Top 10

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The Eagle and Child

The Eagle and Child is most famous for being the pub where the Inklings would meet. This was a group of creative writers and included, in its ranks, the likes of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Much later, the pub was regularly frequented by Colin Dexter, creator of Inspector Morse. The pub itself is still owned by St. John's College, which resides across the road from this establishment.

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The Bridge of Sighs

The bridge is often referred to as the Bridge of Sighs because of its supposed similarity to the famous Bridge of Sighs in Venice. However, Hertford Bridge was never intended to be a replica of the Venetian bridge, and instead it bears a closer resemblance to the Rialto Bridge in the same city. The bridge links together the Old and New Quadrangles of Hertford College (to the south and the north respectively), and much of its current architecture was designed by Sir Thomas Jackson. It was completed in 1914, despite its construction being opposed by New College. The building on the southern side of the bridge houses the College's administrative offices, whereas the northern building is mostly student accommodation. The bridge is always open to members of the College, who can often be seen crossing it.

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Bicester Village

Bicester Village is located just an hour from London. This luxury destination is home to more than 130 boutiques of world-famous brands, each offering exceptional value with savings of up to 60% on the recommended retail price. Together with a selection of restaurants and cafés, the Village offers luxury services that include Valet Parking, Hands-free Shopping, the award-winning Bicester Visitor Centre, and onsite refund and money change service. Bicester Village is one of the Collection of 11 Chic Outlet Shopping® Villages in Europe and China by Value Retail.

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Oxford Castle

Take a guided tour today and let the characters reveal their fascinating stories entrenched in the building’s 1,000 year history. When William the Conqueror invaded England and won the Battle of Hastings in 1066, Oxford Castle was marked by the Normans as the ideal place for a motte-and-bailey castle. Today, after almost one millennia, Oxford Castle Unlocked is a visitor attraction with a past stretching far beyond your imagination.

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The Oxford Playhouse

Oxford Playhouse and its Burton Taylor Studio present and produce a wide range of live performance. The programme includes the best of British and international drama, family shows, contemporary dance and music, student and amateur shows, comedy, lectures and poetry. We also create live performance here in Oxford. The Playhouse produces and tours its own shows, hosts Artists in Residence and presents Playhouse Plays Out, an ongoing series of off-site events which happen at locations across the county. The theatre's Learning team works with over 15,000 people each year through post show discussions, workshops, work experience, holiday schemes, a youth theatre and a young people’s theatre company.

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Worcester College

Worcester College was founded in 1714, but there has been an institution of learning on the site since the late 13th century. Its predecessor, Gloucester College, was founded in 1283 by the Benedictine Abbey of St Peter at Gloucester as a place of study for 13 monks. The other Benedictine Houses recognised the advantages of bringing their students together and obtained permission from the Abbey at Gloucester to share the House, adding several lodgings to the existing buildings. Fifteen abbeys in total had lodgings in Gloucester College. The dissolution of the monasteries in about 1539 ended the existence of Gloucester College, but the buildings remaining from this period include the row of medieval 'cottages' on the south side of the main quad, Pump Quad and Staircases 1 and 2. In 1542 the College buildings were granted to Robert King, the first bishop of Oxford, and he probably occupied them as his palace until he moved into the Palace at St Aldate's. In 1560 the buildings were purchased by Sir Thomas White, the founder of St John's College, and they became Gloucester Hall. For the next 150 years the Hall had a chequered history and from 1660 its fortunes steadily declined. In 1714 the Hall was re-founded as Worcester College after a Worcestershire baronet, Sir Thomas Cookes, left a benefaction for the foundation of a new college. Building began in 1720, but because of a lack of funds proceeded in fits and starts. Sir George Clarke, together with his friend Nicholas Hawksmoor, designed the central group comprising the Hall, Chapel and a magnificent Library, to which Sir George left his collection of books and manuscripts. The medieval cottages on the front quad were to have been demolished and replaced by a further classical range, but survived because money for this purpose never became available. The Hall and Chapel, with interiors by James Wyatt, were completed in approximately 1770. Wyatt also designed the northern 'Terrace' building, which was completed with the Provost's Lodgings by Henry Keene, in 1776. In 1864 the Chapel was extensively redecorated and refurbished by William Burges. One of Worcester's architectural distinctions is therefore that it brings together on a single site the work of four major architects: Hawksmoor, Wyatt, Keene and Burges. Over the past 50 years several residential buildings for undergraduates and graduates have been added, largely thanks to a series of generous benefactions. The most recent are the acclaimed Sainsbury Building, the Franks Building, the Earl Building and the Nash Building. Although Worcester is close to the centre of Oxford today, it was on the edge of the city in the 18th century. This has proved to be a great asset and has enabled the College to have its sports fields within the grounds and to retain very extensive gardens, which are as much of an attraction to visitors as our architecture.

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Blenheim Palace

A masterpiece of Baroque architecture, Blenheim Palace provides an awe-inspiring experience for visitors. Home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family and the birth place of Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting a long and diverse history. Enter the Palace and explore the gilded State Rooms and priceless collections set against striking stonework, and experience the beauty and magnificence of this Grade I listed building.

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Christ Church Meadows

Christ Church meadow is a rare open space at the heart of Oxford, open to the public all year round. Though seemingly tranquil, the meadow is highly variable, with seasonal flooding and a variety of wildlife that comes and goes. During the Civil War it proved invaluable as a defence against the Parliamentarian forces, but visitors are nowadays more likely to encounter a rare English Longhorn cow than a soldier besieging the city. The meadow has long been used as a site for sport, entertainment and recreation. It was the location for some of the earliest balloon flights in England: in 1784 James Sadler, ‘the first English aeronaut’ rose from Christ Church meadow, landing six miles away after a half-hour flight. In May 1785 Sadler again ascended from the meadow, this time with the statesman William Windham as a passenger. The meadow is enclosed by the rivers Cherwell and Thames - the Thames is home to the college boathouses where rowing teams gather to train and compete. Every summer the major intercollegiate regatta takes place (better known as Summer VIIIs) as it has done since the competition’s inauguration in 1815. Crews from across the university descend annually on the Cherwell to compete in a four-day competition. The meadow has also provided a beautiful setting for a number of outdoor performances, including a dramatic a celebration of Christ Church’s history in the form of a Son et Lumiere in 1968. It was a star studded performance: scripted by Jan Morris (historian, author, travel writer and honorary fellow at Christ Church), and with a prologue by W.H. Auden (Anglo-American poet, undergraduate and at Christ Church), it was narrated by Sir John Gielgud (actor, Oscar winner and theatre director). Between the river and the Meadow Gate of the college is the large Broad Walk, installed in the time of John Fell (1625-1686), dean of Christ Church and Bishop of Oxford. Having survived since the seventeenth century, it was in recent years threatened when proposed as the site for a new bypass. Luckily nothing came of the plans and the walk remains a refuge from the busier city streets.

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Phoenix Picturehouse

The Phoenix Picturehouse is a cinema in Oxford, England, for many years a nationally leading independent art house cinema. The cinema shows modern releases as well as cinema classics.

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The Sheldonian Theatre

The Sheldonian Theatre is, theoretically, the first and last place an Oxford Student will come in their time at the University. This is where Matriculation and Graduation ceremonies take place. It was originally opened in 1669 and was designed by architect, Sir Christopher Wren. The building opens to the public intermittently throughout the week and boasts a stunning Robert Streater ceiling mural.

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