Best things to do in Oxfordshire – TOP 23 must-visit places!

Oxfordshire county is one of the most beautiful regions in the UK. Many market towns, amazing countryside and top chocolate box villages are amongst the best things to do in Oxfordshire!

The county of Oxfordshire is one of the most beautiful in the country. It’s proximity to London has made it a favourite area for many who work in the city, but want a more rural lifestyle. As a result, there is a dizzying mix of huge homes and small quaint cottages.

The area is dotted with many attractive British villages and of course at the heart of it all is the city of Oxford itself.

Anyone looking for some of the best places to visit near London has to have Oxfordshire at the top of the list. From the best walks near London to amazing countryside there is a bit of everything for everyone.

Oxfordshire is also in the top weekend break destinations in England, so if you are after nice areas to relax, head out to Oxfordshire!

Where is Oxfordshire, England?

Oxfordshire is in the south-east of England. It sits just to the north-west of the City of London. Its neighbouring counties are Warwickshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

While the county is landlocked, the River Thames winds its way through the county before heading into the city.

Main cities and towns in Oxfordshire

How far is it from London to Oxford?

Oxford is about 55 miles from the centre of London. The journey takes around 1.5 hours by car on the A40. The most efficient way to travel between the two places is by train, which only takes an hour or so.

What is Oxfordshire famous for?

Oxfordshire is a county with a lot of history, so there is plenty to choose from. However, the city of Oxford and the university are probably at the top of the list. Another place of interest is Blenheim Palace, which was the birthplace of Winston Churchill. Stonor Park is one of the oldest manor houses in the whole of England and arguably one of the most beautiful. 

Finally, when you’re talking about Oxfordshire, it would be remiss not to mention the Uffington White Horse. You can find this mysterious horse carved into the chalk of the Chiltern Hills. It’s an unusual carving that historians believe to be of a Celtic God. It’s thought to be over 2000 years old.

What is Oxfordshire famous for
Days out Oxfordshire

Explore the best things to do in Oxfordshire and top ideas for visiting tourist attraction in Oxfordshire:

Top places to visit in Oxfordshire

1. Oxford

Days out in Oxfordshire? Oxford revolves around the university. The 38 colleges are dotted around the city. They draw crowds who come to tour the hallowed halls. Founded in the 12th century, the university has amassed many honours and history in its time.

Nicknamed the City of Dreaming Spires, Oxford is the bustling heart of the county and offers a great mix of nightlife and shopping to keep any urbanites happy.

If you visit the city, you should make sure to take a ride in a punt, visit the library used in the Harry Potter films, and take a tour around the Botanical Gardens. 

Best things to do in Oxfordshire - Oxford
Tourist attraction in Oxfordshire – Oxford

2. Henley-on-Thames

Best things to do in Oxfordshire for adults and kids? Henley is best known for the Royal Regatta that they hold every summer. It attracts some of the best rowers in the world, so it’s no surprise to see boats on the river in almost any weather.

The River and Rowing Museum is well worth checking out. Visitors consistently vote it one of the best museums in England. As well as an interactive experience and the opportunity to learn about rowing, there is also a Wind in The Willows exhibit, which is perfect for kids.

You can also see work by famous architects scattered around the area as well as enjoy scrumptious food in many of the delightful cafes. Yes, Henley on Thames really is one of the best towns to visit in Oxfordshire!

Things to do in Oxfordshire - Henley-on-Thames
Oxfordshire things to do – Henley-on-Thames

3. Watlington

Looking for best towns in Oxfordshire? Watlington is a small market town nestled into the Chiltern Hills. It’s a wonderful place to visit to get a feel for country village life. As you wander through the centre of the town, you’ll find yourself outside the 17th-century town hall. This lovely building was funded by Thomas Stonor, of Stonor Park Manor, and used to double as a boys school.

While you’re in the village, you should make time to view the other notable landmark. The village church has an illusory steeple. Rather than building one, a local gentleman instead had the shape carved into the cliffs behind the church so that from the right angles, it would look much more impressive.

