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Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Place to eat
“Nothing says Oxbridge more than the image of cruising down the river in a punt. It’s not surprising that punting in Oxford has been a favourite past time since before the 1880s. Without doubt, it’s one of the most relaxing ways to spend an afternoon in Oxford. The experience is enhanced greatly with the addition of a small picnic, containing a punnet of Strawberries and a cheeky bottle of bubbly! Without a doubt, the easiest place to hire a punt from is by Magdalen College Bridge. Punts can be rented from the Magdalen Bridge Boathouse. It costs £22 per hour during the week and £24 per hour on weekends. The route is really pleasant, taking you around the back of St. Hilda’s College (Former college of PM Teresa May) and around Christ Church meadows. Christ Church is also covered on the Footprints Free Walking Tour. The route is fairly relaxed and as the current flows south, you should be able to glide with relative ease around this route. If you’re feeling adventurous however, you can head north along the grounds of Magdalen College and into the countryside. Another option is to head to the Cherwell Boathouse, which is in the North of the city. You’ll probably need a taxi to get there. The Boathouse is on a much wider, more secluded part of the river Cherwell. You can also rent a punt for the whole day if you fancy a real excursion! Trust us, there is a lot to explore around here. If you’re in Oxford for a while, pack a picnic and get punting! If you fancy punting in Oxford with style, the Cherwell Boathouse also boasts a pretty good restaurant with a sterling wine list. It costs £16 per hour during the week and £18 per hour at weekends to rent a punt from the Cherwell Boathouse. It’s £80 for the day during the week and £90 on weekends. And Finally For The Brave… If you’re the kind of person who wants a challenge, head to Folly Bridge to the south of the city. From here you can punt along the Thames in any direction. This gives you the opportunity to head even further out of the city. One popular route is to relive the journey of Lewis Carol and punt up to Port Meadow. It’s here that he told Alice Liddel the story of Alice in Wonderland on the 4th July 1862. A word of warning, this route is only for the experienced or the daring! The Thames is often busy, with power boats and torpids traveling up and down the river. Whilst not relaxing it is good fun if you fancy a small amount of danger! Salter’s Steamers rent punts for £20 per hour.”
  • 13 locals recommend
University
“Magdalen welcomes visitors throughout the year. As a busy and lively working academic community we like to ensure you will enjoy your visit whether it is as a potential student here, an alumnus, an academic visitor, or as a tourist. We do this by making the College accessible at regular times of the day and with particular facilities open for you to see. The principal areas of the College that are normally open are the Hall, Chapel and Old Kitchen Bar. In addition the gardens, grounds and parkland, including the water walks beside the River Cherwell are open. The Deer Park can be viewed from the path.”
  • 15 locals recommend
  • 2 Experiences
Restaurant
“We like to do things a bit differently here, so let's get the boring bit out of the way first Mmmm Burger Do we source the highest quality meat for our burgers? Yes Do we make our burgers by hand every day? Yes Do we cook food to order? Yes Do we have a secret recipe? Yes Do we use local suppliers? Yes BUT SO WHAT? Because, to be honest, any burger joint worth their pickle should be doing that anyway. Great Burgers ain't rocket science! Of we don't bring you a juicy, lip-smacking, belly filling burger than satisfies your soul we aren't doing our job properly. But Atomic Burger is about more than great foot We want to make you smile. We want to take you back to that time as a child when burgers could be as big as your head, summers lasted forever and simple things made you smile. So sit back and enjoy the music, look at the toys you always wante, argue about who the best superhero is and slurp milkshakes until you get a brain freeze. Enjoy life the Atomic Way and HAVE FUN!”
  • 21 locals recommend
Park
“Open green space over 50 acres with paths and children's playground, plus views over the city”
  • 15 locals recommend
Entertainment
“The Sheldonian Theatre, an exquisite Grade I listed building situated in Oxford's city centre, is the official ceremonial hall of Oxford University. The Theatre is a popular tourist attraction particular because it offers one of the best indoor panoramic views of Oxford's famous skyline from its Cupola. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and built between 1664 and 1669. The Theatre offers self-guided tours or guided tours. On a one hour guided tour, learn about how the University was formed, how long it's been in existence and the secrets of its past. For availability, booking and opening hours information, please visit our website. Opening hours vary depending on University events and concerts, so please do check our website before your visit to avoid disappointment.”
  • 15 locals recommend
Theater
“This old theatre can be found opposite the Ashmolean museum in the centre of town. Performances take place in the evening and daytime (matinees). Check out their website for current information. Enjoy! ”
  • 12 locals recommend
Government and education
“The Radcliffe Camera (Camera, meaning "room" in Latin; colloquially, "Rad Cam" or "The Camera") is a building of Oxford University, England, designed by James Gibbs in neo-classical style and built in 1737–49 to house the Radcliffe Science Library. It is sited to the south of the Old Bodleian, north of the Church of St Mary the Virgin, and between Brasenose College to the west and All Souls College to the east. The library's construction and maintenance was funded from the estate of John Radcliffe, a notable doctor, who left £40,000 upon his death in 1714. According to the terms of his will, construction only began in 1737, although the intervening period saw the complex purchase of the site. The exterior was complete in 1747 and the interior finished by 1748, although the library's opening was delayed until 13 April 1749. Upon completion, Francis Wise was appointed as its first librarian. Until 1810, the library housed books covering a wide range of subjects, but under George Williams it narrowed its focus to the sciences. Williams brought the library from a state of neglect up to date, although by 1850 the Radcliffe Library still lagged behind the Bodleian. It was at this point that Henry Wentworth Acland, then librarian, laid out plans for the Radcliffe Library building to merge with the university and the library's collection of books to be moved to the newly constructed Radcliffe Science Library, which were accepted by the library's trustees and the university. It was at this point that the building became known as the Radcliffe Camera, serving as a reading room for the Bodleian. Some visitors and tourists erroneously believe the Radcliffe Camera houses the Bodleian's collection of rare books; however, a large collection of rare and antiquarian books are contained in the nearby Weston Library and there are in excess of 1 million searchable records online for books, journals, magazines, newspapers, maps, ephemera, and music printed before 1900 covering antiquarian collections held in almost 60 libraries in Oxford.”
