Just over an hour’s drive from Cheltenham is the historic city of Oxford known worldwide as the home of Oxford University, one of the oldest universities in the English-speaking world. Located between two rivers, the Cherwell and the Thames (known locally as Isis from the ancient name Thamesis), it was likely that this was the perfect site for a river crossing or ford from which the name Oxford is derived.

At the heart of historic Oxford is the area around the Bodleian Library with its Old Schools Quad, the Radcliffe Camera and the Clarendon Building, once the home of Oxford University Press. As you wander through Oxford’s streets many of them will seem very familiar as Oxford has appeared in many movies and TV programmes including TV’s Morse and Lewis, and parts of the Harry Potter series.

Christ Church College, one of the grandest of Oxford university colleges, was originally founded by Cardinal Wolsey in 1524 and re-founded in 1546 by King Henry VIII. Since then, Christ Church remains the only college chapel in the world that is also a cathedral.  The story of Alice’s adventures by Lewis Carroll was written at Christ Church, where the author was a maths tutor. The Great Hall, the largest in Oxford also provided the setting for Hogwarts’ dining hall in the Harry Potter films.

The Ashmolean Museum is the oldest museum in the country, established in 1683 by Elias Ashmole, and has a fantastic collection of archaeological artefacts and paintings.


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