Running through Oxford are the rivers Cherwell, most famous for punting, and the Thames, (known locally as the River Isis) synonymous with rowing and the scene of the Eights Week, the most important Oxford University regatta. Popular among anglers, the rivers offer an idyllic setting for walks and or exploring the river.
Besides the free museums, theatres and colleges, Oxford has an impressive range of pubs and restaurants and a variety of festivals that are held throughout the year and cater for all ages.
Specialist food shops, boutiques and a weekly farmers’ market, ensure there is plenty of choice when it comes to shopping.
Great spa facilities, golf clubs, cycling routes and walking trails add to the abundance of countless ways to enjoy Oxford and the surrounding villages.
The neighbouring countryside is England at its best, from the Chilterns and the Downs to the south, to the Cotswolds to the West.
The Thameside villages between Oxford and Henley provide historic and charming villages, with excellent commuting routes from Didcot to London Paddington, or by road along the M40.
The rolling hills of the Downs surround the market towns of Wantage and Faringdon with easy access to the M4, and then to the North, open farmland dotted by period hamlets leads up to the Cotswolds.
The Cotswolds in recent years has gained some notoriety surrounding the “Chipping Norton set”, however in truth the area is still a strong farming community with pretty villages served by a rail line from Kingham to London Paddington.
First settled in Saxon times with the foundation of an oxen crossing, it was formerly established in the 9th century by Alfred the Great.
Whilst there is no clear date of the foundation of Oxford University, teaching existed in some form in 1096 and grew rapidly after Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris in 1167.
The 13th century saw the establishment of halls of residence following rioting between students and townspeople. These were eventually succeeded by the Oxford colleges from 1249.
In 1642, during the English Civil War, Charles I was expelled from London and set up court in Oxford. It later housed Charles II between 1665 and 1666 during the Great Plague.
The Oxford Canal was opened in 1790 connecting the city to Coventry and in 1796 a link to the Thames was created at Isis Lock. The creation of the Oxford Canal led to it becoming one of the most important and profitable transport links in Britain with the principal traffic being coal from Warwickshire.
By 1844 the Great Western Railway had linked Oxford to London, with other routes opening soon after.
Oxford experienced rapid growth during the early 20th century, with industries such as printing becoming firmly established and the mass production of cars built at the Morris Motor Company in Cowley.
The city was the location for a major historical event in 1954 when on the 6th May, Roger Bannister ran the mile for the first time in under four minutes.
Property available in Oxford
Whether you are looking for a smart townhouse, a striking modern apartment in Oxford, a village house, farmhouse, magnificent rectory, or a country estate set in the glorious Oxfordshire landscape, Knight Frank can find the property that's right for you.
Oxford, as the County town, is blessed with a number of high profile schools including The Dragon, Magdalen College, Oxford High School, St Edwards, Greycoats, St Phillip and St James Primary School, Wychwood School for Girls and Cherwell School. There are also a good number of highly regarded schools surrounding the City including The Abingdon School, The Manor, St Helen’s & St Katherine’s, and Cothill at Abingdon, Radley College, Wycombe Abbey, The European School, Chandlings and Cokethorpe.