The best way to see Oxford is on foot – whether with an official blue-green badge guide or using one of the many maps and guides available from the Tourist Information Centre.
Guides offer a wide range of tours – the general university and city tour last 90 minutes to two hours. There are more specialist tours such as Inspectors Morse and Lewis or Harry Potter and Alice, as Oxford has been the backdrop for many films and television shows.
You could also take a walk in the footsteps of famous authors or scientists, or see the wonderful stained glass in the colleges. Some guides can take you on tours of the Cotswolds or Blenheim Palace or Bampton where scenes from Downton Abbey were filmed.
Perhaps you might like to follow the Public Art Trail around Oxford, and discover public art works along the way?
There are more specialist tours such as Inspectors Morse and Lewis or Harry Potter and Alice, as Oxford has been the backdrop for many films and television shows
A region of contrasts
The wider county – Oxfordshire – is one of England’s prettiest counties, and rambling is a favourite pastime for many people. It’s not unheard of for someone to settle in Oxfordshire simply to enjoy the walking.
Most of the county’s market towns and villages are connected by public footpaths (for pedestrians only) and bridleways (for pedestrians, cyclists and horses), partly to allow access to churches (legally required in former times) and partly for reasons of trade and industry. Literary connections and evidence of a turbulent history (particularly the Civil War, Enclosures and Captain Swing riots) abound.
There is enormous diversity within Oxfordshire – from the grey stone Oxfordshire Cotswolds idyllic villages, churches and manor houses to the ironstone settlements nestling in the rolling North Oxfordshire hills, from the red brick and flint houses scattered among the Chilterns beech woods to the thatched cottages and sweeping vistas of the Vale of White Horse. If you prefer a fairly level walk, the peaceful Thames Path and Oxford Canal offer opportunities for wildlife spotting – and pub visiting!
You never know what you’ll discover on a walk in the city or county – maybe a palace, an ancient dovecot, farm shop, medieval fishponds, a hidden village, an ornate well – or just a splendid pub or tea shop.
Read more about Oxfordshire