Oxford- A City Guide

Oxford is a city and local government district in Oxfordshire, England,
with a population of 134,248 (2001 census). It is home to the
University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking
world. It is known as the "city of dreaming spires", a term coined by
Matthew Arnold in reference to the harmonious architecture of the
university buildings. The Oxford suburb of Cowley has a long history of
carmaking, and still produces BMW MINIs.

History

Oxford was first employed in Saxon times, and was initially known as
"Oxenaforda". It began with the foundations of St Frideswide's nunnery
in the 8th century. The University of Oxford is first mentioned in 12th
century records. Oxford's earliest colleges were University College
(1249), Balliol (1263) and Merton (1264).

During the English Civil War, Oxford housed the court of Charles I in
1642, after the king was expelled from London, although there was
strong support in the town for the Parliamentaryarian cause. In the 19th
century the controversial surrounding the Oxford Movement in the Anglican
Church drew attention to the city as a focus of theological thought.
Oxford's Town Hall was built by Henry T. Hare, the foundation stone was
laid on 6 July 1893 and opened by the future King Edward VII on 12 May
1897. By the early 20th century Oxford was experiencing rapid
industrial and population growth, with the printing and publishing
industries becoming well established by the 1920s.

Places of interest

Oxford has numerous major tourist attractions, many belonging to the
university and colleges. As well as several famous institutions, the
town center is home to Carfax Tower and a historical themed ride, The
Oxford Story. In the summer, punting on the Thames (sometimes called
the Isis as it flows through Oxford) and the Cherwell is popular.
Other notable attractions include:

  • Christ Church Cathedral
  • The Church of St Mary the Virgin (the University Church)
  • Martyrs' Memorial
  • Ashmolean Museum
  • Pitt Rivers Museum
  • Museum of Natural History
  • Museum of the History of Science
  • Science Oxford
  • University buildings
  • The University Parks
  • The University Botanic Garden
  • Cornmarket Street, Oxford
  • Turl Street, Oxford
  • Little Clarendon Street
  • Oxford Covered Market
  • Westgate Shopping Center
  • Museums and Art Galleries

    Oxford has a large number of museums and galleries open for public.
    Following are the world famous and a major tourist spot in Oxford:

  • Ashmolean Museum, Britain's oldest museum
  • Pitt Rivers Museum
  • Museum of Natural History, home of (the remains of) the Oxford Dodo
  • Museum of the History of Science, in Britain's oldest purpose-built
    museum building
  • Museum of Oxford
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Science Oxford
  • Shopping

    Golden Cross, an arcade of first-class shops and boutiques, lies
    between Cornmarket Street and the Covered Market. Parts of the colorful
    gallery date from the 12th century. Many buildings remain from the
    medieval era, along with some 15th- and 17th-century structures. The
    market also has a reputation as the Covent Garden of Oxford, with live
    entertainment on Saturday mornings in summer. In its way, Alice's Shop,
    played an important role in English literature, it functioned as a
    general store (selling brooms, hardware, and the like) during the
    period that Lewis Carroll, at the time a professor of mathematics at
    Christ Church College, was composing Alice in Wonderland.

    It is
    believed to have been the model for important settings within the book.
    Today, the place is a favorite stopover of Lewis Carroll fans from as
    far away as Japan, who gobble up commemorative pencils, chess sets,
    party favors, bookmarks, and in rare cases, original editions of some
    of Carroll's works. The Bodleian Library Shop, specializes in Oxford
    souvenirs, from books and paperweights to Oxford banners and coffee
    mugs. Castell & Son (The Varsity Shop), is the best outlet in
    Oxford for clothing emblazoned with the Oxford logo or heraldic symbol.

    Food and Drink

    Oxford offers European and Middle-East and Asian cuisine. Some of the
    restaurants are:

  • Cherwell Boathouse Restaurant
  • Gee's Restaurant
  • Le Manoir aux Quat 'Saisons
  • Rosamund the Fair
  • Al-Salam
  • Browns.
  • Exceed these restaurants Oxford hosts some traditional and historic pubs

  • The Eagle and Child
  • The Turf Tavern
  • The Lamb and Flag
  • The Bear
  • Education

    The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford, England, is
    the oldest university in the English-speaking world.
    Events and organizations and institutions officially associated with the
    University include:

  • Worcester College, Backs of medieval cottages
  • The Oxford Union Society
  • The Oxford University Press, the world's oldest and largest
    university press
  • The Bodleian Library
  • Major Research Libraries (including the Sackler Library)
  • Oxford University Department for Continuing Education
  • The Taylor Institution
  • The Oxford University Student Union
  • Oxford University Newman Society – Catholic speaker society
  • The OICCU, the undergraduate Christian union
  • The Oxford University Museum of Natural History (sometimes called
    The Oxford University Museum)
  • The Pitt Rivers Museum
  • The Ashmolean Museum
  • The Bate Collection
  • Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum
  • Oxford University Sports Federation
  • Oxford University Boat Club
  • The O'Reilly Theater
  • Moser Theater
  • Rothermere American Institute
  • Said Business School
  • The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art
  • Computing Laboratory
  • Isis Innovation
  • Sports

    Oxford City FC and Milton United FC among others are two famous
    football club and play regular club and league matches. Oxford
    Cavaliers Rugby League Club is the rugby club playing for Oxford city.
    Drayton Leisure Golf Driving Range is the golf course with 9 HOLE (PAR
    3) COURSE and 6 HOLES FLOODLIT. As a city in UK it has a number of
    cricket teams and hosts tournaments like Bernard Tollett Oxfordshire
    Cup, National Cricket Club Championship, The Cricketer National Village
    Championship etc

    Tours and Sightseeing

    There are a number of tour operators in Oxford. The tourist information
    center is also very helpful to find out a way to enjoy the visit
    of Oxford.

    Hotels and Accommodations

    Accommodations in Oxford are limited, although recently, motels have
    sprouted on the outskirts – good for those who want modern amenities.
    In addition, if you have a car, you may want to consider country houses
    or small B & Bs on the outskirts of town
    Some of the notable hotels are:

  • Victoria House
    Hotel
  • Cotswold Lodge
    Classic Hotel
  • Westwood Country
    Hotel Ltd
  • Holiday Inn Oxford
  • The Oxford Hotel
  • Oxford Thames
    Four Pillars Hotel
  • Express by
    Holiday Inn Oxford Kassam Stadium
  • The Bat &
    Ball Inn
  • The Upper Reaches
  • Abingdon Four
    Pillars Hotel
  • Oxfordshire Inn
  • Days Inn Hotel Oxford
  • The Plow at Clifton Hampden
  • Marlborough Arms Hotel
  • The FEATHERS
  • Macdonald Bear Hotel
  • White Hart Hotel
  • Transport

    Oxford is located some 50 miles (80 km) north west of London; the
    cities are linked by the M40 motorway, which also links northwards to
    Birmingham.

    Rail connections include services to London (Paddington), Bournemouth,
    Worcester (via the Cotswold Line), and Bicester. The city also has
    regular train services northwards to Birmingham, Coventry and the
    north. The railway service connecting Oxford and Cambridge, known as
    the Varsity Line, was discontinued in 1968.
    The Oxford Canal connects to the River Thames at Oxford.

    Oxford Airport at Kidlington offers business and general aviation
    services.
    Local bus services are large provided by the Oxford Bus Company and
    Stagecoach South Midlands.