Oxford in 5 to 6 hours. Can it be done?

Old Jun 5th, 2005, 06:19 AM
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dmw
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Oxford in 5 to 6 hours. Can it be done?

Oxford in 5 to 6 hours. Can it be done?

I was planning on visiting oxford for the day on my way to Bath. What can I accomplish with about 5 hours? Not looking for a real indepth or museum experience, just to get a feel for the place and take in some of the architecture (which is a hobby of mine). What are the must see's? Can anyone think of a good itinerary for my time constraints? Any advice appreciated.

(I will be there in late July, when I imagine most students arent, wil this restrict my visit?)

Thanks heaps.

Darren
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 07:58 AM
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I'd suggest that you take a guided walking tour.

Go to the tourist information center, where they offer guided tours of some of the Oxford colleges and notable buildings during the day. The Oxford tourist information centre is at the Old School Gloucester Green, opposite the bus station. The telephone number is 01865/726871. Open Mon-Sat from 9:30 am to 5; Sunday and bank holidays in summer from 10-3. The walking tours of selected colleges leave daily at 11am and 2pm. They do not include Christ Church or New colleges.. Don't miss Christ Church college, however. Note that not all Colleges are open to visitors all the time, and especially not during exam periods.

There is a very good suggested walking tour of Oxford and a map of the city center in the book
“Day trips London” by Steinbicker. Additional walking suggestions can be found at www.viamichelin.com, search on Oxford.

these websites may also help

www.ox.ac.uk/
www.visitoxford.org

www.oxfordcity.co.uk/
www.oxfordshire.com

http://www.dailyinfo.co.uk/sheet/maps/map.htm

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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 08:20 AM
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Elaine's right on the money with the advice she's given you. Here is my very favorite "don't miss" for Oxford:

Ashmolean Museum (Art & Architecture)
http://www.ashmol.ox.ac.uk/

The interior of this museum is gorgeous! You don't want to skip it if you love architecture.

If you have the time and interest, Blackwell's Bookshop is worth the stop. It's an enormous bookshop--you could get lost for hours in it if you love books.
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 08:30 AM
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Another vote for the Ashmolean. Worth seeing. You will appreciate it even more if you have a chance to read the novels Earthly Joys and Virgin Earth by Philippa Gregory, telling the story of the Tradescant family, whose collection became the foundation of the museum.
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 08:37 AM
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Thank you for that tip, BTilke. I hadn't known of any books about the Ashmolean. I think visits to places are always enhanced when you have the backgrounds on them. (Darren, there's some summer reading for you!)
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 09:46 AM
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Other choices might be punting on the Cherwell,visiting the Corn Market (Ben's has the best cookies)and the Bodleian has a small but very nice shop. The Botanical Gardens across from Magdalen College makes for a pleasant spot in the summer.Five hours should give you plenty of time although the Ash needs several hours by itself.

Don't forget the pubs:The Bird and Baby (The Eagle and Child), The King's Arms, The Turf Tavern and the Bear Inn are favorites.

Blackwell's will ships books for a very reasonable price.
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 09:49 AM
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Lots of good info above.

Just to add - yes, you can see a LOT of Oxford in just a few hours. The central part (w/ most of the colleges, the river, and most of the interesting bldgs) is very compact and walkable.

A morning walking tour from the TIC, nice lunch in a pub or at the Nosebag, a walk down St Aldates to Christ Church, tour that college then a walk through Christ Church Meadows and across Magdalen bridge back to the High would be a very good introduction.
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 05:46 AM
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Walk around High Street (where the Covered Market is with Ben's Cookies - very good) and Cornmarket. The Ashmolean is an excellent museum. Walk also down Broad street which has some colleges on either side. Also visit the Bodelian, Radcliffe Camera and St. Mary's Church (which has a great tower up top with great Oxford views). Do as much walking around as possible - there are lots of great sidestreets, colleges to pass by, etc.
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 08:20 AM
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Oxford also has a City Sightseeing bus tour that you might consider - it's a hop-on-hop-off bus where you can get an overview of the sites, then stop to explore what interests you the most.
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 09:31 AM
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We "did" Oxford several years ago with kids in the time frame you mention--you should be able to see loads more than we did if you are a single adult. Hop on, hop off bus very doable. Christ Church College is a must, I agree, and if you are a reader, the bookshops are worth at least an hour or two. We lunched at the Hobgoblin, but then our youngest child was in the throes of Harry Potter mania. (It was okay, we'd have been better off at the Pizza Hut with our teenagers.)
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