Principally known for its prestigious and world-renowned university, Oxford is a city immersed in culture and heritage with plenty to see, do, and explore. Admire the 1,500 historic listed buildings across the city, enjoy the unique shops and retail areas, or take a picturesque walk along one of the many surrounding country paths and trails. There’s a lot on offer in and around ‘The City of Dreaming Spires’, browse below our top recommendations of Oxford attractions.
Best Restaurant: Found on Cowley Road, Oli’s Thai is one of Oxford’s best eateries. Enjoy Thai culinary delights such as tumeric prawns, aubergine curry, and deep fried sea bass with basil and chilli for a very reasonable price.
Best Shopping: A family-run independent store for over 275 years (making it one of the oldest in Britain), Boswells is a true Oxford shopping gem. A great place for buying gifts, Boswells sells huge ranges of toys, luggage and houseware.
Best Kept Secret: Climb the 99 steps of the 14th Century Carfax Tower for breath-taking views of Oxford town and its dreaming spires.
Creation Theatre Company
Oxford’s Creation Theatre Company sport a reputation for eccentricity, and for good reason. Their productions have captured the hearts of almost half a million, for their quirkiness, charisma, and general mobility. With productions such as ‘As You Like It’, ‘Alice’, and ‘Treasure Island’ taking place outside the theatre in some of the more unusual spaces of Oxford, Creation Theatre have been providing memorable, exciting shows for the county since 1996.
The Creation Theatre Company is a thirteen minute drive from Jurys Inn Oxford.
Glee Club Oxford
The best comedians in the UK can often be found entertaining the crowds of the Glee Club Oxford, where you can enjoy the perks of being at one of the leading comedy hotspots without paying London prices. The friendly and intimate atmosphere of the auditorium, afforded by the semi-circular seating, gives the venue a unique feel for comedy, and makes for an enjoyable night out. The menu cannot go untouched either, offering delicious food from wood fired pizzas to British beef burgers, washed down with a pitcher of your favourite beer or cocktail!
This unmissable night of comedy is only a twelve minute drive from our hotel in Oxford.
New Theatre Oxford
Known as The Apollo until 2003, the New Theatre Oxford offers the most riveting performances in Oxford. The 1,800 capacity theatre was renovated in 1933, giving its current art deco appeal, and has hosted the biggest names of stand-up comedy, music and drama of the last few decades. The auditorium is lavish and bold, the lighting and seating gives it a warm and plush atmosphere perfect for live action, with high reaching balconies completing the stunning look.The New Theatre is only a fourteen minute drive from the Jurys Inn Oxford.
Laser Kombat Oxford
A day of adventure and exhilaration await both adult and child alike at Laser Kombat Oxford. Spend the afternoon with your friends and family in a smoky battlefield, armed with the very latest in high tech laser weaponry! Don the themed jackets and backpack, aim well and enjoy an unforgettable experience wrapped in mystery and action. Once you’ve had enough excitement, drop into the licenced bar for a snack and a drink to round off the perfect day out.
Find Laser Kombat Oxford in Partyman World of Play, just a fourteen minute drive from Jurys Inn Oxford.
Offering one of the most unique and exciting experiences in Oxford, the Exciting Game puts you and your friends, or family’s brain to the test as your team attempts to solve a mysterious crime scene. See how well you can coordinate the hidden secrets and tricks as you try to complete your mission, with exciting themes available such as The Mad Scientist and The Time Machine. This experience is truly one of a kind, and perfect for a day out with a difference.
Prices start from £45/team and the game lasts 60 minutes. The Exciting Game is only fifteen minutes by car from our Oxford hotel.
Oxford River Cruise
The city of Oxford is beautiful and scenic, and one of the most relaxing ways to see the sights is to embark on an Oxford River Cruise. Sit back on a luxury vessel and enjoy the views on the University Regatta course, seeing the landmark, ‘Follow Island’s bridge house’, and the stunning architectural display of Christ’s Church College. Take advantage of the detailed knowledge of your guide, as they let you in on the hidden secrets and fascinating history of the University of Oxford and its surrounding city. Oxford River Cruises offer a number of scenic tours and cruise experiences, from picnic and dinner cruises to tours of the town and the university. The 30-minute Sightseeing Tour costs just £8 for adults and £5 for children.
Find the Oxford River Cruises outside The Folly restaurant, just a fourteen minute drive from Jurys Inn Oxford.
Port Meadow in Oxford is a beautiful stretch of lush greenery on the bank of the River Thames, very close to the centre of the city. A grazing land for many centuries, untouched by the agricultural market, the site offers the perfect chance for a lazy afternoon in the sun. With plenty of British wildlife, from horses and cattle to squirrels and geese, you can spend the day wondering around and soaking in the pleasant atmosphere.
Try a spot of fishing in the river, or enjoy a picnic with family and friends as you lounge around in one of the classic Oxford hang outs. Port Meadow is only a six minute walk from our Oxford hotel.
Footprints Tours Oxford
One of the most famous tour guides in Oxford, Footprints Tours offer a fantastic variety of sightseeing opportunities, from tours of the university to the city itself. Take advantage of the excellent guides, all students of the university, with their entertaining anecdotes and insider knowledge of all the nooks and crannies of this beautiful city
There’s a range of tour types – see Oxford by bike, or alternatively embark on either the Harry Potter Tour of Oxford or the C.S. Lewis and Tolkien Tour. There’s also an Ale Trail available that matches any pub tour in the country, taking you to some of the oldest drinking establishments in the country as you learn about the history of beer and its importance to humanity.
