Vanbrugh House




Ah, the city of dreaming spires; it has the tangible history, the architecture, the scent from uptown restaurants and the chill of the gentle wind winding its way through the city. It’s enough to take anyone’s breath away. 

While winter in the UK is thought of as ghastly, there’s something unspokenly beautiful in our city. For this blog, we take you through seven of the best reasons to visit Oxford, and our boutique Oxford hotel, this winter.

Feel the History

At any time of the year, you can see Oxford’s history at any of our world-famous museums, but in winter, you can feel it. A Sunday evening stroll through the city’s winding paths and empty back streets provide a timeless serenity. Pause and listen as the bells sing melodically throughout the city centre, feel the gentle breeze pinch at your cheeks, and feel the eras of centuries passed right under your feet. You could easily feel like you’re in the middle ages – and it might sound simple – but there’s really nothing quite like it.

Experience Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival

In a truly unique fashion, experience the magic of Oxford’s Christmas Lights Festival. During this time, Oxford consciously celebrates our diverse communities being brought together. While this year may be a little different, there are lots of ways you can get involved. This year, attendees are encouraged to make something illuminated, and walk one of the many local light trails. This unique, spellbinding event is not one to be missed.

Photo Credit: The Oxford Magazine

Boost Your IQ, Without a Queue

Have you experienced Oxford in the summer? Most tourists do, but you’re not just like everyone else. A greatly overlooked advantage to experiencing your favourite city out of season, is the absence of the tourists clogging up the streets and queues to the attractions. The Ashmolean Museum, Bodleian Library, Christchurch Art Gallery and the colleges all have empty queues during winter, so you can visit the world-class attractions at your own pace, in your own time. 

Wake Up and Smell the Cherwell

Wake up after a blissful night’s sleep, take a coffee to go and wander alongside the river Cherwell. Let the crisp morning wake you up in the most wonderfully refreshing way. As a bonus, the fog along the river, which is frequent in winter, adds an extra layer of wonder in an incredibly Dickensian fashion. An especially crisp morning guarantees a glistening sight, juxtaposed with our yellow Cotswold stone architecture, glowing with Mediterranean warmth. What better way to start your day than working up an appetite for a marvellous breakfast at one of our many fabulous restaurants and cafes.

Sherry, Mon Cherie?

Oxford is known for its many historical and upscale restaurants, bars and bistros. What better way to celebrate winter than sipping the chill away with a sweet spiced sherry that envelopes you in warmth, from the inside out? If you’re lucky, you may stumble upon a sleepy bar with an open fire. You can’t get much cozier!

Shop ‘til you Drop

Lifestyles of the rich and famous can be found at better prices at Bicester Village! The ultimate shopping haven for luxury goods and designer brands can be found in the heart of the countryside in Oxfordshire. The well-known shopping destination, home to more than 160 boutiques, has a range of VIP guest services to be discovered. Bicester Village is a fantastic location to explore in winter, as the stores tend to have large queues in any other season! Bundle up in your Burberry coat, slip on a pair of Prada flats, and off you go!

Cold Fingers, Green Thumbs

The magical charm of England’s oldest botanical garden is even more glorious in the winter time. Bundle up with your favourite hot drink to go, and walk hand-in-hand through the walled garden. Many renowned fantasy writers frequented this botanic garden. Professors of Oxford University and writers, Lewis Carroll and J. R. R Tolkien, both frequented the Oxford Botanic Garden. Carroll visited with his acquaintance Alice Liddell, inspiring him to write Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Tolkein was often spotted puffing on his pipe, deep in thought beneath his favourite ornamental black pine, inspiring him to write about the majestic ent – a fantasy race of giant, humanoid trees in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. A place that inspired some of the world’s greatest offers cannot be missed from your itinerary, especially with the extra layer of magic the winter season provides. 

We hope you enjoyed our unique itinerary ideas for your next staycation. The city of dreaming spires is known for its vast array of tourist destinations, however, this winter is different than any other before it. We think you deserve some unique ideas to squeeze in between seeing your favourite Oxford sights.

Experience a winter full of wonder in Oxford this season, because winter isn’t just a season, it’s a celebration. We cannot wait to safely welcome you back to our Oxford boutique hotel.

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