Oxford and the Isis

Oxford is known as the 'city of the dreaming spires' - a term first coined by poet Matthew Arnold in reference to the gentle spires and harmonious architecture of the city's university buildings. You can easily spend days exploring this historic city with its alluring, vibrant and cosmopolitan buzz.

The best way to explore Oxford is on foot so start the day at the Visitor Information Centre on Broad Street to book your place on an official guided walking tour of the city.

Do some shopping at the Covered Market or if you’re feeling energetic climb one of the five towers to view the famous ‘dreaming spires’.

Take a boat trip along the river or hire a punt (don’t fall in!) or walk along the Thames Path National Trail. Did you know that between Oxford and Iffley the River Thames is known as the Isis, thought to come from Tamesis, the Latin name for the Thames.

It’s an 8 mile walk along the Thames Path to reach Abingdon-on-Thames an historic and vibrant market town. Explore the ancient streets, enjoy gourmet delights at a local market, dance with Morris dancers or sit by the river with a picnic. If you’re lucky you might catch the 400-year old iconic tradition of Bun-Throwing – unique to Abingdon! To return to Oxford catch a boat (summer only) or take one of the frequent buses.

More suggested itineraries on the Trail »

Share/Print:

© Visit England