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Things to do in Oxford

Cycle like it's the roaring 20s

Oxford is relatively flat so two wheel adventurers can easily zip around the city. Cycle Tours Oxford (+44 790 867 0105; have a range of 1920-style bicycles that come complete with baskets, climb aboard for a guided excursion between the spires or further afield to the likes of Blenheim Palace and the Cotswolds.

Jump out of your skin with a ghost tour

When darkness cloaks Oxford, there is an eerie feeling to the city. It may just sodium light and ancient buildings or it could be a city of ghosts. To get spooked, there's no guide better than Bill Spectre ( - he knows Oxford's most haunted places and how to make you jump!

Swing by some of the counties first-rate golf courses

Surrounded by the rolling green of the Cotswolds, the Oxford area is a great place for keen golfers to challenge their swing. Frilford (+44 1865 390 864;, close to Abingdon boasts three courses (of which, red is a firm favourite) whilst Heythrop Park (+44 1608 673 333; is charming for the vast country house estate that surrounds it.

Take a punt on the river

First timer punters may be daunted by the level of skill involved but propelling boats along the rivers Cherwell and Isis, is easier than you think, and reveal Oxford's wonderful skyline. Salters Steamers Ltd (+44 1865 24 3421; offers boat hire and for those still afraid to try their hand, scheduled passenger cruises too.

Walk Britain's oldest road

With spires, sandstone and cobbled streets, Oxford is a charming wander. The city is also surrounded by a multitude of fantastic walks. Why not tread history and stroll Britain's oldest road? Just south of Oxford, The Ridgeway National Trail ( is clearly marked and takes in ancient woods, downland and valleys.

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Featured Hotels


Macdonald Randolph Hotel

Located opposite the Ashmolean Museum, the time-honoured Randolph has a similarly prestigious past, having previously welcomed Prime Ministers and Presidents through its doors. It's been open since 1886 and has a good spa and restaurant aside the comfortable guestrooms. The hotel is also the favoured watering hole of TV's Inspectors Morse and Lewis.

Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Renowned as one of the country's leading hotels, Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir is notable for far more than just its food. It's set in the village of Great Milton in the Oxfordshire countryside, and with just 32 guestrooms it's somewhere that emphasises attention to detail above mass-market appeal. Definitely one for special occasions.

YHA Oxford

A 4-star hostel within a minute's walk of the train station, YHA Oxford has 203 beds and, in keeping with the organisation's revamped image, a modern, welcoming feel. There are various en suite rooms, many of them geared specifically at families. Other features include a bar, a games room and cycle storage.

Victoria House Hotel

Housed in a modern building in the city centre, the Victoria House Hotel is a basic but comfortable and convenient hotel that sits directly opposite the New Theatre. All rooms are en-suite and come with shower or bath, phone and TV – but be aware that the hotel doesn't serve breakfast.

Remont Hotel

A family-run bed and breakfast with the feel of an upscale boutique hotel, the Remont is the hotel of choice for those who value style and individuality above a city-centre location. There are 25 en-suite rooms, as well as two communal areas and a garden area. Breakfast is included too.

Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel

The Oxford Spires is set in parkland, but still sits less than half a mile from the historic centre. The hotel has 174 well-appointed en suite bedrooms, some of which have four-poster beds. It also has a swimming pool, sauna, spa bath, beauty therapy room and gym as well a stylish restaurant and library bar.