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Top 5 attractions in Oxford

Oxford is incredible. Known as the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ for its magnificent architecture and beautiful buildings, it should absolutely be on your travel bucket list! Home to one of the world’s most prestigious universities, where many renowned people have studied including the likes of Lewis Carroll, J R Tolkien and Stephen Hawking.

With so many iconic attractions, it can be difficult to know where to begin your Oxford trip. To help you out, in this blog, our boutique Oxford hotel share 5 top attractions in the city. Read on…

Bodleian Libraries

One of the oldest libraries in Europe, the Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford; home to more than 13 million books, journals and resources. Located in Radcliffe Square, the centuries-old building has been said to be a masterpiece in English Gothic architecture. The libraries are no stranger to the silver screen either, a popular filming location for the fan favourite, Harry Potter franchise. Book onto a tour here.

Bodleian Library[photo credit: Bodleian Libraries]

Radcliffe Camera

Probably one of Oxford’s most photographed landmarks, the Radcliffe Camera is an absolute must-visit attraction on your trip. Built in 1737-49 to house the Radcliffe Science Library. Today, over 200 years after it was opened, the building is still in use, serving as a reading room to Oxford uni students. However, unlike many attractions, it is not freely open to the public, yet it’s still worth a visit merely to admire the stunning architecture.

Radcliffe Camera

Christ Church

Another one for Harry Potter fans is Christ Church. Like the Bodleian Library, it’s been used as a filming location for many of the early Harry Potter films, helping to create the iconic gothic backdrop for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the Great Hall was used for the iconic arrival scene for new Hogwarts students in the first two films. Aside from being one of the largest colleges of Oxford University, Christ Church also contains the Cathedral of the Oxford diocese, which doubles as the college chapel.

Christ Church

University of Oxford Botanic Garden

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and immerse yourself in nature at Oxford Botanic Garden. Founded in 1621, it was the first botanic garden in the UK and remains a year-round oasis of biodiversity. With over 6,000 different types of plant and a large 130-acre arboretum, it’s the ideal place to learn more about nature and wildlife. The arboretum looks particularly stunning in autumn, with crisp, golden and red leaves covering the floor.

Oxford Botanic Garden

Modern Art Oxford

Into your art? Modern Art Oxford is the attraction for you. Showcasing the very best international contemporary art with a number of cutting-edge exhibitions, it’s unlike anywhere else in the city. Considered a breath of fresh air among the many historic buildings and museums in Oxford. Take a look at what’s on before you visit here

Modern Art Oxford[photo credit: Modern Art Oxford]


Vanbrugh House Hotel, a boutique hotel in Oxford, is ideally located in the centre of Oxford, near to the area’s top Oxford museums, Oxford theatres and Oxford bars. To check availability, email us or call us on 01865 244 622.

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Vanbrugh House Hotel Reviews

Clare,

Melbourne, Australia

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.


Graham,

Salisbury

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.


Adrianne,

Hong Kong

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!


Kate,

London

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!


Luna,

Hong Kong

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.


Leo,

New York

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.


Jan,

Princes Risborough

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.


Donna,

Bedford

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.


Anna,

Poland

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!


Cat,

Mount Prospect, Illinois

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.

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