Unusual things to do in Oxford

Oxford is a beautiful city, rich in history and bursting with brilliant attractions! However, if you have already seen the Radcliffe camera and been to the Covered Market, then read on to find out about some of the more unusual places to visit in Oxford!

The Story Museum

42 Pembroke St, Oxford OX1 1BP

Credit: Wikipedia

The Story Museum is a unique museum in the heart of Oxford that celebrates the power of stories that educate and entertain. If you choose to visit this fantastical museum, you will have the opportunity to have tea with the Mad Hatter and even climb through the wardrobe into a fantasy land! Adults and children alike can enjoy the gallery and activity spaces, which allow you to let your imagination run wild!

The Headington Shark

2 New High St, Headington, Oxford OX3 7AQ

Credit: The New Yorker

Have you ever seen such an unusual sculpture? Located in the centre of Headington, you can find this magnificent model, built in 1986. Four months after the Chernobyl incident and not long after American bombs hit Libya, Oxford resident Bill Heine erected a 26-foot shark sculpture on his roof. Heine and sculptor John Buckley mounted the shark head-first onto the roof with cranes in the middle of the night. According to Heine, the shark was assembled to speak out against nuclear weapons, Chernobyl, and other issues. Why not visit this unusual attraction for yourself!

The Eagle and Child

49 St Giles’, Oxford OX1 3LU

Credit: Trip Advisor

 If you fancy a bite to eat, then you must visit The Eagle and Child pub! This isn’t just any ordinary pub though, because the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and other “Inklings” gathered here to discuss their now-famous fantasy stories. The Inklings were a community of professors, thinkers, and authors who lived in and around the university town. C.S Lewis’s older brother, Warren, who was also a writer and an Inkling, wrote, “Properly speaking, it was neither a club nor a literary society, though it partook of the nature of both. There were no rules, officers, agendas, or formal elections.” This pub has an elegantly simple menu, so next time you visit Oxford, be sure to pop in!

Michael’s Tower at the North Gate

Cornmarket St, Oxford OX1 3EY

Credit: Wikipedia

The oldest extant building in Oxford is St Michael’s Tower, which dates back to Saxon times. It is definitely worth a visit for its historical significance, as well as a spectacular view of Oxford! This tower has 97 steps to the top, but don’t worry: they’re broad and not too steep. There are also some fun sights to see on the way up, so you can take a break if necessary!

The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments

University of Oxford, St Aldates, Oxford OX1 1DB

Credit: Art Fund

The Bate Collection, housed in the Faculty of Music at Oxford University, is Britain’s most comprehensive collection of woodwind, percussion, and brass instruments. Western orchestral music styles from the Renaissance to the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and modern times are presented in the selection of over 2000 instruments. Over 1000 instruments by the most important English, French, and German makers are on show for visitors! There is always something fascinating on display here; whether you make music or enjoy listening to it, you must visit when you next come to Oxford!

The Painted Room

3 Cornmarket St, Oxford, OX1 3EX

Credit: Britain Express

Climb the stairs, and you’ll be transported to a mystical experience in the 14th-century timber-framed Crown Tavern, complete with oak-panelled walls, an ancient brickwork fireplace, and breath-taking Elizabethan wall paintings. As if that weren’t enough, it’s also where William Shakespeare resided during his visits to Stratford-upon-Avon! Since 2013, the Oxford Preservation Trust has been working to restore the paintings and make sure they’re open to the public as often as possible. It’s important to note that this attraction is easy to miss because it is located above the Vodaphone shop, so look out for it the next time you stop by Oxford!

There are plenty of unusual things to do in Oxford! So why not see how many you can tick off! Leave a comment down below if there are any other unique places you have visited in Oxford!

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