For history and culture, head just an hour and 45 minutes drive north-west from Central London, for a day trip to the beautiful city of Oxford. A city steeped in history, Oxford is famous worldwide for its stunning Gothic and Baroque architecture, its myriad of museums and for its being featured in the Harry Potter films. Oxford is the place to go for anything from a family day out, to a romantic weekend away. So book your Hiyacar and get inspired, as we dive into what this stunning city has to offer daytrippers and staycationers alike!
Visit one of Oxford’s many museums
For museum fans, Oxford is a real delight. Art-lovers, head to the city’s Modern Art Museum, for exhibitions, talks and tours and marvel at works of contemporary art. For art and archaeology, have a wander around the Ashmolean Museum, to see everything from impressionist works to prehistoric objects. For archaeological and anthropological collections and exhibitions, head to the Pitt Rivers Museum.
Take a trip back in time at Oxford Castle and Prison
This incredible, partly-ruined medieval castle, with parts of it dating back to the late 12th century, should be top of your list to visit, whether on a day trip or for a weekend getaway. Here, you can go on a ghost tour (we’ll be talking more about those below), try your hand at an escape room, or even stay in one of the renovated former prison cells, which are now hotel rooms!
Go on a ghost walk
Perhaps not the most obvious thing to add to your to-do list when planning a day trip or weekend trip to Oxford, but the city is known for its ghost walks and tours! Available a majority of the year round, what better to do, whether spooky season or not, than to learn about all the ghoulish tales associated with the well-trodden streets of Oxford! Go on a walking tour past 12th and 13th century buildings, hear chilling tales about ghouls and ghosts that haunt buildings in the area, with plenty of different themed walks to choose from, it’s definitely worth trying!
Try punting on the River Cherwell
Rent a traditional wooden ‘punt’ - the flat-bottomed boat used for punting, and have a relaxing ride along the River Cherwell, which makes its way around the north and east of the city and eventually feeds into the Thames. This activity is easy to learn and able to be tried by those new to it, so if you happen to be day tripping to Oxford on a sunny day, what better way to see the city, than from the river!
Have afternoon tea at England’s ‘oldest coffee house’
Established c.1650, the Grand Café, is a magnificent spot for afternoon tea! This stunning Art Deco tea room is located just a short walk from the 15th and 16th century buildings of Oxford University’s Magdalen College. Looking for a more contemporary coffee spot? Not a problem, try the highly-rated Art Café in Bonn Square. Oxford has a wide range of highly-rated eateries, so there’s something for every taste!
Pay tribute to your favourite authors
It’s no surprise that this beautiful city has been the backdrop for many beloved TV and film series over the years. For Lord of the Rings fans, the book series’ writer, J.R.R Tolkein himself is buried in Wolvercote Cemetery, a 15 minutes drive north of the centre of Oxford. Author of the popular Chronicles of Narnia series, C.S. Lewis, is buried in Headington Quarry Cemetery, in the Oxford suburb of Headington, a 15 minutes drive east from central Oxford. For fans of the Harry Potter series, a number of Oxford University’s buildings can be spotted in the films, such as Christ Church College’s Bodley Staircase and Cloisters.
Wander around Oxford’s Botanic Gardens & Arboretum
Established over 400 years ago, this gorgeous gardens at the heart of the city, is a beautiful spot for a walk and wander amongst the over 5000 plant species, conservatories and glass houses - the first of which was built in the 1700s! The Harcourt Arboretum, an approximately 17 minutes drive south of central Oxford, is a great spot to visit too, offering visitors great walks around the area’s 130+ acres of parkland, woodland and meadows.
Bridge of Sighs
Last but not least, make sure to check out the city’s famous Bridge of Sighs. Just around the corner from the Bodleian Library, many have noted that this stunning covered bridge is reminiscent of other Gothic style ‘skyways’ found in Venice, Bruges and Barcelona. This Grade II listed bridge, actually named the Hertford Bridge, is a must-see on your day trip to Oxford and makes for a great photo opportunity.
Time for some shopping! Head to Bicester Village
On a day trip to Oxford and looking to do some shopping? Head to the luxury shopping destination, Bicester Village, found just off junction 9 of the M40. Bicester Village is kindly giving Hiyacar users VIP Passes to use at their shopping destination, offering 10% off the Village price at participating boutiques and restaurants. Just head to our Partners page (make sure you’re logged into your Hiyacar account) and click ‘Get your VIP Pass here’, to get a little extra off your shop!
Book your perfect Hiyacar now, and get on the road!