Things to do in Oxford
Didcot Railway Centre
Distance: 3.52 miles
Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed the Great Western Railway to be the finest in the world. Its route through Didcot to London was completed in 1841 and until 1892 its trains ran on Brunel's broad tracks. The Great Western retained its independence until nationalisation in 1948 and is still regarded with affection by those who knew it. The Great Western Society at Didcot maintains the centre to provide an array of exhibitions and events to promote and allow visitors to experience the true experience of a steam train and station. Events are scheduled online and information on opening times gives you the chance to plan ahead to the next exhibition and your chance to ride the huge steam trains.
The Living Rainforest
Distance: 9.3 miles
Explore the rainforest, and discover its wonders for yourself. Look out for the roaming lizards, birds and butterflies, allowed to be at home in the forest you never know where they might pop out. Plus there are monkeys, a crocodile, toucans, snakes and much more to see with the all year round exhibitions and displays of natural beauty. See also some of the world’s most popular food plants from bananas, coffee, cocoa, ginger, vanilla and plants that give us life-enhancing medicines, cosmetics and building materials. It is a truly magnificent experience combining an adventure and exploration behind the science and wonder of the most natural and active environments. Some say the living rainforest is one of the best things to do in Oxford - a perfect day for all the family.
Oxford Castle Unlocked
Distance: 9.97 miles
Discover more as you embark on a journey spanning a great 10 centuries. The site has been used as a place of captivity since 1071, continuing until the closure of HM Prison in 1996. The old buildings are preserved and are open to the public allowing the buildings to tell their own story. Visitors to the Castle will learn about the real people and events from the site’s turbulent past; such as the first Oxford teachings, the owners, visionaries, activists and inmates. Also People like Mary Blandy a convicted murderess, who became an 18th-century celebrity and Anne Green, who survived her own hanging and narrowly escaped being anatomised by an Oxford medical student in 1650.
Distance: 10.26 miles
Oxford Playhouse and its Burton Taylor Studio is open to everyone and presents and produces a wide range of live performances. The programme includes the best of British and international drama, family shows, contemporary dance and music, student and amateur shows, comedy, lectures and poetry. They also create live performances in Oxford for all to enjoy. The Playhouse produces and tours its own shows, hosts Artists in Residence and presents Playhouse Plays Out, an ongoing series of off-site events which happen at locations across the county. The theatre's Learning team works with over 15,000 people each year through post show discussions, workshops, work experience, holiday schemes, a youth theatre and a young people’s theatre company.
University of Oxford
Distance: 10.26 miles
Oxford University is open to all to explore and experience. Whether you would like to listen to a lecture, learn a new skill, take in a concert or exhibition, see a play staged by University students or attend one of our sporting events, there's always something going on. Oxford is a beautiful city of stunning architecture, history and rich culture. You'll find ancient and modern colleges, fascinating museums and galleries, and plenty of parks, gardens and green spaces in which to relax. Plus, the city centre is small enough to cover on foot, and only a few minutes walk from the main rail and coach stations.
Cogges Manor Farm
Distance: 13.75 miles
In the evocative farm setting, all the animals bring the site to life with noise and activity that will charm visitors of all ages. Come and see the gorgeous Gloucester Old Spot piglets, the pygmy goats, Indian runner ducks, sheep and our rescue chickens as well as the cuddly guinea pigs. At weekends and bank holidays, the ground floor of the manor house is open, with traditional cooking on the huge kitchen range. Also a stroll into the walled garden reveals vegetable beds to be coveted, providing fresh seasonal produce. Visitors can create their own vegetable plot in the sandpit allotment, play a game of croquet on the Manor House Lawn, play in the Norman moat, explore the site by following the copper rubbing trail and spot the feral cats. See the website for details on opening times.
Distance: 16.16 miles
Home to the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and a World Heritage Site. Blenheim Palace was in fact a gift from Queen Anne and a grateful nation to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, following his famous victory at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. When visiting you can explore the gilded State Rooms, which house one of the finest collections of furniture and artwork in Europe, and the fascinating visitor experience, ‘Blenheim Palace: The Untold Story’. The Churchill Exhibition includes the room where Sir Winston Churchill was also born in 1874. Surrounded by over 2,000 acres of landscaped parkland, the great lake, and beautiful formal gardens, offers an unforgettable day out for all.
Distance: 18.46 miles
Highclere Castle is the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and also the new home of Downton Abbey, the hugely successful tv drama series. The Castle is a beautiful building and home in which the family warmly welcomes visitors and guests to all events and celebrations. Visitors can explore the lavishly decorated building and architectural feat, also taking in the exquisite stately rooms. There is also the Egyptian Exhibition which fascinates adults and children alike, featuring artefacts and the history behind the expedition that revealed the tomb of Tutankhamen. Also enjoy the surrounding grounds and gardens that provide peace and tranquillity.
Waddesdon Manor & Gardens
Distance: 23.24 miles
Visiting Waddesdon Manor and Gardens you can soak up the culture, join one of the events or simply take some time out, knowing there will be something for all the family. On offer are a series of fascinating talks and tours, covering everything from the lavish art collection and luxurious garden design, the history of the stately house and also the chance to explore and taste the Rothschilds' wine-making heritage. There are also plenty of activities for the children to enjoy including the Woodland Playground, as well as a selection of shops, cafés and restaurants.
Distance: 32.85 miles
The Cotswolds is an area of outstanding natural beauty and well-known for gentle hillsides, sleepy villages and for being typically English. There are famous cities such as Bath rich in history and culture, well-known beautiful towns like Cheltenham and hundreds of delightful villages such as Burford and Castle Combe. Above all, the local honey-coloured limestone, used for the stone floors in the houses to the tiles on the roof, has ensured that the area has a magical uniformity of architecture. Today, the larger market towns and villages of the Cotswolds are famous for their shops, such as Stow-on-the-Wold, Cirencester, Chipping Norton and Tetbury. There are numerous walks, outdoor centres and country pubs to offer a different experience of the Cotswolds for all.