Oxford

Today
20°C

Photo of Oxford

About Oxford

What vaguely academic type hasn't imagined themselves strolling the hallowed - and cobbled - lanes of Oxford, between the 'dreaming spires' and Gothic architecture the colour of biscuits? And in person it's even better than what you can imagine.

All of our recommendations for the best places to stay in Oxford are ideally located to make the most of this city.

Things not to miss:

  • Oxford's oldest colleges are around 700 years old - a spectacular age for a university building to remain so unchanged and it is the colleges, scattered around the city, that make up many of the main sights of Oxford.
  • On a short break visit to Oxford it's also worth trying to fit in at least one museum, the Ashmolean being the obvious one, a stroll around the outside of the Radcliffe Camera and see something of the Bodleian Library.
  • If the weather allows for it, go for a punt on the Isis.
  • You may also want to visit the Museum of Oxford, which tells the tale of the city, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, home to the Oxford Dodo, and the Pitt Rivers Museum, an ethnology museum still arranged in the Victorian style.
  • As well as visiting as many colleges as are open to the public - out of term time is the time when the largest number of colleges are open to visitors - those interested in Oxford's history should try and see All Souls, which supposedly has the world's hardest entrance exam, and New College, which straddles Oxford's ancient city walls.
  • Jericho is the trendy, artsy end of Oxford where you can find the art house cinema, fringe style theatres and plenty of hipster bars and restaurants.
  • Or if you're after something more upmarket try Summertown to the north.

Oxford has a notoriously challenging one way system, and limited parking, but many of the main sights in Oxford are within walking distance of the centre of town. And remember, much of Oxford's traffic is of the two-wheeled, self-propelled variety, so if you want to explore further then maybe consider hiring a bike? Many of the best places to stay in Oxford will be able to help you with this.

The Best Places to Stay in Oxford

The Best Places to Stay in Oxford For a City Break

  • The Randolph is an Oxford institution - if you're a fan of the Inspector Morse series you'll have seen it several times, or read about it. 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. It's the only place to stay in Oxford if you're looking for five stars.

The Most Romantic Places to Stay in Oxford

  • Recently completely renovated, wisteria clad country house, the Old Parsonage Hotel is one of the best places to stay in Oxford for couples. They have a wedding license, so are well geared up for special occasions with their superb new beds, excellent brasserie, romantic log fires and pretty roof terrace. They can also provide you with the perfect transport for hopping between Oxford's most romantic spots with bikes and punts for the River Cherwell.

If you're looking for a romantic hotel near Oxford you might find it useful for consult our Guru's list of Oxfordshire's 7 Most Romantic Hotels.  

The Best Places to Stay in Oxford for History Buffs

  • 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 still has the heavy doors, with their telltale dents, and barred windows to prove it. It's surprisingly light and airy - the vast, three storey central atrium is spectacular and you can sit outside in the Exercise Yard or sip cocktails in the Visitor's Room.

The Best Places to Stay in Oxford for Oxford Chic

  • If you're happy with your spires and traditional sandstone outside but prefer something a bit more contemporary inside, book a room at the Old Bank Hotel. This was an old bank and the Georgian facade makes that very clear Parts of the building are Elizabethan and in the Tudor dection there are some spectacular exposed beams and latticed windows. But even the most traditional features are finished with a stylish, contemporary edge. There's modern art on the walls and the brasserie is always packed.

For a private apartment or flat

  • For those looking for somewhere to themselves, visit our online partner Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • For those flying to Oxford, the best option is to go to Heathrow (46 miles).
  • Trains from London and Birmingham run regularly through Oxford train station.
  • For those interested in hiring car, visit our online partner Rentalcars.
  • The summer is Oxford is beautiful, with average temperatures from June to September sitting in the low 20s.

Still not sure?

Weather

Monthly Weather in Oxford

Best Hotels in Oxford

  • The Tower House Oxford 8 rooms from £120

    Local exploring  -  Perfectly located in the heart of the city.
    Sights nearby  -  Walking distance from the Bodleian Library and Radcliffe Camera.
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll through the pretty Christ Church Meadows.
    Full of character

    A charming boutique hotel and social enterprise in the heart of the historic city. Light and airy individually styled rooms feature reclaimed or antique furniture and a fresh palette. The best has a roll top bath. An indulgent breakfast is included in the cost in neighbouring Turl Street Kitchen. See More

    Check Availability
  • Crown and Thistle Oxford (ABINGDON-ON-THAMES) 18 rooms from £129

    Local exploring  -  A charming property set just 7 miles from Oxford.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Abingdon Abbey ruins and surrounding gardens.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Full of character

    An historic and characterful pub in the heart of the ancient town of Abingdon and just a short distance from Oxford. Dark moody rooms are filled with heavy antiques, rich hues and boast indulgent bathrooms. A classic British pub takes care of a large appetite after a day spent exploring the region. See More

    Check Availability
  • Malmaison Oxford Oxford (3 New Road) 95 rooms from £179

    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

    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. See More

    Check Availability
  • The Porterhouse Oxford 7 rooms from £180

    Foodies  -  If you are a meat lover, this could be the perfect place to stay.
    Local exploring  -  A great base from which to explore Oxford.
    Sights nearby  -  With around forty colleges to choose from, it would be hard to come to Oxford without visiting at least one or two.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adult only.

    Just a short walk from Oxford city centre, The Porterhouse is a superb restaurant with excellent rooms. The seven stylishly decorated rooms are pretty, comfortable and spacious. A superb quality grill restaurant is a haven for meat lovers. Perfect for a weekend among the spires. See More

    Check Availability
  • Old Parsonage Hotel Oxford 35 rooms from £195

    Writing a novel  -  This recently refurbished masterpiece was once home to Oscar Wilde, sit in the luxurious library and draw inspiration.
    Great walks  -  Book a 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

    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. The restaurant is excellent. Highly recommended. See More

    Check Availability
  • Old Bank Hotel Oxford 42 rooms from £195

    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 walking tours with a guide.
    Recommended by  -  Tablet, Frommers, Good Hotel Guide

    Sophisticated hotel with buzzing restaurant 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. See More

    Check Availability
  • Vanbrugh House Hotel Oxford 22 rooms from £199

    City Style  -  A chic boutique property in the heart of the city.
    Sailing  -  Hire a punt and float down the river in true Oxbridge style.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Traditional
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide

    A chic boutique property in the heart of the city. Beautifully styled rooms perfectly merge the old and the new with bold printed fabrics standing out against white washed walls and ornate fireplaces contrasting with simple contemporary furniture. Comfortable and convenient, ideal for city breaks. See More

    Check Availability
  • The Randolph Oxford 151 rooms from £206

    Great walks  -  Oxford's size makes it a wonderful city to explore on foot, wander the streets and soak up the history.
    Spa
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Traditional
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Good Hotel Guide

    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. See More

    Check Availability