1. Food and drink to suit every taste
Whether it’s sampling local produce and picking up tips at a bustling farmers’ market, splashing out on a slap-up dinner at an award-winning restaurant or trying exotic world cuisine, Oxfordshire really has it all.
2. The mix of old world and new
We’ve some of the best shopping in the South East, including designer outlet villages, chic boutiques and all the major high street brands. We’ve got multiplex cinemas, business schools and industrial parks. But the region cherishes its past, too. Look closely at any street and you’ll find buildings that span hundreds of years, cyclists sharing the road with cars, old dons and fresh undergraduates.
3. The scenery
Rolling hills, honey-coloured Cotswold cottages, idyllic riverbanks – it’s no wonder so many locals think this county can’t be beaten.
4. Some of the best pubs in the country
Want to visit the place where Rosamund The Fair reportedly used to meet King Henry II? How about a pint in the tavern where rock band Radiohead played their first gig? Or maybe you want to sit in the spot that inspired writers such as CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien? You’ll find it all here – plus award-winning, locally-brewed ales.
5. The culture
Aside from fostering the fledgling talents of some of our best known writers, artists, playwrights and musicians, Oxfordshire is home to some of the best art collections in the world, the first ever public museum and a few of the country’s grandest stately homes.
People from all over the world come to study and live in Oxford, lending the city a vibrant, cosmopolitan feel. You’ll hear every language from Urdu to Polish and are as likely to catch colourful Eid celebrations as a Christmas lights switch-on.
7. Its quirkiness
Cotswold cottages with sloping floors, a luxury hotel in a former prison, a museum full of folklore charms. Oxfordshire has long had a reputation for charming eccentricity.
8. A more relaxed pace of life
While our cities and town centres are filled with shoppers and visitors, head out just a few miles into the countryside and you’ll find this is the perfect region to wind-down and get some much-needed R‘n’R. While away a few hours watching the world go by on the riverside, spot wildlife and enjoy breathing air free of pollution.
9. The architecture
The ‘city of dreaming spires’ has one of the most recognisable skylines in the world, including the 800-year-old Radcliffe Camera and the Carfax Tower. The county is also home to Blenheim Palace, William Morris’ Tudor country house and beautiful Broughton Castle.
Morrismen and maypole dancers welcoming in the spring, university graduates dashing down the street in full academic dress during exam season, choristers singing from Magdalen Tower on the first day of May. Centuries of history have created some of the most iconic images of English life.
Everything you need to know about Oxfordshire
Where to eat in Oxfordshire
The best things to do in Oxfordshire
The best shopping in Oxfordshire
The best nightlife in Oxfordshire
Your guide to arts and culture in Oxfordshire