Hello! On my second day in the Cotswolds, I took the opportunity to visit Oxford and Burford. Oxford is actually not part of the Cotswolds but very near! I stayed there only 2 hours because I came to pick up friends coming straight from London. It’s a bit too short to visit the city properly, but enough to be 100% seduced. Therefore I’m sharing with you in this article a few things to do in Oxford and Burford.
Things to do in Oxford
If Oxford is so famous, it’s particularly for the reputation of its university which is classed as one of the best worldwide. It’s also the oldest university in the english speaking world because courses were already taught there in 1096. The campus is wide since the University of Oxford extends throughout the city center.
During a next trip, I’ll definitely book a guided tour to fully discover the places and the atmosphere there. I found the two tours below to visit the city, one being organized by students, the other by professional guides. I’t up to you to pick the one you prefer!
The City Centre
I focused my visit on the historic city centre since and I walked along the High Street. There are impressive buildings to admire such as:
- the Radcliffe Camera and its imposing dome
- the Bridge of Sights which connects two buildings of Hertford College
- The Bodleian Library and its superb architecture
- the splendid cathedral
- the covered market
- Merton Park and the Botanical Garden
Unfortunately I didn’t have time to visit monuments, such as the Divinity School, the Christ Church or the castle. My priority during a next trip to Oxford will be the Christ Church! As a Harry Potter fan this is a must. The scenes in the cantine were filmed in the Great Hall. There are also many tours to follow in the footsteps of the sorcerer and his friends! They seem to be very popular so don’t wait too long to book any of these tours.
The castle, let’s talk about it, it’s a NORMAN one! It was built 5 years after the conquest of England by William the Conqueror. Robert d’Oilly, who is a Norman compatriot, born near Lisieux in Calvados, settled in Oxfordshire and decided to build it. Unfortunately I missed it because my route companion was an English man. Of course he wasn’t going to show me a symbol of the Norman conquest!
The Carfax Tower
As I like to discover city skylines, I ventured into the Carfax tower. After 99 steps and only £ 3 spent, you can expect great panorama of Oxford!
Things to do in Burford
Back in the Cotwolds in the early afternoon, I took a walk in Burford where my hotel, the Cotswold Gateway Hotel, was located. The main street has been the same since the Tudor time. So, just like Bibury or Stow-on-the-Wold, there are pretty typical stone houses, shops, tea rooms and antiques shops. I recommend checking out:
- The ‘Sweet shop’: please think about your teeth and don’t buy everything!
- The ‘Christmas court’ which is right next to the sweet shop. It’s a small square with cute stores.
- If you want to do some shopping, I found what I was looking for at Sue Tyder. It’s a charity shop with secondhand products. The association helps people in distress and their families.
Depending on how much time you have you can also stop in the many pubs and cafes for a snack!
What kind of architecture do you like the most? Oxford or Burford? If you have nay questions, please feel free to ask in the comment section below!
Boujou (the Norman way to say XOXO)