Vanbrugh House




Our picturesque city is full of beauty spots. No matter the weather, everywhere you turn there are inspirational image opportunities aplenty. In this blog, our Oxford hotel shares the most Instagrammable photography locations in the city of dreaming spires.

Magdalen Bridge Boathouse

With the most colourful array of punts along the River Cherwell, Magdalen Bridge Boathouse provides stunning scenery, whether you’re on the water or off. Stand atop the bridge and point your lens downstream to capture large trees bending lazily over the water, then visit the punts lined up along the water for a tranquil image. To get closer to the action, hop on a boat and take in the views from the river itself; a photo of someone steering from within the boat is always a magnificent image. No matter whether you’re behind the photos or standing in front of them, your Instagram feed will delight in this splash of colour.

Radcliffe Square

While definitely not hidden, this square is still one of Oxford’s most loved gems. The building featured in the centre is the Radcliffe Camera, a library and an excellent example of neo-classical architecture from the mid-18th century. Zoom in on the finer details to really appreciate the intricacy of the design, but make sure to get some wide-angle shots of the square, too. If you’re using your phone camera without adjustable lenses, you could try a panorama to take in the whole square, just make sure to keep your hands steady. Our top tip: crouch down low to take a great shot every time.

The Oxford Bridge of Sighs

Taking its nickname from the original Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Hertford Bridge joins two parts of Hertford college, and is a great architectural photo opportunity. Particularly stunning at sunset, this Grade II listed bridge is only accessible to the public from the outside, but that’s the best part. Get a little closer and tweak your camera’s exposure to spy the red brick underbelly, or take a picture directly down the centre of the street for great composition. This also makes for the perfect angle to photograph friends and family standing beneath the structure.

The Narnia Doorway

Discover the famous door which inspired C.S. Lewis to write the magical tale of Narnia. Down St Mary’s Passage lies this intricately cut wooden doorway, featuring a lion flanked by golden fauns. Whether you’re posing with the creatures or simply capturing the history and magic of the area, this is a truly magnificent photography spot. The famous street light is also nearby, making for another amazing image, particularly when featuring people. Although wonderful at all times of year, visiting in the snow will have you believing you’ve stepped through the wardrobe yourself.

Christ Church Garden

Nature lovers will delight in the gardens of Christ Church, where you can capture beautiful floral arrangements and explore history. Exterior photographs of the famous church are enhanced with wildlife, as shown above, providing a complementary contrast of nature and architecture. This magical outdoor space also holds the door to the Deanery garden, which inspired Alice in Wonderland. Alice was the Dean’s daughter, and the Cathedral Garden was the one she was not allowed in. You can even see the Cheshire Cat’s horse chestnut tree.

Whether you’re a professional or amateur, our city of dreaming spires has a plethora of photo opportunities for you to explore. Our boutique hotel seamlessly blends with the architecture and romance of the city, and is another historic spot to discover. Find out the stories behind our rooms here.

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