10 of the Most Stunning Historic Towns and Picturesque Villages in Oxfordshire

Quaint and idyllic English villages are part of England’s charm. And many towns and villages across the country never fail to delight visitors with their beautiful architecture, laidback atmosphere, and breathtaking scenery. A visit to Oxfordshire is a great opportunity to explore the county’s many historic towns and picturesque villages. Here are some of the most stunning ones to add to your must-see list.

Bampton
Bampton
Top attractions: Ancient market town, one of the oldest towns in England, beautiful 17th and 18th century houses, the church of St. Mary the Virgin, the Old Grammar School in Church Street, film location for the Downton Abbey

Brize Norton
Brize Norton
Top attractions: A village that dates back to the middle ages, lovely Cotswold stone cottages, the Norman church of St Britius, and the RAF Brize Norton air force base

Buckland
Buckland
Top attractions: Picturesque village dating back to the 10th century, Cotswold stone houses and thatched cottages, St. Mary’s Church that dates back to the 12 century, the Buckland Manor, and the village pub

Burford
Burford
Top attractions: Old stone houses and pubs, the medieval bridge, the 16th century Tolsey building, the Parish Church of St John the Baptist, antique and tea shops, quaint and interesting side streets that make for pleasant walks

Minster Lovell
Minster Lovell
Top attractions: Tranquil, picturesque, and idyllic village; beautiful cottages, a stone bridge that leads to the village cricket ground, the Minster Lovell Hall and Dovecote, and the 14th century St Kenelm’s Church

Oxford
Oxford
Top attractions: University town with several colleges boasting of stunning architecture, the Ashmolean Museum, Blackwell’s Bookshop, the Bodleian Library, Botanic Garden, the Bridge of Sighs at Hertford College, Carfax Tower, Christ Church College, the Examination Schools, Holywell Music Room, Museum of Natural History, Oxford Castle, Pitt Rivers Museum, Radcliffe Square, the Sheldonian Theatre, the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, and more

Swinbrook
Swinbrook
Top attractions: Quiet and beautiful Cotswold village, quaint and timeless country lanes, the 17th century Fettiplace Monuments in the parish church of St Mary, and the Swan Inn

Wantage
Wantage
Top attractions: Top attractions: Beautiful market town, birthplace of Alfred the Great, numerous shops and dining options, a parish church that dates back to the 13th century, the Market Square, the Vale and Downland Museum, music and arts festival, and several other points of interest

Witney
Witney
Top attractions: One of the market towns in Oxfordshire Cotswolds, the almshouses, Blanket Hall, Blue Coat School, Butter Cross, the 13th-century church of St. Mary, Henry Box School, the market square, Mount House, the parish of Cogges, the 17th century Town Hall, the Woolgate and the Marriotts Walk shopping centre, events like the Witney Carnival and Witney Feast

7 of the Best Attractions to Visit in Oxford

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Oxford is a university town that boasts of numerous attractions. It is home to one of the top-rated universities in the world with numerous colleges that are must-see destinations in their own right. The town’s spectacular sights, scenic views, and unique atmosphere are just among its biggest draws. With so many attractions to choose from, choosing a few to explore is a daunting task. But here are some that you would not want to miss when in town.

1. Bodleian Library
Duke Humfrey's Library
Why go: The Bodleian is the heart of network of buildings that make up the entire library that houses an impressive collection of works many of which lie underground. The number of books that can be seen aboveground is only a portion of the facility’s complete collection. The Bodleian is beautiful, awe-inspiring, and worth the time to explore. Guided tours allow visitors to see some of the interesting areas within its walls.

2. Bridge of Sighs
Bridge of Sighs
Why go: Hertford College located near the Bodleian Library features one of Oxford’s top attractions, the Bridge of Sighs. Its elaborate and stunning design makes it one of the most impressive sights in the area.

3. Christ Church
Christ Church College
Why go: Christ Church is one of the top-rated attractions among the many must-see Oxford colleges. Among its many points of interest include its beautiful architecture, impressive interior, spectacular dining hall that was featured as the Hogwarts Great Hall in the Harry Potter movies, the Tom Tower and its large bell, stunning wooden ceiling, and the Picture Gallery.

4 & 5. Oxford University Museum of Natural History and Pitt Rivers Museum
Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Why go: The Museum of Natural History houses an impressive collection of geological and zoological specimens, fossils, and more. Housed inside a building with a striking Gothic-style architecture, the museum features a wide array of attraction that includes the Dodo and the dinosaurs. The museum complex also houses anthropological relics in the adjacent Pitt Rivers Museum which is also worth a visit.

6. Radcliffe Camera
Radcliffe Camera
Why go: The Radcliffe Camera is one of the town’s most stunning and eye-catching buildings. The Palladian-inspired architecture is topped with a dome that is one of the circular building’s beautiful features. It houses an academic library that is only accessible to students and other authorized personnel.

7. Sheldonian Theatre
Sheldonian Theatre
Why go: The building that houses the Sheldonian Theatre was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The theatre serves as a venue for concerts and other special events. It is also where the Matriculation Ceremony in the beginning of the academic year is held.