  • 15 locals recommend
Trail
“A large reserve of natural hilly woodland overlooking Oxford, great for walking, hill running and trail biking. ”
  • 14 locals recommend
Store
“This is a drive away but on route to the M40 London bound. Located in headington, this serves an excellent brunch with locally sourced ingredients. its sister pub (also serving brunch) is located in Wolvercote - a 15/20 min drive in the other direction.”
  • 15 locals recommend
Pub
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“This is a lovely little chilled out pub with the best steak platter in the world. It is a sharing plate but boy is it delicious, I'm salivating just thinking about it. They don't do them every day so call to check before going there. ”
  • 20 locals recommend
Italian Restaurant
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“Lively dining room and open kitchen serving classic Med dishes including pizza, plus takeaway. ”
  • 10 locals recommend
Pub
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“The Bear Inn (or just "The Bear") is one of the oldest pubs in Oxford, England, dating back to 1242. Its circa-17th century incarnation stands on the corner of Alfred Street and Blue Boar Street, opposite Bear Lane in the centre of Oxford, just north of Christ Church. The earliest mention of the lands and buildings subsequently occupied by The Bear Inn are found in the Cartularies of St Frideswide. Christina Pady, who was part of the ruling group of burgess families in Oxford at this time, is recorded as having inherited these properties from her late husband, Laurence Kepeharme, the first Mayor of Oxford (died circa 1209) and from her uncle, John Pady. She bequeathed in frankalmoin the land comprising two properties Parn Hall (Pirnehalle) at the western corner of High Street and Alfred Street and another to the south, on the corner of Alfred Street and Blue Boar Street, to the Priory of St Frideswide, which stood on the current site of Christ Church Cathedral. This bequest was made around 1220 to 1230, and was completed on 28 April 1241. A lease dating from 1523 states that the Bear was bounded on the south by the cemetery of St Edward's Church, which lay beyond St Edward's Street (now Blue Boar Lane). It is thought that the two properties bequeathed by Christina Pady were joined and formed the yard of what became the Inn. The next mention is in the tenancy agreement of Thomas Pope in 1277, who with his wife and son were assured tenancy for the rest of their lives for a sum of two marks per year, with a deposit of 30 marks. The original building burnt down in 1421. In 1432, the inn was leased to John and Joan Berford, at which time it was known as Le Tabard. It was known as The Bear Inn by 1457, and a transfer of tenancy from Robert Mychegood to Henry Stanley took place in 1522. It was temporarily known as Furres Inn at some point. A margin note in Anthony Wood's Survey of the Antiquities of the City of Oxford (1661-66) states that the Furreses lived at the Bear in the time of Henry VIII (i.e in the first half of the 16th Century). The main text states that the inn came, under the name of The Bear Inne into the possession of brothers Richard and Roger Taverner following the dissolution of St Frideswide's Priory. Richard Edes, later Dean of Worcester, records the proprietor of The Bear in 1583 as a Matthew Harrison, who had a pet bear named Furze. An alternative explanation is that it adopted the emblem of the bear and ragged staff on the crest of Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick. It was especially fashionable in the 17th century, when judges and royal commissioners were among the patrons. The heir to the throne in Denmark visited in 1652. When it closed in 1801, there were over thirty bedrooms, with stabling for a similar number of horses. In the 18th century, the Bear served as the depot for the Oxford Machine coach, which carried passengers to London for a fare of 10 shillings. The present building was built in the early 17th century as the residence of the coaching inn's ostler. It was converted into a separate tavern, The Jolly Trooper, in 1774. The Bear Inn's premises at the High Street was rebuilt and converted into private housing in 1801 and its business name transferred to the former Jolly Trooper.”
  • 23 locals recommend
Steakhouse
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“Nestled on the High Street in Oxford, this is one of my favourite places to eat. Formerly was the ‘Old Bank’. Either serving breakfast, lunch and dinner . Ideal if you are sightseeing in Oxford and want to have a nice lunch or whatever you fancy.”
  • 15 locals recommend
Bus Station
“Oxford City boasts of many parks in and around the City. Best to google to find parks of interest. Oxford University Botanical Gardens also harbour plant species from most parts of the world. ”
  • 11 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Busy, buzzy place - small bar for cocktails. Always popular, good for families and groups. ”
  • 16 locals recommend
Bar
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“Restaurant, bar and gallery, the Jam Factory has become a safe haven for the food lovers and art enthusiasts of Oxford. Located just a stone's throw from Oxford train station, bus station, city centre shops, The Saïd Business School and Oxford's dreaming spires, the Jam Factory champions an unrivalled commitment to freshness and quality, served with a laid-back and welcoming ethos.”
  • 15 locals recommend