30 reasons to live in Oxford

The views, the parks, the bars, the history, the culture… why live anywhere else when you can live in Oxford? This university town has a lot to offer, from tranquil walks along the River Isis to a lengthy visit to the Ashmolean Museum. Are you going to miss out? After reading this article, you definitely won’t. Here are 30 reasons to live in Oxford.

1. Because of its beautiful buildings, which make up fantastic landscapes. Oxford is known as “the city of dreaming spires”, an expression coined by Matthew Arnold to describe the harmony of the architecture of the university buildings.

2. Because there’s no better place to shop than the Covered Market. The building dates from 1770 and is found at the city centre. It has 40 stalls where food, drinks, gifts, shoes, flowers, and jewellery are sold.

3. To see the Christ Church Meadow

church meadow
photo: Snapshooter46

4. And to see the parts of the city where “Harry Potter” was filmed.

5. Because you can get lost in the Ashmolean Museum for hours. The museum has extensive archaeology collections and beautiful art exhibitions.

6. And the Pitt Rivers Museum has one of the best anthropology and archaeology collections on earth. The original donation consisted of 20,000 objects, a collection which grew to 500,000 items, many of which were donated by travellers, academics, and missionaries.

7. Because the Natural History Museum is just behind the Pitt Rivers. Huge dinosaur skeletons take up the main hall.

8. You can get wonderful views of the city on a walk through South Park. From there, it’s possible to take a hot air balloon ride and fly over the city or really enjoy the fireworks show in November. Food festivals and concerts are also organized here, and various scenes from films were shot here.

9. There’s nothing like seeing rays of sun lighting up the red bricks of Keble College.

10. You can walk along the River Isis on Sunday afternoon and enjoy the boating competitions as you have something to drink. You can also take a boat and go down it yourself. If you get tired of the river, you can walk along the canal until you reach the town of Iffley, which is famous for St Mary’s Church.

11. Don’t forget to visit Blenheim Palace. This is a grand country residence, property of the dukes of Marlborough. It’s also known for being the place of birth of the Prime Minister Winston Church. In 1987, UNESCO declared the building a World Heritage Site.

photo: fintbo

12. Because you can take a tour of the Bodleian Library, which opened its doors in 1602. It’s the main research library at Oxford University and one of the oldest libraries in Europe.

13. You can also visit other incredible libraries, like the Codrington Library in All Souls College. Today it has 185,000 books in its collection.

14. Because you can try delicious Thai food at Oli’s Thai.

15. If not, Yeti, which specializes in Nepalese food, serves food fit for kings. You can also try the pizza at White Rabbit or contemporary British food at The Oxford Kitchen.

comida oxford

16. If what you’re looking for is a good dessert, there’s no better ice cream than what they offer at G&D’s.

17. The live music scene is really good: Foals, Radiohead, Supergrass… Keep up-to-date with the concert schedules.

18. There’s nothing like drinking wine in the cinema, something you can do in the Ultimate Picture Palace.

cine oxford
photo: trash world

19. You’re never far from a beautiful green landscape. Port Meadow is simply incredible. You can find families of ponies there.

20. You can reach the Victoria Arms pub in just 10 minutes by bike from the centre of the city. It has gorgeous gardens that lead to the River Cherwell.

21. J.R.R. Tolkien and CS Lewis used to have drinks at the famous pub The Eagle and Child.

eagle child
photo: Graham Higgs

22. They’ve been serving beer in The Bear since 1242, so they know how to do it well.

23. You can marvel at the Bridge of Highs (Hertford Bridge), which unites Hertford Univeristy with New College Lane and has this nickname because it looks like the bridge of the same name in Venice. Today it’s one of the city’s main tourist attractions.

bridge oxford
photo: David Mills

24. And head down an alley to The Turf Tavern. It’s usually full of university students.

25. You can go see the deer that live near Magdalen College.

26. The botanic garden is especially pretty after snowfall. It’s the oldest in the United Kingdom and the third oldest scientific garden in the world. It was founded in 1621 as a garden of medicinal plants for use in medicines and medical research. Now it hosts more than 8000 different species of plants over 1.8 hectares.

27. You can spend your whole life buying books in Blackwell.

28. In the summer, there’s always open air theatre at the colleges.

29. You can have a beer at Jericho pub, in an area full of good bars like Freud Café and hidden gems like The Old Bookbinders Ale House.

30. The lovely Shotover Country Park is just a little ways from the city. It’s an ideal place to have a picnic, walk the dog, run, or go for a bike ride.

parque oxford
photo: NIL L

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