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30 Oxford Facts You’ve never Heard About!

Oxford, England, is one of the nicest places you can visit! Itโ€™s best known for being home to the 2nd oldest university in the world โ€“ and the university is known for its reputation of being hard to get into. If youโ€™re visiting Oxford, then check out these 30 fascinating facts about Oxford!

*Some links on this page are affiliate links, meaning that if you buy from them โ€“ I get a commission at no extra cost to youย ๐Ÿ˜‰ Read the full affiliate disclosure here.

Why visit Oxford?

Oxford facts

Why visit Oxford, England? Because itโ€™s a very unique and charming little city that is vastly different to London! Itโ€™s perfectly located a short distance away from London, as well as other major cities in England, making it a great option for a day trip or a weekend break.

There are plenty of things to do in Oxford and must-see attractions in Oxford that you canโ€™t find elsewhere in the UK โ€“ and maybe this is a bit of a bold statement, but Oxford feels more authentic than London. So, if you want a truly English experience, head to Oxford!

Where are the best places in Oxford for Instagram photos?

Where are the best places in Oxford for Instagram photos? If youโ€™re looking for Oxford Instagram captions, then you probably want to know the best places in Oxford to take Instagram photos. Here are my top 5 places:

  1. The Bodleian โ€“ One of the most iconic buildings, this is a great Instagram spot!
  2. Victors Restaurant & Barย โ€“ This restaurant and bar is always very pretty and decorated with beautiful flowers.
  3. The Botanic Gardenย โ€“ These gardens offer beautiful backdrops with colourful flowers all around.
  4. The Bridge of Sighs โ€“ This bridge is another one of Oxfordโ€™s major landmarks, and as itโ€™s so unique, it looks great in photos.
  5. The Narnia Door โ€“ Yes, you can really see where C. S. Lewis got his inspiration for Narnia, as this fascinating door is stunningly designed.

Check out these 25+ best Oxford Instagram captions to add to your photos ๐Ÿ˜‰

What are the best places in Oxford to visit?

What are the best places in Oxford to visit? If you’re visiting Oxford, then these places are some of the best to visit and things to do:

  • Blenheim Palace – Blenheim Palace always has something interesting on. It’s a great place to visit for almost anyone, and there are plenty of interesting things to learn about.
  • Oxford River Cruise – Relax and take in the scenic sights that Oxford has to offer on this beautiful Oxford River Cruise. The Oxford River Cruise is a fantastic thing to do during the summer or spring, as this is when Oxford looks its best.
  • Oxford Christ Church – Oxford Christ Church is one of the must-visit attractions in Oxford. There is so much to learn about here, and it’s even a filming location for the infamous Harry Potter series!
  • Oxford Afternoon Tea Cruise – If you want to experience Oxford in true comfort and style, then this afternoon tea cruise is the perfect way to do so! You will be able to relax and unwind whilst taking in the stunning sights and eating tasty cakes.
  • Oxford Castle and Prison – Oxford Castle and Prison are over 1000 years old, so there are lots of great things to see and educate yourself on. It’s one of the oldest parts of the city and is a great way to spend a few hours.
  • Pitt Rivers Museum – The Pitt Rivers Museum is one of the most-visited museums in Oxford, as it has lots of interesting collections. Here you can learn about a wide range of things, such as its famous shrunken heads collection. What’s more is that entry is also free ๐Ÿ˜‰

30 Fascinating Facts about Oxford

Check out these fascinating Oxford facts that you may of never heard of before:

1. The name Oxford comes from the Saxon times. They would use the term ‘Oxenforda’, which means Ford of the Oxen. A ford is a shallow part of a river, and an Oxen/ Ox are a type of cow.

2. It is best known for its world-famous university – the University of Oxford. The university was established in 1096, making it the second oldest university in the world.

3. Morris Motors was established in Oxford in 1910 – if you’re a car lover, then it’s worth knowing.

4. One of the best-known sites in Oxford is the Carfax Tower, which is located in the centre of the city. It is 74 feet tall and has a great viewpoint. The Oxford City Council have stated that no building in Oxford should be built higher than it, so you can’t get a better view!

5. The main shopping centre is called Westgate Centre, which was opened in 1972, but was closed in 2016 in order to be redeveloped and opened again in 2017. There are around 125 shops in total.

