help and were very welcoming. Location is perfect for the Theatre, the new Westgate shopping centre and plenty of restaurant within a very short walk.
The rooms are beautiful and very clean. Loved the fact that anything in the rooms fridge was complimentary.
Beautiful hotel in the centre of Oxford, great location with everything nearby, but very peaceful and quiet. The room was gorgeous, the staff very friendly and helpful. Great food and spotless rooms. Thoroughly recommended and we'll definitely be returning.
I love luxury stays with family and this hotel is perfect. Rooms are clean, spacious and comfortable. Our kids had a very enjoyable time there. Staff are very nice and they helped us with how to organise free time for our kids. Highly recommended!
Nice little boutique hotel, centrally located in a quiet area. Complimentary snacks, tea, coffee in room. Comfy beds and best bonus was Mustafa from the front desk staff. He was most ready and willing to help with any request, and at all times with a very friendly and a happy personality.