Vanbrugh House


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The year we’ve all been waiting for is here, 2021. We hope this year will be filled with adventure and what better way to seize the stay than at our hotel in Oxford.

Here are 21 reasons you should visit the City of Dreaming Spires.

1: Museums galore!

World-class museums are iconic to our city! The University’s four museums are our go-to’s: The Ashmolean, Pitt Rivers Museum, the Museum of Natural History and the History of Science Museum.

2: Brimming with history

The city of Oxford has so much history running through it. You only need to wander down the winding streets to witness it for yourself! It’s in the architecture, the land, the air and the ground you walk on.

3: Lots of amazing literature

Many of the UK’s greatest authors called Oxford home, including J. R. R Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, T. S. Eliot, Harper Lee and Robert Graves. Visit the city that inspired your favourite authors to write their most iconic books.

4: Stunning architecture

It’s a no-brainer, our city has tonnes of stunning Cotswold stone buildings. Our magnificent skyline is dotted with dreaming spires and lights – the perfect backdrop for your staycation.

5. Bicester Village

Our fabulous guests only deserve the best – and that’s what Bicester Village offers. The number one boutique shopping destination in the UK comes with a range of VIP guest services. Why not don your best daywear and indulge yourselves – after all, you deserve it this year.

6: The Light Festival

Even in the winter, our city holds the most amazing festivals – including The Light Festival. A festival of arts, culture and community awaits you at Christmas time, including a truly spellbinding light trail at the majestic Blenheim Palace.

[Photo Credit: The Oxford Magazine]

7: Punting on the River Cherwell

You don’t need to visit Venice to go punting, you can do it right here in Oxford on the River Cherwell. Hire a punt and take your loved one on the most romantic journey down the serene river in the summer or spring. Just remember to pre-book.

8: Tortoise Wars

This isn’t a joke. Each college has its own pet tortoise considered as its mascot, and once a year, the colleges meet up and race them. We know slow and steady wins the race – but this race is absolutely hare-raising!

9: History of Science Museum

Ever wondered how medical practices took place before modern medicine? You can find that out at the History of Science Museum. One of Oxford’s most popular museums, this one simply can’t be missed – even if its history is a little grim.

Photo Credit: John Cairns

[Photo Credit: John Cairns]

10: Blackwell’s Bookshop

A must-see in Oxford is the world’s largest bookshop! Blackwell’s Bookshop opened in 1846 and has a fascinating history – just another excuse for you to visit Oxford.

Photo Credit: Morris Oxford

[Photo Credit: Morris Oxford]

11. Academia rules!

Oxford is a city with learning at its very heart. The many prestigious college buildings dominate the landscape, each of them with their own unique personality. As a bonus, many of them are open to visitors to explore!

12: Christchurch

Explore one of the most beautiful colleges in Oxford. With guided tours of the Cathedral, University and architectural splendour, Christchurch is surely not one to be missed!

13: Find the door to Narnia

We can’t promise that you’ll end up in Narnia but the commemorative door here in Oxford still holds bragging rights if you take this one-of-a-kind photo opportunity.

14: The first-ever coffee house in England

Who doesn’t love coffee? Why not take a sip from the very place that England’s first cups were served? Opened in 1652, you can experience this for yourself at The Grand Cafe!

15: Opulence… even in the cocktails

Did you even go to Oxford if you didn’t have a boujie cocktail? Home to some of the country’s best cocktail houses, why not take a taste of the opulence in our city.

16: The Radcliffe Camera

Used as a reading room as part of Oxford University, you can visit this architectural wonder with a tour, or just to take in that wonderful smell of books – new and old. It can’t be missed from your itinerary – don’t forget to bring your camera.

17: Best breakfast hampers

We had to fit something about our boutique Oxford hotel! Filled with locally sourced breakfast favourites, delivered straight to your hotel room, we take the most important meal of the day seriously at Vanbrugh House.

18: Legendary MayDay Celebrations

In a tradition stretching back over 500 years, Mayday morning starts with the Christchurch choir singing at 6am, shortly followed by Morris dancing in Radcliffe square. Despite the early time of day, there’s still a vivacious party atmosphere!

Photo Credit: My Oxford Trave;

[Photo Credit: My Oxford Travel]

19: It’s extremely romantic

The romantically lit restaurants, architecture and scenery aren’t just for the aesthetics! Oxford is widely renowned as one of the most romantic cities in the world. What better place to whisk your loved one away to our Oxford hotel for a weekend of romance, with a backdrop almost as beautiful as your love for each other.

20: Films and TV shows are filmed here

From Harry Potter and Inspector Morse filmed in Christchurch to The Mummy, Transformers: The Last Knight and X-Men: First class in Radcliffe Square, Oxford is a popular filming location. How many places do you recognise from the big screen?

21: The Botanic Gardens

Last, and certainly not least, we have the majestic Oxford Botanic Garden. Open all year round, this botanic garden is not only the oldest in England, it’s also one of the oldest scientific gardens in the world! Walk hand-in-hand through this truly serene location among the scents and colourful delights the garden holds.


If you didn’t have enough reasons to visit Oxford, you sure do now! Seize your stay in the romantic City of Dreaming Spires. Our boutique bedrooms have been very lonely this year – and would love your company.

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