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Oxford - Tips and recommendations

The Mrs has booked a weekend in Oxford for my birthday this weekend.

Any lifers got any experience of the place? Places worth seeing/avoiding
Resturant/Bar recommendations etc.

I realise tastes vary but any opinions will be valued.

Cheers.

Comments

  • Plenty of good pubs in Oxford for a decent pub crawl. The Morse pub is a must but does get busy.
  • Punting, get her to practice a bit with a mop before you go. ;-0
  • Punting, get her to practice a bit with a mop before you go. ;-0

    Seemingly some weird sexual practices in Oxford, Organiser.....

  • edited June 2014
    Museum of the History of Science.
    Free - or at least it was a couple of years ago.
    Einstein's writing on a blackboard - saved from one of his lectures there.
    http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/blackboard/introduction.htm
  • Magdalen College is well worth a visit; the grounds are extensive and it's a nice walk around the meadows.
    The other old colleges - particularly Balliol, All Souls (not sure if they take tours though) Christ Church, Brasenose and Exeter - are all nice, and the Bodleian Library is interesting. The Bodleian tour doesn't go into the Radcliffe Camera though, and isn't that extensive because groups can't go in to most of the actual libraries, having to stand at the entrances and be told about them. Term proper finished last Friday though, so that rule might've changed for the summer.
    A walking tour isn't too heavy, and is quite historically thorough, leaving from outside the tourist info centre in Broad Street (check the council website).
    The Ashmolean (on St Aldgates) is a very good museum, as are the Pitt Rivers and the (already mentioned) Science Museum, although I've never been to that one. One good place to go is the University Church tower (which you can't miss) on the Radcliffe Square, which has great views . . . if you can stomach narrow stairs and heights.
    The University Parks are good, and free.
    Prelims and finals should be over now, so a tour of the Exam Schools is probably being offered; don;t hold me to that one though.
    The Castle - I don;t think - is particularly worth it, but some people have enjoyed it, and it is extensive.

    Restaurant-wise, Shanghai 30 (opposite Christ Church) is excellent, although pricey.
    In Cowley (on the Cowley Road) there's a Moroccan/tapas-esque place called Kazbar. This gets very busy, but is worth it; getting there around 6:30-7 generally helps, as they don't take bookings.
    Avoid The Standard in Jericho, as it's frequented by student rowing clubs and term isn't over for them yet. The rest of Jericho is very nice in terms of Cafes and some more up-market restaurants; it's a walk, but is on the way to Port Meadow.
    Around the back of the Tesco Express at the top of the main street (Cornmarket) is a pub called The White Rabbit, who do fantastic home-made pizzas at very good prices.

    The pubs are all really good. The 'Morse Pub' I assume is the Turf, which is tucked away on Bath Place off of Holywell Street. This does get busy, but the back garden (overlooked by the old city wall and New College Tower) is lovely, and has a big sign claiming that Clinton "didn't inhale" there.
    The Chequers (off of the high street) is OK, as is the Kings Arms (Holywell) and the latter does the best pork scratchings I've ever had.
    The Half Moon down in Cowley is friendly, and has good folk music most nights, but is a bit run down.
    The White Horse on Broad Street is better, but quite small.
    The Head of the River is great if the weather is good, as it overlooks the Thames.
    Most of the other nice pubs are a bit further out; The Trout (I think that's what it's called) is on the other side of Port Meadow, and has a really good reputation (a nice walk as well).

    Punting is fun, although it can be difficult/expensive if you dawdle. Punts can be rented for a £20 deposit from under the Magdalen Bridge, with a guide/someone to do the work if you want it.

    Most simply, it's a beautiful city, and just wandering around is nice enough. Make sure you thoroughly explore the immediate area around the Bodleian, as there are a lot of side streets that are worth it.
    On that note actually, the Turl Street Kitchen (on, surprisingly, Turl Street) is OK, but a bit pretentious.

    It's probably not worth going too far out, because now most of the students have gone it'll be very empty in the evenings (heaving with Tourists during the day though; as bad as central London sometimes).

    Enjoy it.
  • Bill Spectre's ghost walk is excellent and great value for money.


  • Definitely get to the Ashmoleon if only for the new roof terrace for a drink, amazing views over the city.
  • Magdalen College is well worth a visit; the grounds are extensive and it's a nice walk around the meadows.
    The other old colleges - particularly Balliol, All Souls (not sure if they take tours though) Christ Church, Brasenose and Exeter - are all nice, and the Bodleian Library is interesting. The Bodleian tour doesn't go into the Radcliffe Camera though, and isn't that extensive because groups can't go in to most of the actual libraries, having to stand at the entrances and be told about them. Term proper finished last Friday though, so that rule might've changed for the summer.
    A walking tour isn't too heavy, and is quite historically thorough, leaving from outside the tourist info centre in Broad Street (check the council website).
    The Ashmolean (on St Aldgates) is a very good museum, as are the Pitt Rivers and the (already mentioned) Science Museum, although I've never been to that one. One good place to go is the University Church tower (which you can't miss) on the Radcliffe Square, which has great views . . . if you can stomach narrow stairs and heights.
    The University Parks are good, and free.
    Prelims and finals should be over now, so a tour of the Exam Schools is probably being offered; don;t hold me to that one though.
    The Castle - I don;t think - is particularly worth it, but some people have enjoyed it, and it is extensive.