The meeting point for the tour is opposite Fudge Kitchen, just a twelve minute drive from our hotel in Oxford.
A rare example of English Baroque-style architecture, Blenheim Palace is a stunning building situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. The Palace serves as the home of the Duke of Marlborough, and is connected to a beautiful, expansive park and verdant gardens, the perfect place to relax and soak in the prestigious atmosphere. There are opportunities to explore the grand palace with a number of tours, inside and outside, where you can see the luxurious state rooms, formal gardens, and much more. Visit the indoor cinema to gain an insight into its rich history, or see the Blenheim Art Foundation’s collection of masterpieces.
The park offers a selection of scenic walking routes and a buggy tout, passing the Grand Bridge, the Column of Victory and the Grand Cascades, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the UK. The gardens have a fantastic hedge maze, and an adventure playground that is ideal for youngsters. There is many places to eat, with pizza, pasta, cakes, and ice cream among the selection, as well as an award winning gift shop in the East Courtyard.
The palace and formal gardens are open 10am-5.30pm daily, with the park opening 9am-6pm. To explore the palace, park, and gardens, tickets cost £23 for adults and £12.50 for children. Blenheim Palace is just a ten minute drive from Jurys Inn Oxford.
Didcot Railway Centre
The Didcot Railway Centre is a staple in Oxford’s rich history, housing a unique collection of steam engines, coaches and wagons of the Great Western Railway in a fascinating and educational exhibit based on the original style of 1930s locomotive engine sheds. The Science, Learning and Railway exhibition offers a captivating insight into the railway centre’s past, and the Great Western Trust museum and archive outlines the immense social and economic impact of the Railway. Of particular interest are the air raid shelter and the Broad Gauge Turntable, reminders of the many purposes the centre had before retiring into a museum.
You can find the Didcot Railway Centre a twenty - five minute drive from our hotel in Oxford.
Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology
The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology houses a number of engaging exhibitions, from a study of fantastic historical British artwork in Great British Drawings, to collections by Adam Buck, Yoshida Hiroshi, and many more. The museum itself is a piece of art, built in the Neoclassical architectural style of the mid-19th century, and it houses, amongst other fine selections, the world’s largest collection of Raphael drawings and the most important pre-dynastic Egyptian materials exhibit
Peruse the many inspiring pieces at your leisure, before visiting the Ashmolean Café for a range of sandwiches, cake and pastries, and a warm cup of tea. Take advantage of the unique museum shop, where you can buy an assortment of beautiful jewellery, clothing, and stationary, as well as other souvenirs of your visit.
The Ashmolean Museum offers free admission and is a ten minute drive from the Jurys Inn Oxford.
Museum of the History of Science
Let your curiosity roam free at The University of Oxford’s Museum of the History of Science, where you’ll find an unmatched collection of historic scientific instruments. From astrolabes and sundials to optical apparatus and equipment for early chemical, philosophical and medicinal science, the numerous displays at the museum lay out the important and interesting history of humanity’s ancient scientific discoveries.
You’ll also get the chance to explore the grand and distinctive reference library, containing an astronomical calendar dating back to 1476, and many classic volumes that can only be found in these archives. The museum shop offers a myriad of replica instruments, ornaments, stationary, and fantastic ‘Make Your Own’ kits that will inspire your interest in the history of science.
The Museum of the History of Science offers free admission and is open Tuesday to Sunday, 12-5pm. The museum is situated on Broad Street, a eleven minute drive from our Oxford hotel.
Clarendon Shopping Centre
If in need of some retail therapy look no further than the Oxford shopping complex, the Clarendon Shopping Centre. Located in the centre of town, the Clarendon Centre houses a variety of well-known high street brands, cafes, and restaurants. Peruse the clothing racks at Zara, French Connection or GAP, grab a drink at Costa Coffee or Boost Juice, or sparkle with jewellery from Swarovski or Ernest Jones. Interestingly, the centre was the site of an archaeological dig in the 1950s with a 12th Century undercroft (cellar) found underneath.
The Clarendon Centre is a short thirteen minute drive from Jurys Inn Oxford.
The Covered Oxford Market
Opened in 1774 and found right in the centre of Oxford (close to the Clarendon Centre), The Covered Oxford Market accommodates an eclectic mix of over 50 independent stalls selling everything from food, drink, flowers, jewellery, leather and more. Be immersed in the sights, soundsm, and smells of the market’s vibrant and bustling atmosphere, creating a wonderfully unique shopping experience for any new visitors.
The Covered Market is a twelve minute drive from our Oxford hotel.
Bicester Shopping Village
Close to Oxford town is Bicester Village: an open-air, shopping-centre village with over 1,000 outlet boutiques from many leading fashion and lifestyle brands such as Armani, Burberry, Dior and much more. It’s the place where retail dreams come true – in addition to the superior service and special calendar of events, including live music, many of the brands exclusively offer huge savings of up to 60% off. Its scenic surroundings make it a great day out too. with a variety of restaurants and cafes to keep you going throughout.
Bicester Village is only a fourteen minute drive from Jurys Inn Oxford.