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Oxfordshire conjures up images of ethereal "dreaming spires", scholarly pursuits and thatched roofs, but there is much more to the county than one of the world's oldest and most famous universities. The landscape is varied, with the charming villages of the Cotswolds to the north and the rolling vistas of the Chilterns to the south. So plenty of the best places to stay in Oxfordshire aren't near the famous county town at all.

Oxfordshire's scenery is well seen on foot or two wheels - if you're up for a more active Oxfordshire odyssey try the Green Belt Way, a fifty mile circular path around the city of Oxford itself, or the Oxfordshire Way, which stretches from Henley to Bourton on the Water. Even Oxford itself it very cyclist friendly - think of all those cyclists in gowns you see on "Inspector Morse".

If you're here to lap up the history and culture you'll, of course, find plenty of that in Oxford, with it's graceful architecture. Well heeled Henley is also worth a look, an elegant, riverside town known for its regatta.

The best places to stay in Oxfordshire provide a good base to explore and don't forget to make sure that Blenheim Palace is on your radar with its beautiful gardens by Capability Brown or Wallingford Castle dating back to the mediaeval period.

The Best Places to Stay in Oxfordshire


  • The Randolph is an Oxford institution. The building, in the centre of town, is Gothic revival, but with a fashionable vibe, and the baronial restaurant is a 'place to go' for locals as well as visitors. It has a spa, antiques, family suites, free wifi and a great wine list. And it's the best (and only) place to stay in Oxford if you're looking for five stars.
  • Clad gracefully in wisteria The Old Parsonage looks like a country house that has been deposited bang in the centre of Oxford. It offers elegant rooms and great food.
  • Malmaison Oxford has become well known for the previous inhabitants of the building - prisoners. Yes, this now quirky and contemporary hotel was once a castle and a prison, and it still has the heavy doors, with their telltale dents, and barred windows to prove it.
  • If you're happy with your spires and traditional sandstone outside and like something a bit more contemporary inside, book a room at the Old Bank Hotel.

The Cotswolds

  • Located in the picturesque Burford, The Lamb Inn is a charming 14th century inn with a 2 AA Rosette restaurant and Michelin recommended bar. The seventeen rooms are all individually decorated with traditional colours, often complemented by antique furniture.
  • Burford House is 17th Century building in the heart of Burford with comfortable, elegant interiors and a good restaurant specialising in locally sourced produce.
  • Or the Old Swan and Minster Mill is an excellent gastropub with simple, but luxurious accommodation.

For foodies

  • The Manoir aux Quat' Saisons is Raymond Blanc's famous and fabulous establishment where the rooms are as elegant and pleasing as the two Michelin starred food. Give yourself the ultimate treat and book a cookery course on site.
  • The Feathers is within spitting distance from Blenheim Palace. Come here for the delicious award winning food served in the restaurant where the emphasis is on modern English cuisine from locally sourced produce.

For great value

  • Miller of Mansfield in Goring on Thames is a traditional, ivy-covered inn in a charming village setting. The restaurant and bar have won awards, the 15 rooms and suites suites have been individually designed and it overlooks the river. And all starting from £80 per night.

For something else!

  • The Crazy Bear Hotel is a total one off. Eclectic and eccentric this converted coaching inn just out of Oxford is ideal for a surprise weekend away.

Still not sure which to book? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Oxfordshire, or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice.

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The best hotels in Oxfordshire

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  • Miller of Mansfield

    Goring on Thames, Oxfordshire

    Traditional ivy-covered inn in village setting. Acclaimed restaurant, bar, individually designed suites, Overlooking the river.

    15 rooms from $103
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays
  • The Lamb Inn

    Burford, The Cotswolds

    This 18th century inn is more than just another Cotswolds B&B. Curl up with a book next to an open fire or explore the rose scented gardens. Rooms are spacious with antique oak furniture and colourful fabric. Bathrooms have original wood floors. An award winning restaurant serves seasonal cuisine.

    17 rooms from $161
    Great walks  -  Combine a walk through this typical Cotswolds town with a traditional cream tea.
    Sights nearby  -  The university town of Oxford is 20 miles away and well worth a visit.
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Birdwatching  -  Good birding near the hotel.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Good Hotel Guide, Johansens
  • The Bell


    Set in the pretty rural village of Hampton Poyle a boutique hotel, pub and restaurant. The nine rooms offer egyptian cotton bed linen, large beds, luxury toiletries and bathrooms with monsoon showers or roll-top baths. The restaurant specialises in pizza and fish. A great country escape.

    9 rooms from $167
    Great walks  -  Walking in the Cotswolds provides a wealth of choices with gentle strolls, hilly hikes and a variety of circular walks
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the historic UNESCO world heritage Blenheim Palace
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
  • The Trout at Tadpole Bridge

    Faringdon, Oxfordshire

    A welcoming Inn, backing on to a rural section of the Thames with its own private mooring, & set amidst lovely gardens. Six comfortable rooms, "classic country" in style, located around a pretty courtyard away from the bustle. The award winning restaurant steals the show. A wonderful country treat.

