Oxford

Why can't I find any info in either the Great Britain or the London guidebooks about Oxford? We'd like to make this our first stop in a self-driving tour of Oxford, Cotswolds, Salisbury, then on to London for a couple of days of taking in the sites. It's a trip we are planning next summer (2014) to celebrate our 40th Anniversary, and will be our first trip to England. Suggestions? Thanks!

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1376 posts

My suggestion is to do some computer research such as Oxford tourism.

Posted by Philip
London, United Kingdom
1699 posts

This isn't a forum to send feedback on the books, just for readers to exchange information. We can make some suggestions if you give us a bit more detail of what you are interested in seeing.

Posted by Philip
London, United Kingdom
1699 posts

One thing I should say is that Oxford in early summer can not be as rewarding for tourists as other times of year. The exams are in June so in May and June the colleges tend to shut themselves up tight against tourists so the students' revision isn't disturbed.

Posted by Jeanne & Bruce
Hugo, MN, USA
6 posts

It was not my intention to critique the guidebooks...only to ask about Oxford - which seems to not be included at all...even in the index. I just received the books yesterday, and by and large, think they will be very helpful in planning our trip. Since Oxford seems to be a touring hotspot, I was simply wondering why there is no section on it? We are only in the beginning stages of planning...since we've never been to England, we would like to try to make this a great trip, but understand that we can't see everything and do everything this time around. The very sketchy plan is to arrive at Heathrow, drive to Oxford, spend a couple days doing some poking around there, move into the Cotswold area as a base, do a couple days there, then off to the Stonehenge and Hampton Court area, before dropping the car back at Heathrow, and doing the London transportation system for a couple days of touring there. That's as far as we have gotten right now. Would love more info about Oxford, and thank you for the tip about May and June not being really wonderful times to be there,

Posted by Claudia
Land of La
2014 posts

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Posted by Ruth
Portage, canada
48 posts

Oxford is a wonderful place to visit. You'll have to choose which college to tour as there are many. We stayed at Worcester which was gorgeous, but it's certainly not one of the more famous ones. You may be able to see a theatre production at one of the colleges. Research the pubs: so much history! We had dinner at the Eagle & Child in the same room where the Inklings gathered. There were various markets on different days in the square near Worcester when we were there in July; I presume that happens often. Blackwell Books is world-famous; check it out. This is a start, anyway.

Posted by Jeanne & Bruce
Hugo, MN, USA
6 posts

Thanks so much Ruth! Great tips! We also have found lots of info in a couple of other books ("Fodor's" and "Insight Guide") so I think now we have what we need to plan a wonderful 40th Anniversary trip!

Posted by Janet
Oklahoma City, USA
27 posts

My husband and I just got back last night from our first trip to England. We didn't get to go to Oxford (plan to next time) but we did go to Blenheim Palace. I highly recommend it and if you go allow plenty of time. We only had three hours and it wasn't nearly enough. We plan on going back there. The Cotswolds are beautiful. Try to go to Hidcote Manor. The gardens are wonderful.

Posted by Janet
Oklahoma City, USA
27 posts

We went on our own. Driving was not a problem once we got used to the narrow roads in the Cotswolds. That was more of an issue than driving on the left. By the way, some helpline posts discourage driving in Oxford.

Posted by Carol
Atlanta, GA, USA
10 posts

There is a chapter on Oxford in the England guidebook. Maybe your library has a copy? We are headed there in a couple days.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7213 posts

Rough Guide and Lonely Planet are both guidebooks that give a ton of options for everywhere and are geared toward budget, DIY, travelers. For the stuff Rick covers, he gives great detail and his stuff is relatively current; Rick suffers, however, by leaving a large swath of Europe virtually unmentioned. Both Rough Guide and Lonely Planet will also give you dozens and dozens of lodging choices where Rick would only give you a handful in various price ranges.