With a university heritage going back 1,000 years, honey-coloured buildings, tranquil green spaces and meandering waterways, Oxford is a place where charm and history abound. Book any hotel in Oxford and these attractions are right on your doorstep. Exploring the colleges of Oxford University is a highlight of any city break but there are other attractions to take in as well. These range from world-renowned museums to Alice in Wonderland themed shops. When you book a hotel in the city, start your day by simply wandering around secluded cloisters and quiet quadrangles as well as along the banks of the River Cherwell and the tributaries of the River Thames. Literary enthusiasts will also find plenty to enjoy. As well as Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, C S Lewis, J R R Tolkien, Kenneth Grahame and Philip Pullman all have links to the city while Harry Potter fans will be enthralled by a visit to Christ Church College.
From your hotel in Oxford, head upwards by climbing the tower of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin on the High Street. Below you is a breathtaking view of Oxford streets and colleges. It is also the perfect spot to get a clear photograph of the circular Radcliffe Camera. Built in the Palladian style in the 15th century, it's part of the Bodleian Library. While much of the Bodleian is not open to the public, you can still take a guided tour to catch a glimpse of student life both past and present. Keep the literary theme going by having a browse in Blackwell's, said to have the biggest book shop floor in the world. A short walk away is the Ashmolean Museum. Founded in 1683, it's the oldest public museum in the UK. Inside, the collection ranges from Ancient Egypt to Michelangelo's studies for the Sistine Chapel and onto Guy Fawkes' lantern and beautiful jewellery from across the ages. There is also a gallery of modern art that includes the work of Stanley Spencer and Barbara Hepworth. If you only have time to take in one college, it should be Christ Church with its cathedral, cloisters and gardens. At least 13 British Prime Ministers have studied here.
Just a short walk from the historic heart is Oxford Castle and Prison. Part of the old prison is now a luxury hotel but guided tours of the 1,000-year-old castle include gruesome tales of former inmates. If you find cheap hotels around the Cowley Road area you're still within walking distance of Oxford's colleges especially Magdalen College. Close by as well are the Botanic Gardens and riverside walks. This area is home to many students which gives it a lively buzz in the evenings. Once a poor suburb where labourers lived during the Industrial Revolution, Jericho is now a prime residential spot but still a place for good hotel deals. It's within walking distance of Oxford Station and the Ashmolean Museum as well as being home to some excellent restaurants. On the edge of Jericho is St Giles where the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum can be found. The former is overflowing with dinosaurs while the Pitt Rivers has its own unique and intriguing atmosphere. If you want to see the 'dreaming spires' of this university city then browse our easy-to-navigate filters for a hotel in Oxford.