Save and Explore: 12 Places to Visit in Oxford for Free!

Save and Explore: 12 Places to Visit in Oxford for Free!

It is often said that words can't describe the beauty of Oxford. The City of Dreaming Spires, this ancient university town has been home to royalty and scholars since time immemorial. Nowadays it's a bustling cosmopolitan city with plenty for tourists or locals alike; whether its visiting historic buildings like Sommerville College where former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher studied before becoming PM herself or strolling through the one mile long luscious green space (the Thames-side walk along Christ Church Meadow), Oxford will not disappoint you!

In this blog post we:

  • List the best places to visit for no charge at all
  • Show all places on an interactive map to help you locate each place easily.

Oxford has many options for things to do and see. There are museums like The Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum or if you fancy some time spent in the sun, the University Parks and Shotover Country Park are worth checking out.

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    Other Blog Posts From Oxford

    We write lots of blog posts from each individual area and have a few more from the city of Oxford and the county of Oxfordshire. Have a look at our other blog posts by clicking the buttons below:

    Museums and Galleries

    Are the museums in Oxford free?

    This is quite a common question due to Oxford being one of the most expensive places in the United Kingdom to live but the answer is 'Yes!'. There are many free to enter museums found in the city. Some of these include the Ashmolean Museum, the Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum. See below for further information on these wonderful tourist attractions.

    things to do in oxford for free

    Oxford University Museum of Natural History

    Oxford University Museum of Natural History

    The Oxford University Museum of Natural History is a stunning example in neo-Gothic architecture that houses an internationally significant collection of natural history specimens and archives. Visitors can come to the museum for research, teaching or event initiatives focused on the sciences, including research and events for students at all levels as well as visiting professor talks that are free to attend!

    Pitt Rivers Museum

    The Pitt Rivers Museum has over 500,000 objects and photographs from all around the world. It's an incredible mix of historical significance with some really cool art pieces mixed in there too! The collections are a treasure trove of intrigue and wonder, ranging from items created in the past to those that will shape future generations.

    Ashmolean Museum

    The Ashmolean is an internationally renowned museum that houses some of the most famous and collectable pieces in recent history, from Egyptian mummies to contemporary art. The collection ranges across cultures - telling human stories spanning millennia past as well as future! Check their website for any upcoming events before you visit.

    History of Science Museum

    The History of Science Museum houses an impressive collection of historic scientific instruments. Located in the world’s oldest surviving purpose-built public museum building, it's is a must see for anyone interested in science! The museum is a treasure trove of tales of scientists from around the globe and their modern-day discoveries, the instruments they used and their writings on their subject; this place will delight any child or adult with its many treasures!

    The Bate Collection

    The Bate Collection is a treasure trove for any student of music. The museum has the most comprehensive collection of European woodwind, brass and percussion instruments in Britain. The eclectic library offers over 2000 unique pieces from various periods that span four centuries with the collection increasing every year.

    History and Culture

    cheap things to do in oxford

    All Souls College

    All Souls College

    With a history stretching back to the 15th Century, All Souls College is a perfect place to take in beautiful architecture in serene surroundings. Founded by Henry VI and Henry Chichele (Archbishop of Canterbury) in 1438, nowadays the college serves as an academic research institution at the University of Oxford. The public are welcome to visit the College Front and Great Quadrangles as individual visitors or in small groups (up to six) for free during specified times. Check their website for further details.

    Walks and Nature Trails

    What are the best places for nature and parks in Oxford?

    There are a number of great places for nature and parks in Oxford. One of the best is Port Meadow, which is a large open space on the banks of the River Thames. It's perfect for a relaxing walk or a picnic with friends. Another great option is Christ Church Meadow, which is a beautiful green space in the heart of the city. If you're looking for something a bit more adventurous, then the University Parks are perfect for a game of football or frisbee. Whatever your preference, there's definitely a park in Oxford that's right for you! See below for further information on each place.

    places to visit in oxford for free

    Christ Church Meadow

    Christ Church Meadow

    Christ Church meadow is a rare open space at the heart of the city, open to public all year round. Located on the south-east side of the city center it's perfect for a wander at any time! The circular route around this expanse covers around 1.2 miles and has mostly flat terrain making it easy for a stroll or cycle. It's enclosed by rivers Cherwell to its south east side as well as river Thames which flows westwards heading towards central London before turning north towards Lincolnshire! The area is prone to flooding so make sure you check the latest weather forecasts before heading there.

    Port Meadow

    To the north of the city, Port Meadow is a haven for wildlife. With the River Thames flowing through it, this meadow offers an opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat including many species of cattle, horses and wildfowl. Since the meadow is an SSSI (Site Of Special Scientific Interest), you know there is plenty more than just grass to see with many types of wildflowers and even a burial ground in its centre.

    University Parks

    University Parks is a green oasis, offering the perfect getaway from bustling city life. Conveniently located at its heart with something for everyone - whether you're looking to enjoy sports or just need some quiet time away from it all! This beautiful space was originally owned by Merton college and purchased by Oxford University in 1864. The parks offer a choice of walks, plenty of space for games and picnics and a large collection of plants and trees to add to the scenic surroundings.

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    Iffley Lock

    Take a stroll along the River Thames and explore Iffley along this circular walk. The starting point is at St Mary's Church in the village, just south-west of Oxford city center. The church was built in 1160 and financed by the de Clintons family of Kenilworth Castle. The walk takes you along the River Thames and through Iffley meadows which is a local nature reserve. Click the website link for more details on the walk.

    Cutteslowe and Sunnymede Park

    Cutteslowe and Sunnymead Park is the largest park in Oxford, located to north of city. This vast leafy area provides gorgeous sprawling woodlands for visitors who want a break from bustling life as well as nature areas perfect for picnicking or simply taking it easy on those hot days in the summer. The park has been awarded Green Flag status and has areas for children to play and activities throughout the year.

    Shotover Country Park

    The 117 hectare Shotover Country Park covers the southern slopes of Shotover Hill in with spectacular views for miles around south Oxfordshire. The park has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and houses many features that make it both entertaining as well intriguing; such as hidden valleys with varied landscapes or diverse habitats full of wildlife.


    Use the map below to locate all the best things to do in Oxford mentioned above to create your itinerary for your trip. We've also highlighted places to eat at a reasonable price!

    Open Google Maps to see distance information between locations and directions on how to get to each place.

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