Things to do in and around Oxford
Coming to Rhodes House to celebrate our 120th anniversary is a marvellous opportunity to see Oxford and enjoy the delights of the Oxfordshire countryside. The team at Rhodes House have put together some ideas of attractions familiar and less familiar to make your trip truly memorable
Places to eat & drink
Enjoy Oxford's thriving food scene
Cocktails, Bars & Wine Cafes
- Angels Cocktail Bar
- Duke of Cambridge
- The Varsity Club
- Sandy’s Piano Bar
- Love Jericho
- The Lighthouse
- The Baron
- The Mad Hatter
- Tap Social Movement
- Oxford Wine Café
- The Bear Inn (Fullers)
- The Turf Tavern (Greene King)
- The King’s Arms (closest to Rhodes House and a popular local student drinking spot)
- The Rickety Press (Dodo Pub Co.)
- The Jericho Tavern (boasting a rich history of live music performed by Radiohead, Mumford & Sons and Supergrass)
- The Old Bookbinders Ale House (family-run pub)
Country and riverside pubs
- The Perch – 800 years old and located in the beautiful fields of Port Meadow. Open fires and plenty of outdoor seating. Fans of inspector Morse will recognize the pub, which features as one of Morse’s favourite drinking holes in the programme.
- The Trout – a large beer patio, peacocks and riverside views.
- Cherwell Boathouse – a late-Victorian working boathouse overlooking the river. Also a start point for Punting.
- The Fishes – an imposing Victorian building set in acres of wooded grounds leading down to the banks of Seacourt stream.
Restaurants in Oxford
Fine dining: Parsonage Grill, No.1 Ship Street, Cote Brasserie, Quod, Gees, The Ivy, The Wild Rabbit
Steakhouse: The Porterhouse Grill, The Chester Arms
Italian: Mamma Mia, Franco Manca
Turkish: Antep Kitchen
Caribbean: Spiced Roots
Polish: Polish Kitchen
French: Pierre Victoire, Pompette
Indian: Spice Lounge, The Standard
Lebanese: La Casa, Najar’s Place, Comptoir Libinais
Thai: Chiang Mai Kitchen, Giggling Squid, Thaikhun
British: The Anchor, C.R.A.F.T Burger, Bill’s, Pieminister, Keeper’s Kitchen & Bar, Browns, The Victoria (Pie Pub), Joe’s Bar & Grill
Sri Lankan: The Coconut Tree
Tapas: Al-Andalus, Arbequina, Kazbar
Vegan: Happy Friday Kitchen, Delhish Kitchen, The Punter
Brunch: The Handle Bar, George Street Social, The Breakfast Club, Art Café
Coffee & Cake: Colombia Coffee Roasters, Black Sheep Coffee & Cocktails, Artisan Café, Missing Bean, Vaults & Garden, Brew, Barefoot Bakery, GAIL’s Bakery, Pret A Manger
Things to do
Attractions new and old
The Bodleian Library – one of the oldest and biggest libraries in Britain. It is one of a series of interconnected libraries dotted
throughout Oxford that are collectively referred to as the Bodleian Libraries. With an impressive history, some of the buildings
were established in the Middle Ages. The Old Library and The Divinity School are all worth a visit – some featured in Harry Potter
The Radcliffe Camera – AKA ‘The Rad Cam’ built in the 18th century. One of Oxford’s main reading rooms and home to several
of the Bodleian Library’s collections. It is one of the most photographed spots in Oxford.
The Ashmolean – Oxford’s flagship museum and widely recognised as the first modern museum in the world. It was established
in 1683 and is home to many Greek and Roman sculptures and ceramics and textiles from the Middle East. A renovation took
place in 2009 and there is now a rooftop café.
Punting – During the summer months this is an Oxford must! Two rivers run through Oxford; the Isis (Thames) and the Cherwell.
You can go punting on both but the Cherwell typically offers the best scenery and fewer crowds. Two popular starting points are
Magdalen Bridge and Cherwell Boathouse.
The Pitt Rivers Museum – One of Oxford’s quirkier and most interesting Museums. Centred around the collection of Augustus
Henry Lane-Fox Pitt Rivers, the museum opened in 1887 to showcase its anthropological treasures from around the world. It
features over half a million artifacts, which together tell the story of the history of man.
Sheldonian Theatre – Situated next to the Old Bodleian Library on Broad Street. A Neoclassical style D-shaped building and the
official ceremonial hall of Oxford University. This is where matriculation and graduation takes place for the students’ of Oxford.
It was Christopher Wren’s first significant architectural project before he went on to design important London landmarks after
the Great Fire, including St Paul’s Cathedral.
University Church of St Mary’s – forms one side of Radcliffe Square and is clustered by All Soul’s College, Brasenose College, the
Old Bodleian and the Radcliffe Camera. You can climb to the top of St Mary’s Tower for a small fee, and some of the best views
of the city.
The Bridge of Sighs – supposedly looks like the Bridge of Sighs in Venice however this one connects two parts of Hertford College.
It is next to the Turf Tavern which is one of Oxford’s oldest pubs.
Oxford Castle and Prison – a medieval Norman castle that’s been transformed into a historical site, hotel and entertainment
complex. The Malmaison hotel has transformed former cells into hotel bedrooms. You can take a tour of the buildings history
(led by costumed characters), including a 900-year old crypt.
The Oxford University Museum of Natural History – House in the same building as the Pitt Rivers Museum. A large collection of
zoological and geological specimens. Huge dinosaur skeletons, fossils and replicas all to be seen. You can also see the Oxford
Dodo which is said to be the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s character in Alice in Wonderland.
Modern Art Oxford – free admission to a small gallery of innovate exhibitions.
The Grand Café – offers quintessentially British afternoon tea and stands site of England’s oldest coffee house.
The Oxford Artisan Distillery – Oxford’s first craft distillery and one of the world’s very few craft distilleries. They offer tours and
sometimes live music and comedy.
Carfax Tower – The tower is all that remains of the 13th century St Martin’s Church, the official city church of Oxford since 1122.
In 1896, the main part of the church was demolished to make more space for traffic in the area. The tower is 74 feet tall and no
building in central Oxford may be constructed higher than it. It is possible to climb the 99 steps to the top of the tower for views
of the city skyline.
Westgate Shopping Centre – Oxford’s major shopping centre which was remodelled and extended between 2016-2017. The
original building was built between 1970-1972. There are approximately 125 stores and services and it is open until 8:00pm.
Oxford Botanical Garden, Oxford University Parks, Port Meadow – Offer beautiful walks.
Blenheim Palace – World Heritage Site in Woodstock with over 300 years of History and home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough
and his Family. Beautiful gardens, lake, and many options of walking routes.