Vanbrugh House



Hidden History: Tales of Oxford’s Winters Past 

Oxford isn’t just about books and exams. It’s got a history that’s even cooler than the weather, especially during winter. Get ready to dive into the less-known tales of Oxford’s winters past. From frozen Thames fun to ghost stories at Oxford Castle, here’s your mini trip through Oxford’s winter secrets.  

Frozen Thames Fun 

Way back in 1683-84, the winter in England went a bit wild. The Thames in London froze, but it reached Oxford too! This led to something incredible – the Thames turned into a Frost Fair, and Oxfordians had a blast. They set up stalls on the frozen river, creating a pop-up market like no other. The ‘Great Frost’ refers to this freezing of the Thames. We wish our hotel in Oxford could be able to recreate this for the day! For more information click here. 

Ghosts at Oxford Castle  

Oxford is interestingly known for having Christ Church College; famous for being the place of the Grand Hall in the Harry Potter movies. Our hotel in Oxford decided to dig deeper into some eerie tales that base themselves in the city. Oxford Castle is known to have many a kindred spirit walking its halls on cold October nights. From Empress Matilda in her white cloak to the (sometimes) headless ghost of King Charles 1, there seems to be many a royal ghost. Spooky, right? If you want to scare yourself a little more, you can find more info here! 

Winter Inspires Words 

You know Oxford’s all about literature, right? Well, winter in Oxford played a part in some famous books. Lewis Carroll, the mind behind Alice in Wonderland, found inspiration in Christ Church’s snow-covered gardens. And J.R.R. Tolkien, the Lord of the Rings creator, got his ideas from Oxford’s wintery countryside. Winter magic is in the air, for sure! 

Oxford’s Winter Charm 

Winter paints Oxford’s historic buildings in a whole new light. The Bodleian Library, Radcliffe Camera, and those iconic dreaming spires look like something out of a fairy tale in the snow. Take a walk through the snowy streets, and you’ll feel the weight of history in every step. Winter even changes the look of our historic hotel in Oxford, with the snow shimmering on our charmingly antique building, it is a beautiful sight to behold.   

Oxford’s winters are more than just cold weather. They’re filled with untold stories, cosy charm, and magical inspiration. So, when you explore Oxford in the winter, remember, that there’s more to this city than meets the eye. Enjoy the chilly beauty and the whispers of history hiding around every corner. Oxford’s winters are full of surprises waiting to be uncovered. 

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