    6 rooms from $167
    Great walks  -  For an afternoon stroll there is Buscot Park and Gardens; for serious ramblers the Thames Path is on your doorstep.
    Sights nearby  -  The famous Blenheim Palace and William Morris' Kelmscott Manor are both nearby.
    Sailing  -  The hotel has its own river and private mooring for guests.
    Views  -  Some of the rooms have lovely river views
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide
  • Old Swan and Minster Mill

    Witney, The Cotswolds

    Renovated old mill in 60 acres of woodland and orchards. Traditional charm, period features. Antiques and modern comfort. Dining room with gastro pub. Riverside gardens fishing.

    16 rooms from $199
    5* Luxury  -  Very high service standards.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Fishing  -  Excellent fishing nearby.
    Recommended by  -  Johansens, Sawdays
  • The Manor

    Bicester, Oxfordshire

    Elegant and historic country house hotel just a stone's throw from Bicester Village. Twenty five well appointed and elegant rooms feature stylish, traditional furnishings. Dinner is served in the stunning wood panelled Baron's Hall and the gardens are beautiful. Perfect for a romantic break.

    25 rooms from $212
    Sights nearby  -  Within easy reach of Oxford, Blenheim Palace and the Cotwolds villages.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor heated pool, open during summer months.
  • The Feathers


    Historical hotel near Oxford. Colourful rooms, garden, courtyard. Extensive gin bar. Award-winning restaurant.

    21 rooms from $217
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Good Hotel Guide
  • Malmaison Oxford

    Oxford (3 New Road)

    Fantastically modern interiors and stunning atrium in this atmospheric castle and former prison. Sleep in converted cells with original fittings and Gothic colours. New, airier rooms are also available in the additional buildings. Good brasserie food and a smart neon-lit cocktail bar.

    95 rooms from $230
    City Style  -  Modern hotel in the heart of historic Oxford
    Local markets  -  Oxford Covered Market
    Sights nearby  -  Bridge of Sighs
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection
  • Crazy Bear Hotel

    Stadhampton, Oxfordshire

    Eclectic, eccentric – a one off converted coaching inn. Think padded leather walls, silver beds, copper free standing baths. A London red bus sits decoratively in the garden. The two restaurants serve traditional British or Thai food. Best for wacky weekends away.

    16 rooms from $256
    Romantic Break  -  In room freestanding baths and intimate dining areas make for a romatic weekend away.
    Fishing  -  Fly fishing is organised by the hotel both for events or just a day out.
    Great walks  -  Explore the 80 acres of parklands with rare bread farm and woods.
    Full of character
  • The Randolph


    Robustly elegant, quintessentially English and extremely comfortable, The Macdonald Randolph Hotel is perfectly situated on the corner of Beaumont Street and St Giles, within easy walking distance of enough historic sites to satiate the appetite of the most culturally hungry traveller.

    151 rooms from $265
    Great walks  -  Oxford's size makes it a wonderful city to explore on foot, wander the streets and soak up the history.
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Good Hotel Guide
  • Old Bank Hotel


    Sophisticated hotel with buzzing brasserie and bar. Tudor interiors updated with chic styling and large beds. Discreet and laid back luxury and perfectly positioned for sights. Contemporary art on the walls. An ideal city stay.

    42 rooms from $353
    Local exploring  -  Neighbouring some of the oldest Oxford colleges and within walking distance of shops, theatre and the city’s Botanical Gardens.
    City Style  -  Georgian alcoves, wood-paneled walls and large sash windows meet bold modern art and understated elegant interiors.
    Sights nearby  -  Plenty of sights to see nearby, the hotel is opposite St Mary’s Church, and neighbouring University and Merton.
    Great walks  -  Riverside and meadow walks from the hotel or complimentary walking tours with a hotel specialist.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Frommers, Good Hotel Guide
  • Old Parsonage Hotel


    A luxury boutique hotel in a wonderfully old building. The rooms have simple contemporary design. Bathrooms are pleasingly indulgent. A small but well stocked library is awaiting academics. Punts are available for the stereotypical Oxford experience. The restaurant is excellent. Highly recommended.

    35 rooms from $358
    Writing a novel  -  This recently refurbished masterpiece was once home to Oscar Wilde, sit in the luxorious lounge and draw inspiration.
    Great walks  -  Join the complimentary guided walking tours of the city and University Colleges.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit any one of the 38 University Colleges.
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Frommers, Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons

    Great Milton, Oxfordshire

    Raymond Blanc hotel and restaurant. Beautiful country manor. Extensive gardens, acclaimed restaurant, luxurious rooms.

    32 rooms from $662
    Cooking classes  -  Raymond Blanc's cookery school
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
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