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Oxford tours and excursions

Oxford tours

Bus tours

City Sightseeing Oxford operates one-hour, open-top bus tours of the city with hop-on hop-off stops at various attractions, including Christ Church College and Westgate Shopping Centre. The full tour takes around an hour and buses depart every 10 to 15 minutes over the summer (every 20 to 30 minutes in winter).

Tel: +44 1865 790 522.
Website: http://www.citysightseeingoxford.com

Themed tours

The standard historic tour of Oxford comes in various shapes and sizes, with a great number of themed walks available. The tourist board runs an official Inspector Morse Tour, in which participants can follow in the footsteps of the TV detective. Other options include ghost walks (Bill Spectre's Ghost Trail is worth looking up), Harry Potter walks, Alice in Wonderland walks and architecture walks.

Website: http://www.visitoxford.org

Oxford excursions

Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon is a charming little town in south Warwickshire, some 49km (30 miles) north of Oxford. It was here that William Shakespeare, the greatest playwright in the English language, was born. Admirers of the Great Bard can visit Shakespeare's birthplace as well as Hall's Croft (the one-time home of his daughter, Susannah) and New Place, which stands on the site of an earlier house the playwright owned. Holy Trinity Church is also worth a visit, as Shakespeare was both baptised and buried here. The town is also home to the Royal Shakespeare Company, which performs at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the adjacent Swan Theatre.

Website: http://www.visitstratforduponavon.co.uk

Blenheim Palace

One word: wow. The gift of a grateful nation to the Duke of Marlborough following his quashing of the French at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704, Blenheim Palace stands today as one of the most magnificent attractions in the UK. The palace (also famed for being the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill) is surrounded by dramatic lakes and parkland landscaped by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, while its interior is full of the kind of lavish detail that English country piles do so well.

Tel: +44 1993 810 530.
Website: http://www.blenheimpalace.com

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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.