Places to go Oxfordshire - Watlington
Places to go Oxfordshire – Watlington

4. Dorchester on Thames

What to do in Oxfordshire? Just nine miles outside of Oxford you will find the picturesque village of Dorchester on Thames. While this small little village is only home to around 1000 people, it draws in plenty of tourists. In the heart of the town, you’ll find out why. The Abbey of St Peter and St Paul is a magnificent church with its own museum. 

After you’ve taken a turn around the abbey and the countryside, don’t forget to stop in at one of the coaching inns. These ancient buildings are magnificent, and many are now home to pubs and restaurants where you can get a hearty meal and a refreshing drink.

Dorchester on Thames is one of the best villages to visit near London and a real gem in Oxfordshire!

Things to do in Oxfordshire - Dorchester on Thames
Best villages in Oxfordshire – Dorchester on Thames

5. Little Milton

Looking for unique things to do in Oxfordshire? With a good number of stunning stone-walled cottages, Little Milton is one of Oxfordshire’s most attractive villages.

You should probably also know that some scenes from the British TV series Midsomer Murders have been also filmed in this village.

Do you need more reasons? Located in the Chiltern Hills, Little Milton really is one of the top places of interest in Oxfordshire.

Days out Oxfordshire adults - Little Milton
Days out Oxfordshire adults – Little Milton

6. Blenheim Palace

Nice places to visit in Oxfordshire? You really can’t come to Oxfordshire and not pay a visit to Blenheim Palace. This monumental country house is recognised as a World Heritage Site. The palace was where Winston Churchill was born and more than that it is simply an amazing example of English manor houses. The house and the grounds are stunning, and you can easily spend a day wandering around marvelling at it all.

The grounds also play host to a wide range of events so it’s worth checking if there might be something extra exciting on the cards when you’re visiting.

Fancy a trip to Blenheim Palace? BOOK your trip here! 🙂

Best things to do in Oxfordshire - Blenheim Palace
Places to go in Oxfordshire – Blenheim Palace

7. Witney

Best places to visit Oxfordshire? Oxfordshire is dotted with market towns. But, Witney is the biggest of them all. The town has been famous in the area since the middle ages when it became ‘the place’ to get woollen blankets.

The entrepreneurial spirit still remains in the area. So, if you’re looking for a fun shopping experience in a historic town, then this is, without doubt, the place to visit.

Best things to do in Oxfordshire - Witney
Best things to do Oxfordshire – Witney

8. Goring on Thames

Top places to visit in Oxfordshire county? If you’re looking to experience the best that Oxfordshire has to offer then Goring is the place to go. The River Thames stretch that passes through the town is agreed to be the most beautiful in the county.

Known as the Goring Gap this stretch of river and the surrounding wilderness is filled with wildlife and gorgeous views. It’s the perfect spot to start and finish a walk in the Oxfordshire countryside.

If you’re lucky enough to visit in July, you can enjoy the Goring Gap regatta. Over 600 rowers compete in the event that feels more like a festival than a boat race.

Places to visit in Oxfordshire - Goring on Thames
Oxfordshire villages – Goring on Thames

9. Faringdon

Where to go in Oxfordshire? Faringdon is located on the edge of the Cotswolds, making it the perfect starting point for an exploration of the area. The town is in the Vale of White Horse so is also ideal for going to see the famous Uffington White Horse Hill.

Even if you don’t have the time to explore the area on foot, you should still fit in a climb up Folly Hill. Faringdon is the site of the last great folly built in England. From the top, you can get the most amazing views over the Cotswolds, and really get to grips with the beauty of the area.

10. Warborough

What to do Oxfordshire? From all the famous places to see in Oxfordshire, we have many Midsomer Villages on our list. And Warborough is not an exception!

If you would like to know where DCI Barnaby used to sup a pint, then head out to the Six Bells pub. It has featured in many Midsomer Murders episodes and also it’s one of the best pubs to visit near London! This really is one of the top places in Oxfordshire to visit!

