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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 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

Te Lo Cuento De Camino Ltd

Te Lo Cuento De Camino Ltd

Discover with our guide why Oxford is known as the city of draming spires, the history of the university, how it works, the requirements to get in...

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  1. Te Lo Cuento De Camino Ltd

    Type

    Walking Tour

    Location

    Oxford

    Discover with our guide why Oxford is known as the city of draming spires, the history of the university, how it works, the requirements to get in and its most famous students through their colleges. But not just Oxford University, also anecdotes, legends and customs along its streets, theatres,...

  2. Add Farmer Gow's to your Itinerary

    Farmer Gow's

    Type

    Farm

    Location

    Faringdon

    Farmer Gow’s ~ the ‘favourite place on earth’ for lots of its young visitors.

  3. Add Oxford Castle Unlocked to your Itinerary

    Oxford Castle Unlocked

    Type

    Heritage / Visitor Centre

    Location

    Oxford

    If you thought Oxford was just about elegant spires and world-class academia then think again!

    Oxford Castle – Unlocked reveals Oxford’s less well known history, one that’s rich with tales of great escapes, betrayal and even romance –  all within the walls of this ancient castle and prison...

  4. 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).

  5. Add Watlington to your Itinerary

    Watlington

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Watlington

    Reputedly England’s smallest town, nestling in the shadows of the Chiltern Hills, Watlington offers a traditional welcome, with specialist shopping, great hospitality and outstanding landscapes.

  6. Add Faringdon to your Itinerary

    Faringdon

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Faringdon

    The market town of Faringdon is perched on a golden limestone ridge between two river valleys – the Ock and the Thames – Faringdon enjoys panoramic views of the surrounding area.

  7. Add Oxfordshire Cotswolds to your Itinerary

    Oxfordshire Cotswolds

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Witney

    Throughout history, visitors have succumbed to the charm of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. Steeped in history, rich in heritage and awash with natural beauty, the Oxfordshire Cotswolds is rural England at its very finest.

    A charming blend of bustling market towns, like Burford, Chipping Norton and...

  8. Add Banbury to your Itinerary

    Banbury

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Made famous by its cakes, Cross and a much-loved nursery rhyme, Banbury combines a fascinating history with lots of bright new modern attractions.

  9. Add Chipping Norton to your Itinerary

    Chipping Norton

    Type

    Towns & Villages

    Location

    Chipping Norton

    Perched on the highest point in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, Chipping Norton was once a centre for the Cotswold wool trade and was given a Royal charter by King John in 1205.

  10. 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.