    Restaurant-wise, Shanghai 30 (opposite Christ Church) is excellent, although pricey.
    In Cowley (on the Cowley Road) there's a Moroccan/tapas-esque place called Kazbar. This gets very busy, but is worth it; getting there around 6:30-7 generally helps, as they don't take bookings.
    Avoid The Standard in Jericho, as it's frequented by student rowing clubs and term isn't over for them yet. The rest of Jericho is very nice in terms of Cafes and some more up-market restaurants; it's a walk, but is on the way to Port Meadow.
    Around the back of the Tesco Express at the top of the main street (Cornmarket) is a pub called The White Rabbit, who do fantastic home-made pizzas at very good prices.

    The pubs are all really good. The 'Morse Pub' I assume is the Turf, which is tucked away on Bath Place off of Holywell Street. This does get busy, but the back garden (overlooked by the old city wall and New College Tower) is lovely, and has a big sign claiming that Clinton "didn't inhale" there.
    The Chequers (off of the high street) is OK, as is the Kings Arms (Holywell) and the latter does the best pork scratchings I've ever had.
    The Half Moon down in Cowley is friendly, and has good folk music most nights, but is a bit run down.
    The White Horse on Broad Street is better, but quite small.
    The Head of the River is great if the weather is good, as it overlooks the Thames.
    Most of the other nice pubs are a bit further out; The Trout (I think that's what it's called) is on the other side of Port Meadow, and has a really good reputation (a nice walk as well).

    Punting is fun, although it can be difficult/expensive if you dawdle. Punts can be rented for a £20 deposit from under the Magdalen Bridge, with a guide/someone to do the work if you want it.

    Most simply, it's a beautiful city, and just wandering around is nice enough. Make sure you thoroughly explore the immediate area around the Bodleian, as there are a lot of side streets that are worth it.
    On that note actually, the Turl Street Kitchen (on, surprisingly, Turl Street) is OK, but a bit pretentious.

    It's probably not worth going too far out, because now most of the students have gone it'll be very empty in the evenings (heaving with Tourists during the day though; as bad as central London sometimes).

    Enjoy it.

    Yeah, but apart from that?
  • The suggestions above are all good ones. Another college with extensive grounds to walk around is Worcester, near the station.

    If you want to try punting the best place to do it is likely to be from Cherwell Boathouse, which also has a very good restaurant. The Cherwell, especially around there, is shallower, so it's probably easier for a beginner. You can easily punt from there north through a quiet rural area to the Victoria Arms at Marston for a rest, a drink or a meal or south through the University Parks.

    Just be warned, you can only scratch the surface of the city in one weekend!
  • Thanks for all the tips guys, especially Utopianaddick - that was some summary. I take it you do or have lived locally to the place at some point. Much appreciated.
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  • Ask her to hold on till January and you can watch our FA Cup 3rd round game there
  • Sevensix said:

    Another college with extensive grounds to walk around is Worcester, near the station.

    If you want to try punting the best place to do it is likely to be from Cherwell Boathouse, which also has a very good restaurant. The Cherwell, especially around there, is shallower, so it's probably easier for a beginner. You can easily punt from there north through a quiet rural area to the Victoria Arms at Marston for a rest, a drink or a meal or south through the University Parks.

    Worcester is a good call, although I think Magdalen is nicer if you're forced to choose. I've never been in Worcester's hall or chapel though, so could be wrong.

    I've never been up to the Cherwell Boathouse, but Sevensix seems to know what (s)he's talking about, so I'd choose that over the Magdalen Bridge option.

    Thanks for all the tips guys, especially Utopianaddick - that was some summary. I take it you do or have lived locally to the place at some point. Much appreciated.

    I moved back to Eltham last week, so my list is pretty up-to-date.


  • Isis is in Oxford. Take care.

  • Sevensix said:

    The suggestions above are all good ones. Another college with extensive grounds to walk around is Worcester, near the station.

    If you want to try punting the best place to do it is likely to be from Cherwell Boathouse, which also has a very good restaurant. The Cherwell, especially around there, is shallower, so it's probably easier for a beginner. You can easily punt from there north through a quiet rural area to the Victoria Arms at Marston for a rest, a drink or a meal or south through the University Parks.

    Just be warned, you can only scratch the surface of the city in one weekend!

    Great suggestion but be warned. A few beers on a sunny afternoon and the related loss of time awareness will result in a massive bill when you return the punt three or four hours late!!
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