Category: Things To Do, Tourism
Throughout the year, thousands of tourists will travel in their throngs to Oxford for a casual day trip. Once there, they discover that it takes longer than a day to truly experience the City of Dreaming Spires. Despite this, Oxford is based perfectly for further exploring west. The landscape encircling Oxford radiates History, Culture and Beauty, alongside the odd shopping outlet. In order to give you some great inspiration of things to do beyond Oxford, we at Oxford City Guide have compiled a list of the top five day trips from Oxford. All of these locations can be visited through local tour providers in Oxford. Feel free to look at our ‘Beyond Oxford’ webpage for more information.
5. Oxford to Bicester Village
Bicester Village Shopping centre is one of Britain’s most visited tourist sights. The Village is home to more than 130 fashion and lifestyle boutique. It also offers some absurdly good discounts on designer goods. Bicester Village remains open from 9am until 8pm all through the week allowing for plenty of opportunities to stock up on all the Ralph Lauren Polo Shirts you could possibly want!
Furthermore, it could not be easier to get to from the centre of Oxford. Bicester Village is a 26 minute drive or an even faster journey by train. It takes approximately 20 minutes from Oxford Railway Station! For these reasons, we believe Bicester Village is the perfect starting point for out list of the top five day trips from Oxford.
4. Oxford to Stratford-Upon-Avon
Situated in the heart of Warwickshire is a quaint medieval market town dating back to anglo saxon England. Stratford-Upon-Avon is renowned for its enchanting tudor architecture, its historic wool trade… oh and being the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Being the place of birth of the world’s most famous playwright has certainly contributed to Stratford receiving roughly 5.5 million tourists per year so, as day trips from Oxford go, this is certainly a must do!
Despite the number of visitors to this town, it still remains idyllic with its charming river walks, eclectic range of independent shops and beautiful 17th century bridges. Also worth mentioning is the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, famed as the official theatre of the world renowned Royal Shakespeare Company. Whilst booking tickets well in advance is advisable, witnessing the RSC in action is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something which should not be missed!
Stratford-Upon-Avon takes roughly 1hr and 15 minutes to get to by car from central Oxford. If public transport is more your thing, it is possible to get the train to Evesham and then a bus to Stratford from there, although this takes roughly 2 hours tops.
3. Oxford to Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace is one of the most elegant examples of an English country manor. This stately hope is teaming in history, having being situated here since the early 18th century and also, the birthplace of Winston Churchill. The interiors of the house are truly exquisite, teeming in decadence and extravagance in every room. Meanwhile, the gardens and the surrounding parkland are worth a visit in their own right. Capability Brown, the great landscapist, fulfilled a vast amount of the gardens. This naturally means it is intricate to a tee, whilst perfectly stunning. The grounds have been used in numerous films including Mission Impossible, Spectre, Harry Potter, Hamlet and Gulliver’s Travels. As the surrounding area of Oxford is often used for filming, it certainly makes sense for day trips from Oxford to include this theme!
Located just outside of Blenheim is the town of Woodstock. This town is worth a visit in its own right as it oozes charm. The highlight here however is the Feathers’ Bar, which is home to the largest Gin Bar in the world (so says the Guinness Book of Records) and claims to have created the worlds best G&T. With water from the Inca Trail, what could possibly go wrong!?
Blenheim is approximately 20 minutes north of Oxford by car or alternatively, a 40 minute bus ride away.
2. Oxford to the Cotswolds
Head west out of Oxford centre and the next thing you know you are driving through the scenic region of the Cotswolds. The idyllic surrounds of this beautiful destination, provides a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Some of the real highlights to the Cotswolds include Burford and Bourton-on-the-Water. Forbes magazine rated Burford the sixth best place to live in the world. Bourton is known as a ‘Little Venice’ due to the meandering beauty of its river, The Windrush.
For the ultimate Cotswolds experience, we recommend renting a car (probably a convertible MGB). Then pack a lunch hamper and, hit the road with your significant other for the quintessential British road trip!
Burford takes about 40 minutes to drive to from central Oxford, whilst Bourton takes just under an hour.
1. Oxford to Bath and Stonehenge
Situated 70 miles west of Oxford in the historic spa city of Bath. This ancient Roman city is an essential visit, with its stunning uniformed paladin architecture and romantically antiquated baths. Whether it’s for history, architecture or even just shopping, Bath has it all. The city has a remarkable number of boutique shops, independent cafés and restaurants. The hedonistic highlight of Bath is definitely Thermae Bath Spa. This spa gives the opportunity to sit in a thermally heated rooftop pool, drinking a cocktail and staring out at the stunning skyline of Bath! What could possibly be classier than that?!
A popular inclusion to a trip to Bath is a visit to Stonehenge on the way. This neolithic marvel is the ultimate prologue to a trip to Bath. It has inspired some of the more intricate architecture of Bath alongside being a truly breathtaking site. These two locations combined compliment each other perfectly. Bath and Stonehenge is therefore number one of our top five day trips from Oxford.
Bath takes 1hr, 40 minutes to get to by car. It takes roughly the same time by train (although you’ll need to change at Didcot). Stonehenge takes 1hr, 20 minutes to get to in the car and a further 40 minutes to get to Bath. This is more of a challenge via public transport, so we recommend booking this directly with a tour company.
For more information on day trips, please see our Beyond Oxford page. This will provide you with some information on tours that go to these locations.