Book a hotel in Oxford with Best Western for a peaceful UK city break with charm and sophistication, consider booking a hotel in Oxford. Best Western offers a wonderful establishment in the city proper, as well as several nearby in Oxfordshire. Known throughout the world as one of the oldest centres of academia in existence, there is nowhere quite like charming Oxford.
The original settlement was initially established during Saxon times. It was a hotbed of trouble during the Norman invasion, forcing William I to construct Oxford Castle, which still remains (mostly intact) to this day. Forming part of the Castle is St George's Tower, which is open to guided tours where you can learn the secrets held within; a thousand years of executions, violence, escapes and betrayals. Today, ancient buildings still decorate the streets, earning Oxford the name: 'the city of dreaming spires,' coined by poet Matthew Arnold. The most famous of these buildings are, of course, those that belong to the University. The University of Oxford is the oldest in the English-speaking world (and second-oldest surviving in the world as a whole) and has housed many of the greatest minds the world has ever seen. From your Oxford hotel, why not visit the colleges of Lawrence of Arabia, Thomas Hardy, William Gladstone, Oscar Wilde or Richard Dawkins and experience the settings that nurtured their greatness. As you might expect in such a prestigious academic environment, there are plenty of museums and libraries. Ashmolean Museum, founded in 1683, is the oldest museum in the UK and the oldest university museum in the world. The city also contains over 100 libraries, thirty of which belong to the Bodleian, which also happens to be the second largest in the country after the British Library. Town and gown meets on central Cornmarket Street and High Street, where the ornate network of side streets and alleys hide medieval university buildings. Make sure you visit the glorious suburbs from your Oxford hotel, where Grand Victorian residences and wide boulevard-style roadways define and shape Summertown, the Inspector Morse's creator, Colin Dexter, penned his whodunit mysteries.
Shopping in Oxford
There's plenty to choose from in this diverse and metropolitan city. For high-street brands, you'll find more than enough choice at the Westgate and Clarendon Centres and for discounts, the John Allen Centre offers a wide selection. The city centre is littered with specialist shops, selling everything from ornamental broaches to handmade shoes. Perhaps due to the large, student presence most of the year round, Oxford also has many affordable outlets, whether you prefer H&M, BHS or Primark.
Eating and drinking in Oxford
Keen foodies should not think twice about booking a hotel in Oxford. There are a huge variety of places to eat in Oxford, a truly cosmopolitan place. Chose from an array of traditional, British pubs offering heart-warming menus of classic, comfort food and a number of interesting bars, breweries and bistros that litter the streets. For simple cuisine with a view, head to Carluccio's for a stone-baked pizza on the site of the old castle which, together with the Malmaison brasserie, forms the modern hospitality complex, Oxford Castle Unlocked. If you want to try something a little different, check out Camera, a new and vibrant fusion bar and restaurant, serving mind-blowing cocktails alongside a mixture of Asian-influenced mezze-style dishes. If you're feeling a little nostalgic and would like an area with a student feel, Cowley Road is the place to head to from your Oxford hotel. Here you can try delicious tapas at Moroccan-style Kazbah or ghee-laden balti at Aziz or Moonlight. Watch punters and rowers drift past from Head of the River, or quaff Potbelly Aisling and Betty Stogs ales with academics at Oxford institutions The Lamb and Flag and the Turf.
Culture and nightlife in Oxford
For a really exciting and atmospheric day out, try and book your Best Western Oxford hotel stay during the historic University Boat Race (which usually takes place in late March or early April), a passionate and competitive event for students of the two oldest rival universities in the world. As you might expect, with such an impressive list of residents and alumni, the city has a wide range of cultural delights. From sidesplitting comedy and improvisational shows at Abba or the New Theatre Oxford, to a host of break-through bands and popular contemporary music at the Carling Academy. The city centre is brightly lit and buzzing at night; restaurants are packed and vibrant, with several often hosting live jazz nights. Being such a multicultural city, there is a huge variety of things to do and a spectrum of music to appease everyone's tastes. For a delightful getaway at any time of year, book a hotel in Oxford with Best Western. The city has something for everyone and really makes for a memorable UK city break.
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