Oxford’s secret spots – our 5 must see sights

Photo from Karen Roe.

Packed full of history, stunning architecture and fascinating attractions, it’s no wonder this city continues to entice visitors from all over the world.

There are a multitude of things to do in Oxford, with iconic spots such as Blenheim Palace, Oxford Castle or the Ashmolean Museum – to name just a few – making it onto the ‘must see’ list.

However, there’s much more to explore in this intriguing city.

Here are just a few of our favourite sights to see during a visit.

Oxford Museum of Natural History

The home of the most complete dodo remains – consisting of a head and foot – as well as a huge number of other geological and zoological specimens, the Oxford Museum of Natural History is a great place to visit.

Founded in 1860, the cathedral-like building has played its own part in history too as the venue for notable events such as the debate over evolution, which was held here by the Society for the Advancement of Science.

Oxford Museum of Natural History

The home of the most complete dodo remains – consisting of a head and foot - as well as a huge number of other geological and zoological specimens, the Oxford Museum of Natural History is a great place to visit.

Founded in 1860, the cathedral-like building has played its own part in history too as the venue for notable events such as the debate over evolution, which was held here by the Society for the Advancement of Science.

18th Century Covered Market

Located in the middle of the city, visitors to the Covered Market can expect to be greeted with an array of colours and delicious aromas with over 50 independent shops selling a variety of food, gifts, shoes, fashion, flowers, jewellery and more. If you’re thinking about where to visit in Oxford, the Covered Market shouldn’t be missed.

Take a punt along the river

Make a picnic, rent a punt and head up the River Cherwell for a few hours of fun on the water. Those who rise early will enjoy the river to themselves and may even be treated to views of the local wildlife - kingfishers on the banks for example. Depending on the direction you take, you’ll glide past famous sights such as the Botanic Gardens and Christ Church College Meadows or the Magdalen College Tower.

Photo from Danny Chapman

Take a punt along the river

Make a picnic, rent a punt and head up the River Cherwell for a few hours of fun on the water. Those who rise early will enjoy the river to themselves and may even be treated to views of the local wildlife - kingfishers on the banks for example. Depending on the direction you take, you’ll glide past famous sights such as the Botanic Gardens and Christ Church College Meadows or the Magdalen College Tower.

Photo from Danny Chapman

Step back through time with a visit to the Saxon Tower

Dating back to around 1000-1050 CE when it was part of the original church of St. Michaels Northgate, the tower has a long history and is the only part of the original building to remain standing – the rest having been rebuilt many times over the years.

As you climb up the tower you will pass through different stages of history, with the first floor containing a treasury that holds priceless silver, as well as the King James I Charter of 1612. As you climb further you’ll come across a cell door that is from the old Bocardo Prison – this particular door may even have been the entrance to the cell that held the Oxford Martyrs. On reaching the top you will be greeted with stunning panoramic views of the city.

Photo from Lucy Fisher

Take a walk through Christ Church Meadow

Located in the centre of old Oxford and right on the banks of the river, Christ Church Meadow is a beautiful place to take a walk or enjoy a picnic. Take in the stunning architecture of Christ Church and Merton Colleges before strolling along beside the river, watching the punts float by.

Photo from Tejvan Pettinger

Take a walk through Christ Church Meadow

Located in the centre of old Oxford and right on the banks of the river, Christ Church Meadow is a beautiful place to take a walk or enjoy a picnic. Take in the stunning architecture of Christ Church and Merton Colleges before strolling along beside the river, watching the punts float by.

Photo from Tejvan Pettinger

Join us on our next visit to Oxford and discover these locations for yourself