5 things you didn't know about Oxford

5 things you didn't know about Oxford

Published 14 March 2019

Oxford but not as you know it...

You’ve seen it all before, the world famous university, beautiful architecture and wonderful history, but that’s not all there is to this city.

Recently we travelled to the historic destination to find out more and to see what fascinating things we could experience along the way. From board game cafe's to beautiful gardens check out below the 5 things you didn’t know about Oxford!

Covered Market

1. Check out the boutique Covered Market

The Westgate Shopping Centre is well known in and around Oxford for a spot of retail therapy and the rest, however, we stumbled upon an even better answer to your shopping needs - The Covered Market. Located just off the high street, the building dates back all the way to the 17th century and is packed full with brilliant local traders.

Featuring independent florists, coffee shops, grocery stalls, sports goods and even a pretty incredible cookie shop, the covered market has something for everybody. (Ben’s Cookies, thank us later.)

As an Oxford staple this a must see for any visitor and is full of character from the local shop owner’s whose passion for the city is matched by their quality of products.

Thirsty Meeples

2. Roll the dice at a Board Game Café

We all love a good café. A quick coffee whilst reading the paper or maybe a tasty pastry, but one Oxford café adds a fun and quirky twist to proceedings. Thirsty Meeples is one of the UK’s first board game cafés with over 2,500 games in its library.

The café is all about sharing the love of board games and even doubles up as a bar in the evening, not closing until midnight! If you fancy playing a board game but aren’t sure which to go for, Thirsty Meeples’ knowledgeable Game Gurus can help you get started and explain all the rules so there’s no awkward instruction reading.

A trip to Oxford wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this hidden gem and you can find it just on the edge of the city’s outdoor markets.

Botanic Garden

3. A spot of tranquillity in the city

Amongst the many stunning buildings of Oxfords City Centre lies the beautiful botanic garden. At almost 400 years old the garden stretches back to the canal side and is home to over 300 types of plant and over 5,000 taxa.

The gardens add a much-needed place of peace to Oxford and you can often find some its many students making the most of its calmness to study among the plants. There are also lots of classes and events taking place in the gardens that you can get involved in. Spring Fare’s, teddy bear picnics and even sustainable staking classes are only a handful of what’s on offer.

You will have to make a small donation to enter the garden but it is more than worth it.

Oxford Tours

4. Oxford is home to some magical tours

You probably know about all the university and historic tours around Oxford but there is one specific tour you might not know. Some might say it is enchantingly good. Yes, that’s right, Oxford is home to an intriguing, guided Harry Potter Tour!

Due to the fascinating buildings across the city, Oxford was picked as a location for a lot of the filming for the Harry Potter Movies. Now you can go on an entertaining walking tour of all the places featured in the films. Make your way around Christ Church College, Bodleian Library and more and see if you can recognise any of the scenery.

The tours last around 90 minutes to 2 hours and are very reasonably priced. So why not try one out for a spellbinding day.

The Jam Factory

5. The art of food in Oxford

You will be able to find many exquisite eateries in and around Oxford but one stood out for us on our recent trip and that was the famous Jam Factory. Known for delicious contemporary food the restaurant/bar is also popular in the art community. Doubling up as a creative hub the Jam Factory regularly hosts exhibitions for local artists such as paintings, sculptures and even jewellery.

The reason for the name is that it’s housed in the original Frank Cooper’s Marmalade factory which has now been renovated into one of the best restaurants in the city.

We highly recommend the 28 days aged Angus Beef, and for our vegetarian followers, the chickpea and sweet potato curry is delicious!


We hope you found out something new about Oxford and if you want to know more about this great city click the link to our destination page below.


Published: 14th March 2019

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