Old Mad Eye.

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5 Things to do in 24 Hours in Oxford, England

5 Things to do in 24 Hours in Oxford, England


I was 16, absorbing Macbeth for every last syllable when I decided English literature was my true passion. I’ve been chasing literary icons for nearly ten years between pages and travel. And when the opportunity presented itself, I seized the chance to go to one of those destinations intrinsically entwined with my literary arsenal: Oxford, England.

I spent 24 hours in the oldest university town in the English speaking world and it was a whirlwind -- from downpours to museums to board game cafés. Here is my breakdown of the must see, must do things if you have a short time to visit Oxford.

Get into a library!

There is one of the main libraries that will charge you to go in, but it has an immaculate main hall and it's interesting to see the old way of library organization. It's worth the charge if you're interested in seeing the inside, however, you can take a good browse around the architecture of the building if that fascinates you more.


The Ashmolean Museum

This is on the scale of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In the sense that there is no way you'd see everything in this museum in one day. However, there are actual embalmed Egyptians and a series of dismembered Roman sculptures which may just be the two coolest things I've ever seen. There is also a rooftop café which is a lovely place to catch a sunset meal or beverage.

Oxford Castle

Climb the hill to see over and into the castle and take a look around the grounds. It's small in comparison to other castles in the U.K., but definitely a cool little bit of history smack in the middle of an otherwise collegiate setting.


Carfax Tower

Narrow winding steps lead all the way atop a tower that looks miles around Oxfordshire. It is easily one of the best views of the city and surrounding country you'll be able to find, and for just a few pounds entry fee!

Covered market

There is a covered market in the central part of Oxford that has been around for ages. The shops are varied from grocery, tourist traps, knick knacks and homewares, bake shops, tea shops, you name it. It has several entrances and once you're inside, it feels a little maze-like, so be prepared to spend some time in there working out how to get back out the same way to came in!

Board Game Cafe

This wasn't on our original list of things to do or see in Oxford, but as the rain poured down and cancelled our plans to go punting (go punting if the weather allows!), we took cover in a game board cafe near the university center. You play whatever board game you choose, order beers or ciders, and play for as long as you choose! It's a great way to find cover from unexpected weather if you've already exhausted the museums, castles, and libraries in the city.

Oxford is a great place to stop over on you way to other areas of the U.K., or if you live in London, it’s the perfect weekend away. It’s extremely easy to navigate and it feels small like a village. I recommend checking a few things off this list, and you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

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