If you’re in London, Oxford is about a little over an hour away by train, and just under two by bus. While the train is great because of its speed, the bus, like the Oxford Tube is nice because it lets you be a bit more flexible with your schedule.
I think airbnb is a great option for staying in Oxford to get a good feel for the city. It will let you wander, find some great coffee shops to tuck into, and get to feel a bit like a local. There is also the famous Randolph Hotel if you’re looking for something a bit more traditional. It’s really well located directly across from the Ashmoleon, and rich near the city centre.
If it’s cooler outside, checking out the twelve different colleges, the Radcliffe Camera, The Sheldonian Library, and the lovely Bridge of Sighs. Touring the colleges alone is an all-day event, so be sure to wear a pair of shoes you’re fine walking in. While I usually prefer to explore the city on my own, there are some great walking tours that are a great way to see the city for the first time, and can take you to some hard to find spots. If the weather is warmer, there is a gorgeous Botanic Garden, and if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, you can go punting along the canals, bottle of prosecco optional, and a great, if perhaps more relaxed way to see the city. The Ashmoleon and the Pitt-Rivers museum are both worth spending a few hours in if you have time. The Ashmoleon for its great collection, and the Pitt-Rivers for its incredibly diverse, dense collection of things from across the globe.
There are lots of very old pubs in the city, the most famous of which is perhaps the Eagle and Child, where the Inklings (C.S. Lewis and Tolkien among others) would meet, the Bear, the oldest pub in the city, is definitely worth checking out, especially to see the vast collection of ties left by visitors. There are, of course, loads of others, and having a good wander is the best means of discovery.
For more details about my last trip to Oxford check out this blog post.