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Things to do in Oxfordshire & The Cotswolds

The cultural capital of Oxfordshire is Oxford, The City of Dreaming Spires and there are pltny of tourist attractions to enjoy on days out. With its honey-coloured stone architecture, noble lawns and prestigious colleges, the unchanging beauty of this city will always dominate the county.

Learning and exploring are synonymous with this city, even for tourists. Why not start with a guided walking tour around the city that focuses on literature, film, geography and culture? With countless city locations being used as the backdrop for television and film sets from Morse to Harry Potter, you may get a feeling of déjà vu. Oxfordshire is also home to several points of interest used for filming in the The hit ITV drama Downton Abbey including Bampton and Greys Court. Download a PDF guide to follow in the footsteps of the Crawley family.

In the north of Oxfordshire the lush and fertile Cherwell Valley is centred on the lovely town of Banbury, where you can really see a fine lady upon a white horse - or a statue of her, anyway. It's just one of the bustling market towns that punctuate a journey through Oxfordshire. For more information on the county's towns and villages, see our interactive map of Oxfordshire.

Things to do in Oxfordshire this weekend

Many of Oxfordshire's tourist attractions are open all year round so find something to do today with activities listings each showing a map and opening times for your convenience. Or why not browse our Oxfordshire events guide to find out what's happening this week.

Top 11 things to do in Oxfordshire

Accommodation

With picturesque villages, breathtaking natural scenery, a world-renowned university city and over 6,000 years of history, if you're looking for fantastic days out, Oxfordshire has it all, and can even accommodate you if, like many others, you find yourself wanting more time to explore: 

List of things to do & places to visit for days out in Oxfordshire

For more information about Oxfordshire, including ideas for days out, accommodation and events, browse the county's things to do and towns and villages in the list below. Use the 'map view' button to find something near you.

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Areas to Visit

The Beacon

The Beacon

The Beacon is a vibrant gathering place for the local community (named after the historic beacons along the town’s ancient Ridgeway) offering a...

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  1. Add The Beacon to your Itinerary

    The Beacon

    Type

    Theatre

    Location

    Wantage

    The Beacon is illuminating Wantage through the culture, leisure and entertainment.
    As a vibrant gathering place for the local community, we offer a varied programme of live events from cinema, music, theatre and comedy to a regular activity timetable of classes and workshops.

  2. Add Oxford to your Itinerary

    Oxford

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Whether you're wandering the magnificent corridors of Magdalene College, or looking out over the city from the top of Carfax Tower, Oxford has a knack for captivating its visitors.

  3. Add Ascott under Wychwood to your Itinerary

    Ascott under Wychwood

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Ascott under Wychwood

    The village of Ascott under Wychwood, taking its name from the ancient Wychwood Forest, is situated on the south side of the River Evenlode and lies on the Cotswold Railway (connecting Worcester and London).

  4. Add Walk the Landscape to your Itinerary

    Walk the Landscape

    Type

    Walking Tour

    Location

    Oxfordshire Cotswolds

    Walk the Landscape is a family company, based near Banbury, providing walking holidays and hiking tours in the Cotswolds, Oxfordshire and the Heart of England.

  5. Add Black Bourton to your Itinerary

    Black Bourton

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Black Bourton

    Near to Bampton, this village is worth a visit to see the outstanding 13th century wall paintings in the church. There is also a thriving vineyard producing nine different wines. Visitors are welcome but it’s best to phone in advance (01993 842028).

  6. Add Churchill to your Itinerary

    Churchill

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Chipping Norton

    This small village has some fine buildings and is known locally for its independent furniture workshops. Among its attractions are the church, modelled on various Oxford buildings, a memorial to William Smith and a Victorian fountain.

  7. Add River & Rowing Museum to your Itinerary

    River & Rowing Museum

    Type

    Museum

    Location

    Henley-on-Thames

    A unique, award-winning museum with galleries dedicated to rowing, the River Thames and the town of Henley.

  8. Add Stonor Park to your Itinerary

    Stonor Park

    Type

    Historic House / Palace

    Location

    Henley-on-Thames

    Close to Henley on Thames, Marlow and a stone’s throw from London, is the ancient home of the Stonor family, dating back to the twelfth century, this has been their family home for over 850 years.

  9. Add City Sightseeing to your Itinerary

    City Sightseeing

    Type

    Trips & Tours

    Location

    Oxford

    Open top bus tours of Oxford and the Historic University. Tickets valid all day. All major sights covered. Live guides.

     

  10. Thames Path National Trail

    Type

    Walking Tour

    Location

    Old Station Way, Eynsham

    On its way the Trail passes through peaceful water meadows rich in wildlife, historic towns and cities such as Oxford, Henley and Windsor, many lovely villages and some of the best known landmarks of London.