Oxfordshire points of interest - Warborough
Oxfordshire points of interest – Warborough

11. Abingdon

Best places to visit in Oxfordshire? Abingdon is a tourist destination in the best sense. The village takes pride in being one of the oldest settlements in the country, as they can trace their roots back to a pre-neolithic settlement. This means there is a wealth of history in this little town.

The locals take joy in bringing it to life with regular markets and street performances. This is a lively and joyful place to visit and learn a little about the area’s history.

Things to do in Oxfordshire - Abingdon
Oxfordshire places to visit – Abingdon

12. Long Wittenham

What to see in Oxfordshire? If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, then Long Wittenham is the place to visit. This little village sits on the outside meander of the River Thames and is dearly loved by those who live there.

A recent push to clean up the river in the area means that there is plenty of wildlife to see. If you’re feeling brave, you can even go for a swim in the water.

13. Moreton in Marsh

Top places to visit in Oxfordshire England? Just over the county boundary in Gloucestershire, you can find this gorgeous little market town. This quiet flower-filled town has long sat at the corner of many counties. The four shire stone sits just to the east of the village and marked where four counties used to meet. However, with the changes to the boundary lines, there are only three counties that meet at the spot now.

Much of the village is made from the local Cotswold stone so has a really unique appearance. It’s well worth wandering around and taking in the special architecture and history of the place.

Best places to visit in Oxfordshire - Moreton in Marsh
Beautiful places Oxfordshire – Moreton in Marsh

14. Cuddington

What to do in Oxfordshire? Cuddington is a small and quiet little place, very close to the Oxfordshire border, but in Buckinghamshire. If you have ever wondered what living in the countryside is really like then this is the place to visit.

You’ll find yourself surrounded by stunning views and the peace and quiet of the countryside. While this is a small village, it’s the perfect spot to start a walk, especially if you come in spring and summer. The locals are proud of their home town and often win Britain in Bloom competition.

Best things to do in Oxfordshire - Cuddington
Oxfordshire tourist attractions – Cuddington

15. Chipping Norton

Best things to do in Oxfordshire? Chipping Norton, known as Chippy by the locals, is a great example of a down-to-earth place. The high street is filled with proper shops, not just tourist shops selling trinkets. It’s a vibrant village that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Chipping Norton has the distinction of being the highest town in Oxfordshire. So the views, when the weather is good, are phenomenal. 

If you’re interested in visiting churches, the church in Chipping Norton should undoubtedly be on your list. It’s one of those churches that looks good from the outside and then even better from the inside. 

16. Wallingford

Things on in Oxfordshire this weekend? If you’re a fan of murder mysteries, then this is a place you shouldn’t miss. Wallingford sits right in the heart of Midsomer Murders country, with the village and surrounding areas used in numerous scenes from the show. It’s also the spot where Agatha Christie wrote six of her novels. 

While you’re in town, you should stop into the Wallingford Museum. It’s a delightfully interactive museum experience that takes you through the history of the town. The castle gardens are a great place to relax and explore.

For train enthusiasts, you should make time to visit the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway. It runs a steam-powered service and offers a chance to see some beautifully restored wagons.

Places to visit in Oxfordshire - Wallingford
Oxfordshire attractions – Wallingford

17. Burford

Nice places to visit in Oxfordshire? Burford is considered the southern gateway to the Cotswolds. The dramatic high street is quite famous for its sweeping hill, which is lined with ancient shops, pubs and houses.

Descending the high street will bring you to the medieval bridge over the River Windrush and the impressive town church. If you enjoy looking for hidden treasure then Burford is the perfect spot to visit; it’s bursting with antique shops.

Places to visit in Oxfordshire - Burford
What to do in Oxfordshire this weekend – Burford

18. Cuxham

Where to visit in Oxfordshire? With so many things to do around Oxfordshire, you really are spoiled for choices.

Anyone looking to visit some of the best villages near London needs to go to Cuxham. It’s a small compact village with beautiful colour-washed timber-framed cottages and a little stream. Cuxham is just about a mile north-west of Watlington so you can easily visit it on your day out.

