Oxford University, England


Come, take a stroll down the cobblestone walkways or have a picnic in the lush botanic gardens found at one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities. This school dates back to the 13th century, but it’s not all history here. The bustling student body brings a fresh, modern feel to area. While most of the city is centered on the Uni, you’ll also find several unique shops and cafes to poke into while walking in the footsteps of prime ministers, Nobel prize winners, and literary prodigies.

What to see & do

Bodleian Library

Bodleian library is the main research library at Oxford University and one of the oldest libraries in Europe. Take a look at the entrance, the giant doors are outfitted with coats of arms from several of the individual schools. When wandering around, you’ll notice the never-ending rows of books. There are 117 miles of shelving and over 11 million items. Due to the efforts of Sir Thomas Bodley, an agreement was made with Stationers’ Company of London for the library to receive a copy of every single book published in the UK. Go ahead, look for your favorite read. Bodley, as the students often call it, is almost certain to have it. Harry Potter fans, make sure to check out the Divinity School. This was the university’s first teaching room, but you’ll notice is as the Hogwarts hospital wing.

Turf Tavern

You’ll have to head down a narrow alleyway and perhaps even ask for directions if you want to find this hidden gem. The tavern dates back to 1381, but it is still a popular spot for Oxford students and tourists alike, serving up favourite brews and great grub. We recommend the delicious hunter’s chicken or the tried-and-true tavern favorite, fish and chips.

Magdalen College

While exploring the University, it is well worth it to make a stop at Magdalen College (pronounced MAWD-lin). This notable school is arguably the wealthiest and most beautiful part of Oxford and has seen many famous faces pass through its halls. This famed art school, educated CS Lewis, Oscar Wilde and Edward VIII, to name a few. Chronicles of Narnia fans may feel nostalgic when visiting this building. The grotesque gargoyles are said to have inspired CS Lewis’ stone statues in the series.

Oxford hop-on hop-off tour

In a city focused so much on academics, it would be a shame not to learn as much as possible. We recommend taking the convenient bus tour around the city. Hear exciting commentary about the buildings and visit each attraction for as long as you’d like.

Where to stay

The Old Bank

Right in the heart of Oxford, this luxurious hotel will let you rest just steps away from the university, rail station and botanic garden. Inside, you can enjoy marble bathrooms, a jazz bar and an impressive menu at the hotel restaurant, The Quod Brasserie.

Old Parsonage Hotel

Why not embrace the spirit and history of Oxford by staying in this 17th-century, wisteria-covered building? The Old Parsonage Hotel building dates back to 1660 and was once home to famed author Oscar Wilde. While the Hotel has all of the period charm of Wilde’s time, it also embraces modern luxury to give you a comfortable and unforgettable holiday. You can expect marble bathrooms, a garden library, two terraces, and a restaurant/bar that serves British classics with a modern twist.

Grab your wellies and pack your best uni blazer. Oxford, England will have you missing the days of study sessions and exams. Find the right travel insurance coverage and set off for the famous University town, we promise you won’t have to pass a test to have fun here.

Image courtesy of Flickr user JoAnn Miller; cropped from original