Avis car hire for a perfect trip
Our car rental office can provide child seats, breakdown assistance and satellite navigation for stress-free driving, out of hours return for ultimate freedom and the Avis Preferred loyalty programme for excellent benefits and rewards. Wherever your Oxford adventure takes you, Avis will help you on your way.
Oxford with Avis
The city’s wealth of architecture is second to none. Prime examples of the architectural heritage are the many University colleges, most of which are open to the public at certain times. The Great Hall of Christ Church was in fact the source of inspiration for the Hogwarts dining hall in the Harry Potter films, and the staircase leading up to it was used in several scenes.
The castle is also well worth a visit. The site dates back to the 11th century but over the years has been used as a prison and now houses a heritage complex comprising shops, restaurants and even a hotel. The “Unlocked” exhibition gives a morbidly fascinating insight into the history of the site and the fates of some of its former prisoners. You can also climb St George’s Tower for fantastic views over the city.
As far as museums go, the recently revamped Ashmolean in Beaumont Street is one of Britain’s best. It houses a fine selection of paintings, coins, musical instruments, antiquities, statues and an important Egyptian collection.
As you would expect in a university city, bookshops abound. Blackwell’s is the largest and somewhat of an institution, stocking over 200,000 titles. The Bodleian Library, the main research library of Oxford University, is one of the oldest in Europe and second in size only to the British Library.
True bookworms can plan their visit to coincide with the literary festival in the spring. This popular event includes talks from well-known authors, interviews with important literary figures and even creative writing courses for those feeling particularly scholarly.
The Botanic Gardens
If you feel like a change of scene after all that culture, take to the great outdoors for an English picnic or leisurely walk. The city boasts large expanses of green in its parks and meadows. These include the University Park, the Botanic Gardens and Christ Church Meadow. You could even try your hand at punting on the river.
Perhaps overshadowed by its history, the city’s shopping scene is an attraction in itself. Head to the centre to enjoy some retail therapy in the variety of high-street names and small boutiques before retreating to a coffee shop for a spot of people watching.