Steeped in history, Oxford's cobblestone streets run past towering spires and stone buildings to the idyllic rolling hills beyond. In a blend of town and gown, it's not unusual to see professors sporting academic robes or overhear conversations about mathematical riddles. And it's only in Oxford that you can watch sports that have nearly vanished everywhere else, including pickleball and longsword fencing. The charming downtown boasts pedestrian malls, lively pubs, and cheap eats. The city also has impressive connections to well-known authors and written works—a boon to literature buffs. Oxford inspired Evelyn Waugh, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien, who wrote The Lord of the Rings here.
Where is Oxford
What to do in Oxford
- Oxford University walking tour: Get a behind-the-scenes look at the university's architecture, quads, and hidden corners revealing tidbits about the past.
- The Eagle and Child Pub: Write the opening lines of your first book at the pub where The Inklings—including J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and others—met to discuss their manuscripts.
- River Cherwell boat cruise: Sail down the river for a view of Oxford’s lush countryside where Lewis Carroll found inspiration for his own Alice in Wonderland.
- Radcliffe Camera: Walk around the circular library, called the heart of Oxford, to admire the extravagant architecture that holds reading rooms, books, and a gallery.
- Pitt Rivers Museum: Feed your curiosity among the Victoria-era museum's peculiar collections, including shrunken heads, smoking and stimulant, playing cards, and tattoos.