With a worldwide reputation and the nickname of the City of Dreaming Spires because of all the glorious architecture dotted around, Oxford is undoubtedly a special place. With one of the best universities in the world alongside all the beauty and things to do, it’s little wonder the city is such a popular destination.
The university colleges demand your attention when you’re in Oxford, steeped as they are in so much history. And if history is important to you, there’s also the great Bodleian Library, Oxford Castle and Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology to explore.
When you consider all the other eclectic attractions of the city, from the Botanic Gardens and theatres to White Horse Hill and Headington Shark, you really need to stay for a few days to truly appreciate the place.
Did you know…
So while you’re planning and dreaming about the stirring city, here are 5 facts about Oxford – after all, how much do you actually know about the city beyond the fact it’s definitely worth a visit?
1. The city has more published writers per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Among the high profile authors are Lewis Carroll who named Alice from Alice In Wonderland after a real girl called Alice Liddell, the daughter of Lewis Carroll’s friend who was Dean at Christ Church College where he taught. JRR Tolkein, Colin Dexter and Philip Pullman also have connections with Oxford.
2. Oxford University is the oldest English-speaking university in the world, and dates back to the twelfth century. And it was in fact a group of Oxford students who founded the University of Cambridge, after fleeing the city following the 1209 riots between students and townspeople.
3. The first museum in the world to display treasures to members of the public was the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, which opened in 1683.
4. During the English Civil War, Oxford was temporarily the capital of England, when Charles I held his court there from 1642. Charles stayed at Christ Church College from 1642 to 1646.
5. The University of Oxford has educated 26 British prime ministers, including Sir Robert Peel, William Gladstone, Clement Attlee, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and David Cameron.
Head to Oxford to discover the hidden treasures of this historic city.