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Oxfordshire & The Cotswolds

Oxford Airport is very well served by bus, train and road-based services and is located equidistant between Birmingham, the industrial heart of southern UK and London, the capital.

For business, the region is one of the most prosperous in the United Kingdom with very low unemployment and considerable growth in technology, science, research, education, motor industry, publishing & healthcare sectors.

In the immediate area there are some of the country's most famous sites including the City of Oxford (6 Miles), home to the world's oldest English-speaking University and Blenheim Palace (1.5 Miles), a World Heritage Site, along with excellent hotels, restaurants, pubs to suit all budgets and tastes.

If you have time to visit the city, then you must visit:

The River

Much like Oxford, life centres around the river. Take time to wander around the Meadow attached to Christ Church college, where you can hire a rowing boat or take a river cruise. Walk downstream towards Iffley Lock and stop to watch the world float by at The Head of the River pub on Folly Bridge. In the bustling district of Jericho you can meander through the trendy shops and cafes to reach the Oxford Canal. Here, a stroll along the towpath is peppered with colourful barges, and you can also access pretty Port Meadow, where a walk of about an hour leads to the popular Trout Inn. Visit - www.oxfordpunting.com, www.britishwaterways.com, www.oxfordwatercruises.com, www.collegecruisers.com

The Museums

You may have heard of the art treasures of the Ashmolean - the oldest public museum in the world - and the fascinating shrunken heads of the Pitt River Museum, but did you know Oxford is home to several large dinosaurs and the dodo? The university Museum of Natural History is great for young visitors, and its intricate interiors are pretty jaw-dropping for adults too. Elsewhere, don't miss the University Real Tennis Club. The court dates from 1595 and you can watch games in progress and see how balls are still hand-made on site. Visit - www.oum.ox.ac.uk or call 01865 244212.

The Ancient History

You don't have to stick to the colleges if you want to get a sense of Oxford's long history. Avoid the crowds by taking a Guide Friday bus tour or instead head for the ambitious Castle Yard project where you can see the Norman castle and ancient prison, as well as access the 11th century St George's Tower and Castle Mound. For those intent on the college experience, most are open to visitors in the afternoons. Visit - www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com

Shop Until You Drop

The Covered Market - Just off the High Street, here you'll discover exquisite food, gifts, flowers, jewellery, and fabulous leather shoes.

Blackwell's Bookshop, Broad Street - The chain was founded here in 1879 and the vast underground Norrington Room has the largest display of books for sale in any one room in the world.

University Gift Shop - For interesting Oxford mementos, including Hobbit posters featuring Tolkien's own drawings, try this gift shop at the university's 15th century Bodleian Library.

Stop for Lunch at...

The Eagle & Child pub in St Giles - This is where C.S. Lewis of Narnia fame organised regular meetings with friend J.R.R. Tolkien. The pair had a favourite nook where you can read a letter from them as you eat your pie and chips. Handy tip - the pub is known by the locals as The Bird & Baby. Call 01865 302925

The University of Oxford Botanic Garden - Here a takeaway sandwich on a park bench takes on a whole new dimension. This is the oldest botanic garden in the country and has more diversity than a tropical rainforest. Visit - www.botanic-garden.ox.ac.uk

In the Evening Head for...

The bars and restaurants - The Oxford Castle site is fast becoming a big draw, with plenty of restaurants and bars to explore, but Little Clarendon Street and Walton Street hold their own for small select bars amid the cute shops - dress beautifully, get there early and expect to queue at weekends.

Live music - For the ultimate experience, catch a concert in a stunning venue such as Sir Christopher Wren's Sheldonian Theatre or Christ Church Cathedral - Hogwarts Hall in Harry Potter. Visit - www.musicatoxford.com

Stay the Night at...

Malmaison Oxford - HM Prison Oxford is now taking in guests in the guise of the stunning new addition to the Malmaison chain. The designers have worked with the feel of the austere Victorian structure, but the experience of staying is anything other than correctional. Rooms start from £110 per night. Visit - www.malmaison.com or call 0845 3654247.

A cosy B&B or hostel - The city has a range of well-priced hotels and B&Bs, with many starting from just £30 per night. A YHA hostel and Backpackers' Hostel are also on hand. Search for accommodation and book through www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com

See also:

Personal Tours
If you wish to explore Oxfordshire, the Cotswolds or beyond Absolute Touring can collect you from the airport and provide a personal tour taylored to suit your needs.
Telephone: +44 (0) 1865 302964 or email: info@absolutetouring.co.uk

More car hire, taxi and chauffeur services are listed on our Transport page.

What to do Top Ten

Other Activities

Other Oxfordshire Attractions

Why Visit Oxford?

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