Scroll Down to Content Button

Explore Oxford UK: Discover Our 9 Things To Do

Oxford is one of the UK’s most breathtaking cities with stunning gothic architecture, history and culture. While Oxford is known for its university, its rich history will have you travelling back in time. Whether you are exploring the colleges, wandering the ancient streets, shopping in The Covered Market, or enjoying a picnic in Christ Church Meadow, it’s easy to fall in love with the City of Dreaming Spires.

A city with a flourishing restaurant scene and more than 1000 years of history, learn why our things to do in Oxford should be on the top of your list.

1

The Jam Factory

Home of the original Frank Cooper marmalade, The Jam Factory space is bright, colourful and welcoming, showcasing original art from talented artists. See for yourself why the Jam Factory is known as the city’s most intriguing contemporary art space and creative hub. 

The Jam Factory serves as a bar/restaurant and creative hub, playing host to various artistic groups, with regularly changing exhibitions throughout the year and a program of events and classes. 

 

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: For a truly unique experience, book a life drawing session at The Jam Factory. You can even bring a drink into the session whilst you draw by choosing a cocktail from the bar.

Explore The Space - Opens in new tab
Jam Factory
2

Blackwell's of Oxford

One of Oxford’s rarest gems, Blackwell’s of Oxford is a book lover’s dream. With nearly 5 miles of shelving and 140 years of history, the Norrington Room is the most iconic book room holding the richest collections of books for sale in one of the largest book selling rooms in the world. Blackwells is a pantheon of literature where it is almost impossible to leave without buying a special book you may never find again. 

 

If there’s any place to get lost in a book, it’s in Oxford. Satisfy your literary cravings. 

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: Take a peek at the first bookcase ever fitted in the shop more than 140 years ago on the first floor at the top of the stairs, commemorated by a brass plaque.

Browse The Selection - Opens in new tab
Blackwells
3

iScream

Grab some gelato at iScream that’s taken down to a science using local and high quality organic and free trade ingredients. 

As Oxford’s first gelateria, expect nothing but the best. Recreating the purity and intensity of the gelato experience in Italy, watch first-hand gelati and handmade sorbetto being made fresh every day in front of you. 

Fire up those taste buds and cool them down with savoury gelato made with care that will have you salivating at every flavourful bite. 

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: When visiting The Covered Market, stop by iScream first so that you can peruse the shops with a fluffy gelato in hand.

Discover the Gelateria - Opens in new tab
iScream
4

The Garden of Oxford

Flower shop with a passion for English grown fresh flowers. Connect with nature, and be inspired by the extensive range of plants both for the garden and the home. As the seasons change, so does the shop as it constantly evolves throughout the year.

Personally selecting the finest seasoned flowers in the region, the experienced and knowledgeable staff will have you blossoming with excitement while you shop. Discover  why the Garden of Oxford should be a must visit on your list.

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: For the perfect gift, buy a packet or two of seeds from their extensive range and grow some of those English flowers, herbs or vegetables for yourself– they take up no room in the luggage!

Stop and Smell The Flowers - Opens in new tab
The Garden of Oxford
5

Oxford Cheese Company

One of Britain’s premiere cheese specialist retailers, if you love cheese, the Oxford Cheese Company is everything you will expect and more! Enjoy the splendid display and excellent selection of cheeses with a knowledgeable staff ready to help you pick the perfect cheese for your palette. 

A treasure of cheeses in the Covered Market, you will not regret stocking up at the Oxford Cheese Company. All selections are cut fresh from the cheese counter and wrapped carefully, which also makes the shop perfect for purchasing impressive gifts. Make sure to visit the shop in the Covered Market and feed your inner guilty pleasure. 

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: Try Oxford Blue – created by the owner of Oxford Cheese Company in the mid 1990s. It’s a semi hard, smooth creamy blue that has since become one of the most popular blue cheeses in England.

View The Cheese Selection - Opens in new tab
Oxford Cheese Company
6

Scriptum

Next to the Covered Market, when walking down the 600-year-old Turl Street, you’ll come across some of the oldest and most respected shops in the city. One of them is no other than Scriptum Fine Stationery. Bursting with an eclectic collection of luxury stationery, fountain pens, Italian leather journals and plenty of unique gifts, Scriptum is an exquisite quirky shop.

As soon as you make your way inside, combined with the leather smell and the soothing sound of Italian opera, you’ll forget about the digital landscape and be immersed in the old-fashioned values of written correspondence. Products are handpicked from Britain and Italy to celebrate the finest craftsmanship for stationery. Go back in time to commemorate one of the greatest gifts bestowed on humanity.  

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: Add the personal touch to your future snail mail by picking up a brightly coloured sealing wax for your envelopes.

Shop Creatively - Opens in new tab
Scriptum
7

Objects of Use

Seeing is believing at Objects of Use. From Finnish linens to Japanese cutlery and Ukrainian enamelware, Objects of Use is an ideal place to find vernacular objects to utilise harmoniously in your daily rituals. As you will quickly discover, all household tools and items are sourced from all the world making this the perfect place to find unique products destined to have you appreciate centuries of tradition. The beautifully modern and crafted objects preserve the heritage and integrity of craftsmanship for the sole purpose of simplifying your life. 

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: Spend time reading the handwritten descriptions of each of the objects — you’ll never look at a simple broom or knife the same way again!

View Their Story - Opens in new tab
Objects of Use
8

The Truck Store

If you’re in the mood for good music, go no other place than the Truck Store, Oxford’s independent music hub. Established in 2011, the store is at the heart of Oxford’s thriving music scene and is the place to discover great new music from around the world, re-discover a classic album or unearth a gem from the pre-loved sections. Run by enthusiasts with their fingers on the pulse, the staff are always on hand to offer a recommendation and introduce you to your next favourite band. 

More than just an indie record shop, listen to live music in an intimate setting and you could very well discover Oxford’s next top musical artists. 

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: There’s also a coffee hang out, Mostro Coffee, on site for you to get your caffeine fix while searching for that hard-to-find vinyl. Check out the live events listing ahead of time to catch an intimate show with talent from the local scene.

The Truck Store Upcoming Events - Opens in new tab
Truck Store
9

Oxford Soap Company

As you’ll get a feel when visiting Oxford, local sourced products are the name of the game. The Oxford Soap Company products are locally sourced and committed to creating natural and environmentally friendly soaps and cosmetics products. 

Take a look into how the products are made while browsing the shelves and see for yourself the level of care and passion for mixing, bonding and drying of the products. To get the ultimate experience, participate in the private workshops where you can create your own products using the ingredients that you choose.

Insider Tip

Insider Tip: Choose one of the shop’s best known zero waste items like shampoo and soap bars with refreshing scents like Grapefruit or English Rain.

Make Your Own Soaps - Opens in new tab
Soap Oxford