Flights to Oxford
Most famous for its university Oxford is a city in the southeast of England, nicknamed The City of Dreaming Spires because of its many medieval church spires and university buildings. There’s more to Oxford than just the university though, and it remains a popular tourist destination.
The nearby London Oxford Airport (airport code: OXF) is private, and operates mainly for seasonal charter flights to Oxford and general aviation. From South Africa you’d be better arriving at Heathrow, and a regular bus connects Oxford and London’s Heathrow Airport (airport code: LHR), which is about 100 kilometres away. Non-stop flights to Oxford that arrive in London are available with BMI, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways. If you fly with South African Airways, you’ll be making one connection in Cairo which is also the same route with Egyptair.
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The Tourist Attractions of Oxford:
Oxford’s city centre is fairly compact and with driving restrictions in the centre it’s most sensible to take a walking tour. This is the best way to really get a feel for the university city and its atmosphere, and walking allows you to see and explore little streets and pubs that you might otherwise miss in a car or bus.
Oxford University Colleges
Oxford University is one of the world’s best known and oldest universities so you can’t really visit the city without seeing at least some of it. The university is split into a number of different colleges, and at different times of the year (always avoiding exams time) you can usually tour one or more of them. Magdalen and Christ Church are probably the two best known and they’re well geared to receiving inquisitive tourists!
Under the governance of Oxford University there are also a number of other attractions. These include the Oxford University Museum of Natural History which showcases some of the best natural history finds that the university has made. The Ashmolean Museum was the world’s first university museum, while the famous Bodleian Library is one of the oldest libraries in Europe and the second largest in Britain after the British Library and includes the unique circular library building, the Radcliffe Camera.
For a change from the buildings, wander around the beautiful University of Oxford Botanic Garden. This is the oldest botanic garden in Britain as it was founded in 1621.
Other Museums of Oxford
As well as those museums associated with the university Oxford does have a number of other museums to browse too. Modern Art Oxford is one of the places where you can see modern art, while the Museum of the History of Science offers a look at an excellent collection of scientific instruments dating as far back as medieval times.
Though no longer a castle as such, Oxford Castle is still quite a tourist attraction! The castle was largely destroyed during the England Civil War and was later used as a prison. The prison closed down in 1996 and the buildings were later converted into a hotel, and into a heritage and shopping complex where tours are available.
When Should You Visit?:
Oxford’s temperate climate means you can visit throughout the year without the weather being very cold. Rainfall is evenly spread across the year and summers are the warmest time to visit when average highs are between around 20 and 22C. Spring and autumn are mild to cool and winters are cool with an average high of 6.8C in January.