6. Oxford has an extensive history of brewing – even the colleges at the University had private breweries!

7. The University of Oxford has the largest university library system in the UK. There are over 11 million volumes of books in total – and these take up a whopping 120 miles of shelves!

8. The Bodleian Library is known as a legal deposit library. This means that the library is entitled to receive a free copy of every book that is published in the United Kingdom – in fact, the Bodleian Libary grows its collection about 3 miles each year. This is one of the most impressive Oxford facts!

9. It is home to the world’s first university museum and the oldest museum in the UK – the Ashmolean Museum. This museum was established in 1678, and it’s a must-visit when in Oxford.

10. Some famous authors that have lived and resided in Oxford are: Oscar Wilde, J. R. R. Tolkien, Phillip Pullman and Lewis Carroll.

Oxford facts

11. Around 152,000 people currently live in the city, and it’s a fantastic place to live if you’re into history.

12. One of the most famous bookstore chains in the world, Blackwell’s Bookstore, actually originated in Oxford! The original bookstore is still running today – so why not give it a visit?

13. In World War 2, Hitler wanted Oxford to become his new capital. It’s believed that he wanted it to become his new capital because he liked the beauty and history that Oxford had to offer.

14. Due to Hitler wanting Oxford to be the new capital, this meant that, fortunately, Oxford wasn’t really bombed during World War 2. Actually, William the Conqueror did more damage to Oxford than Hitler.

15. Around 25,000 students are enrolled at Oxford University. They come from over 160 countries in total – making it a very diverse university in terms of culture.

Oxford facts

16. During World War 2, some of the University’s colleges were entirely operated by the military. This is because they needed places to eat, sleep and train.

17. If you’ve ever wanted to see a Dodo, then head to the Oxford Museum of Natural History. On display here, you will find the mummified remains of the infamous flightless bird – which is one Oxford fact kids will be sure to love.

18. The Grand Cafe is the oldest coffee house in England – they’re still operating today, so give them a visit if you want a unique experience.

19. Oxford even has its own castle – Oxford Castle! The castle is a medieval castle, which was built in 1073, and was ordered to be built by William the Conquerer.

20. You’ll love Oxford if you’re a Potterhead, as Oxford University was used as a filming location for Harry Potter. There are even Harry Potter themed tours you can take around Oxford – which is sure to be one of the best Oxford facts if you love all things Hogwarts!

Oxford facts

21. Punting is a very popular thing to do in Oxford. The activity dates back to the 1800s and was mainly used for fishing and transporting things. Today, they’re very popular for having fun and relaxing on- especially if you visit in the summertime.

22. Oxford is around 1100 years old, as it was first mentioned in 911 in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Therefore, it’s a great place to visit if you’re interested in all things history – as it’s rich with it!

23. Oxford lies on the River Thames – which many people know due to it being the main river that runs through London. In fact, the River Thames originates near Bristol!

24. Oxford University has so many gargoyles keeping guard over the buildings – how many can you spot?

25. The Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in the UK and is home to over 8000 species of plants. Therefore, you should definitely give it a visit if you’re into gardening and nature.

Oxford facts

26. Oxford did actually become the capital of England for a few years. This was during the mid-1600s due to the English Civil War.

27. After King Henry II banned English students from studying at the University of Paris, many of them relocated to Oxford University – therefore making it grow rapidly.

28. The University of Cambridge originated in 1209, due to disputes with some of the people living in Oxford and the students who studied there. The University of Cambridge is now the 3rd oldest university in the World.

29. Christ Church actually has its own time zone. The bells ring at 9:05 pm each evening as there is a 9 pm curfew. This is due to cities in the UK operating on their own time before they were all connected by railways.

30. Oxford has more authors that have been published per square mile than anywhere else in the entire world! So if you’re a book lover, head down there as soon as you can!


30 Oxford Facts You’ve NEVER Heard of Before – Conclusion

Hopefully, you’ve learned some Oxford facts that you’ve never known before! What were your favourite facts about Oxford that were mentioned? Are there any Oxford facts that haven’t been mentioned but you think deserve a mention? Feel free to contact me if you’d like to know any more additional information! If you liked this post, you might also like:

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