Oxfordshire what to do - Cuxham
Oxfordshire what to do – Cuxham

19. Ascott under Wychwood

Whats on Oxfordshire? The ancient forest of Wychwood gave its name to three villages, the others being Shipton under Wychwood, and Milton under Wychwood. The village itself is small and quaint, but there is a lot of history for such a small place.

The actions of 16 women from here ultimately led to the right to protest in England being enshrined in law. This is something you can learn about in the village square. 

There is a pub, a village green and a lot of places to go walking. For anyone who loves the traditionalism of drystone walls, a wander through this village will be a joy.

20. Long Crendon

Where to go in Oxfordshire? This gorgeous village is a real treasure of a place. It is just over the border from Oxfordshire in Buckinghamshire. Wandering through the high street, you’ll see thatched roofs, Tudor style woodwork, and ancient buildings. The centrepiece of the village is the medieval courthouse.

The 400-year-old, timber-framed building is a real piece of history. It’s managed by the National Trust so you can visit it and explore the exhibits inside; Just take care on the steep stairs, they were designed a few centuries ago!

Places to visit in Oxfordshire - Long Crendon
Things to do Oxfordshire – Long Crendon

21. Minster Lovell

Best things to see in Oxfordshire? Minster Lovell is home to the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall. The hall was built in the 15th century and now stands in ruins. The remaining structure and the picturesque rural setting make it a lovely place to explore. The green grass and the flowing river make this an ideal spot for a picnic.

If the weather’s not on your side, then you can use it as an excuse to try the pubs in town which serve some great British food.

22. Thame

Best places to explore in Oxfordshire? Thame is a thriving market town at the foot of the Chiltern Hills. As a traditional market town, it has the classic combination of ancient buildings, rich heritage, and enthusiastic locals.

While the roots of the town may be ancient, the markets are still thriving. If you’re an avid bargain hunter, then you should check when the markets are on and spend a good day exploring and haggling at the bustling market stalls.

Best things to do in Oxfordshire - Thame
Attractions in Oxfordshire – Thame

23. Bicester Village

Where to go in Oxfordshire for sopping? Bicester Village is known for its shopping experiences. Visitors come to the village to find discounts on items from international designers, that they would otherwise have to pay much higher prices for.

The items aren’t cheap, but they’re still cheaper than they would be outside of the village’s luxurious shopping boutiques.

Best places to visit in Oxfordshire - Bicester Village
Fun things to do in Oxfordshire – Bicester Village

Is Oxfordshire a good place to live?

For anyone who appreciates natural beauty, Oxfordshire is a gem of a place to live. Wherever you are located within the county, you can easily reach the three separate areas of outstanding beauty that the county houses. If you want a rural locale, then you have plenty to pick from. For those who like a bustling city atmosphere, then the place to go to is Oxford.

Oxfordshire is a beautiful and vibrant place to live. The only downside is that it’s such a wonderful area that it’s in high demand. So, property prices are high, and you won’t get as much home for your money as you might in other parts of the country.

Oxfordshire England FAQ:

What are the top attractions to visit in Oxfordshire?

The top sights & attractions to visit in Oxfordshire are: Wallingford, Abingdon and Oxford.

Things to do in Oxfordshire for free

Visit top villages in Oxfordshire or go hiking and exploring some of the best British countrysides Oxfordshire has to offer!

Things to do in Oxfordshire this weekend

Head out to Chipping Norton or admire tudor style houses around Oxfordshire!

What can I do today in Oxfordshire?

Whether you visit Oxfordshire today or tomorrow you have to see Dorchester on Thames or Goring on Thames.

Is it worth visiting Oxfordshire?

Oxfordshire has a lot to offer. In fact, this is one of our favourite counties in the south of England. There are plenty of historical sites to visit and beautiful towns and villages packed with history.

Even if all you do is take a walk in the countryside near London, it will be well worth it because the area is truly gorgeous and you won’t regret taking the time to visit.

Is it worth visiting Oxfordshire
This is Oxfordshire! 🙂

Articles you may like: