Oxford, a city famous for its famously academic, fantastic university but also celebrated authors, well-known filming sets and just loads of fun things to do. I’ve been in Oxford, England for the last eight weeks doing a short course, and as much as I’ve spent a lot of time studying and working, I have also spent lots of time exploring the city and trying to find fun things to do with all of my dorm mates. Thanks to our coordinators and lots of exploring, I have discovered that Oxford is not just a university campus. There are actually so many fun activities that you can do. So, if you find yourself holiday-ing in Oxford, or even in London (because Oxford is only a short hour and thirty-minute train ride from London), and are running out of things to do, why not try something from the list below? I have personally tried all of them more than once, and I can definitely say that they are a lot of fun and will leave you with happy memories that you will struggle to forget. I hope you enjoy!
Right out the gate, punting is something that everyone should try if they are in Oxford. For those of you who don’t know what punting is, can you picture a gondola in Venice? With people pushing the boats along with long sticks in the water? That action of pushing the boat with a huge pole is punting! As much as it sounds a little ridiculous, it is actually a lot of fun, especially if you do it with friends. Fair warning though, it is harder than it looks, but if you are looking for a fun adventure that is also a challenge, you will really enjoy yourself. Besides all that, the scenery around the river is just beautiful, so if you do get tired of pushing the boat along, you can take a break and enjoy the picturesque view.
Now I’d never done an escape room until I came on this trip and let me tell you, it is my new favourite thing to do! For those of you who are looking for something fun to do with friends or a significant other, I would highly recommend trying out an escape room. It is the perfect activity for those who enjoy puzzles, riddles and using logic to figure your way out of something, except you only have one hour to do it, so the race is on! In my opinion, the one in the Westgate shopping centre is the best because of how beautifully put together the different escape rooms are. We did an Alice in Wonderland one, and it felt as if I had fallen headfirst into Wonderland – every single detail was so well thought out, and I was utterly absorbed in the game from the second the door closed until we escaped. If puzzles are your thing, then you should definitely try out an escape room, but if you do it with friends or family, please try to remember that it is just a game. Don’t let the pressure cause any feuds. Good luck!
Another idea if you enjoy music and being active while passing time is ice skating. A fun activity if you are alone or with friends, ice skating is a great way to spend a few hours of the day. The skating rinks usually play music so you can dance the time away, and even if you can’t skate (like me), it is still fun to go with friends at laugh at each other about how badly you can skate. Skating is also great exercise believe it or not, but if you do get tired or the boots start to cramp your feet, then there are plenty of refreshment stands for you to enjoy. If you are travelling with a partner, I’ve always thought skating to be a fun activity, especially if one of you can skate and the other can’t – because it is the perfect excuse to hold each other close. Just an idea for you to add to your list of things to do.
Walking tour of the city
Oxford is not just a city with activities to do, but it is also filled with beautiful things to see no matter where you are in the city. If you don’t mind walking, then put on your comfortable shoes and do a walking tour of the city. This is suitable for literature lovers (from CS Lewis to Harry Potter), history lovers or just lovers of beautiful architecture. The city is filled with beautiful and historic college buildings and nestled throughout the city are film locations (like the dining hall that was used in Harry Potter) and inspirations or tributes to various works of literature. It truly is a beautiful and inspiring way to spend the day.
The Ozone Leisure Park
If you are the type of person who is a child at heart, then this is the perfect place for you. Here there is a bowling alley, an arcade, miniature golf, escape rooms and even a bar with pool tables if that is more your thing. It is a great place to spend a few hours if you are looking for relaxed ways to spend your time or have friends or family that like to do lots of different things all in one day, then this is the perfect way to satisfy everyone. It is also all relatively cheap, which is always a bonus, and there are plenty of tables for you to sit and relax when you get tired of the fun and games. In my opinion, it is the perfect place to spend a day (or two).
Okay, I know that this may not be everyone’s cup of tea (please forgive the pun), but there isn’t a better place to experience nature in a very peaceful and relaxed way. If the weather is good, then going for a walk through all of the various fields or along the river is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air without exerting yourself too much. What’s great about going for a walk in this environment is that it is perfectly safe and an amicable environment. You can walk on the small footpaths and see various dog owners and see all of the little animals (just beware of ducks and geese if they are with their babies). There are also plenty of towns that you can walk through where you can rehydrate yourself at little pubs, so if you do love nature or have been meaning to go for a walk but are worried about it being too strenuous or wild, then this is the perfect way to do it.
This option is kind of cheating because it is not actually in the centre area of Oxford, but it is only a short bus ride away, so I am still counting it. Blenheim Palace is a gorgeous place to spend a morning, afternoon or even a whole day. It is a beautiful historic palace that you can walk around and hear all about the history of the people who lived there. There are beautiful gardens to walk through, and butterfly gardens and mazes to entertain children. There are also beautiful grass lawns that are perfect for just taking a break or even having a picnic lunch. It is a gorgeous place to add to your itinerary if you are someone who enjoys history or just spending time in beautiful gardens.
Curzon movie theatre
Sometimes what everyone just wants to do is sit down in a comfy chair and watch a film. If that is the type of thing that you enjoy doing (and let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy doing that), then I’d highly recommend going to watch a movie at the Curzon movie theatre in Westgate shopping centre. It has comfortable reclining chairs (and ‘couple chair’ benches if you like sitting and holding your best friend or partner during a movie) and good quality theatres. They also happen to serve, not just your standard movie snacks like popcorn and sweets, but also things like pizza and milkshakes. How awesome does that sound?? It’s definitely been my go-to place for watching the latest films while I’ve been here so if you are a movie fanatic like me then this is a great movie theatre to go to.
And last but not least, there are plenty of fun shopping options for those who enjoy going out and browsing the different stores. If you love book shopping, there is a large Waterstones bookstore as well as Blackwells (which is a beautiful old-fashioned bookstore that stocks more books than you could imagine in that small space). If you love tourist-like shops and shopping, there is at least one on every single street in Oxford city centre packed with university hoodies, Oxford memorabilia and, for the Potterheads, all manner of Harry Potter trinkets, items and outfits. If you prefer more standard shopping, there is the new shopping centre, Westgate, which is packed with all sorts of fantastic stores, as well as other stores dotted throughout the streets of the city centre. Basically, if shopping is your preferred activity, then you will definitely be satisfied in Oxford.
Voilà! So there you have it – a list of activities that you can add to your itinerary if you are struggling to think of ways to spend the day. I hope that you all enjoyed this blog post, and if you do need this list for any reason (you are planning a trip here in the future or are on holiday here now), that you have found at least one activity that pushes your buttons and that you can enjoy. I, for one, loved doing all of these activities so I hope that you can all enjoy at least one. If not in Oxford, then maybe in your hometown? Thank you all for reading. Again, I hope you enjoyed it! Please like and subscribe if you haven’t already so that you don’t miss out on blog posts in the future. My question today is:
What is your favourite activity to do in your hometown? And if you have been to Oxford before, what was your favourite part or your favourite memory?
Thank you so much for sharing. Have a great weekend everyone and happy future holiday-ing!
Lots of love
Blondey on a Mission xxx