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Oxford or Cambridge

Looking to do a day trip from London in July. Which do YOU prefer?

Posted by
75 posts

Oxford for sure, take the walking tour, very informative.

Posted by
7027 posts

I loved Oxford! I was there for the second half of one day, one night and then the morning of the next and wish I had several more days to really do it justice.

But I do plan to go back at some point. At any rate, I highly recommend this lovely city.

Posted by
1 posts

We have only visited Cambridge, so of course do not know Oxford to compare. However, we had a fantastic couple of days in Cambridge, and SO enjoyed "punting" (a one-hour guided cruise in a flat-bottomed boat) on the canals through this historic city. Gorgeous historic architecture, King's Chapel with its spectacular fan vaults, and beautiful bridges over the canal... so very charming and fun to explore!

Posted by
960 posts

Personal attachment to Cambridge.

Fully agree with the above assessment of King's College Chapel!

What are your interests? If museums, in Oxford the Ashmolean Museum is very good, Pitt Rivers Museum is something quite unusual these days, really "old school" but crammed full of collections. Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

You really can't lose!

Posted by
5688 posts

They are both great options. I personally prefer Cambridge, but you really can’t go wrong.

Cambridge has more of a small town feel. Oxford is more spread out. If you are a fan of Harry Potter or Inspector Morse/Lewis tv series, then you might want to choose Oxford.

Honestly, I’d suggest reading the descriptions of both and choosing the one that sounds more appealing to you.

Posted by
1624 posts

Agree with Laura. Liked both (ages ago), preferred Cambridge a touch.

Oxford is quicker to reach and can be way cheaper. Put in your info on the National Rail site.

Posted by
3 posts

Check out London Walks. They are having full day walks to Cambridge leaving from Kings Cross Station. Also walking tours to Oxford and the Cotswolds.

Posted by
2 posts

I decided we should do both, so I booked an ALL day tour with Anderson Tours. It has about 2 hours in each town. A lot of time on a bus, but I just could not decide and y'all were no help :)

Posted by
28 posts

The question is like asking Mercedes or Lexus? Chick Fil A or Chipotle? To me it depends on where your staying relative to either universities. For example my wife and I stayed at the Steeple Aston and took a public transportation into Oxford. Of course the town was a unique experience all to itself and that’s why it was our springboard to see Oxford.
For me Oxford has the architecture. Their English gothic designs are very impressive in a forbearing almost monolithic sort of way. We took a walking tour and covered an immense amount of ground and saw much of the key spots on foot that we wouldn’t have considered on our own. By ourselves we saw the typical Bridge of Sighs and Radcliffe Camera which was sort of boring to be honest. But the rest of the colleges and grounds was well worth the walk. Outside the university proper there are plenty of restaurants, pubs, and clothing and souvenir shops as to be expected. Great culinary treats await near by.
When I think Cambridge I always think of the Botanical Garden. Such a serene and placid walk through amazing growth and foliage. Of course you always can sign up for college tours. Like Oxford the architecture at parts will be somewhat similar to the untrained eyes. I highly recommend the gondola river rides for some relaxation from walking. All the wonderful trappings of college atmospheres are at play but the real treat are the museums and eateries.
Away from the main grounds you’ll have plenty of fine dining at your finger tips. Again, they’ll be pubs and shops to distract you along the way.
I stayed at a hostel which was a short walk to the university and that experience was pleasant too. If I had to say one over the other I’d say start with Cambridge. There just seemed be a lot more to see and enjoy.
Also keep in mind any festivals and attractions that might take place during the month and season on which you will be traveling there.