Oxford is a city dominated both physically and culturally by one thing: its university. Over 15% of the town’s population of 120,000 are students

But there’s more to the city than that. It has also been used as the location in several famous films, including the Harry Potter films and A Fish Called Wanda so strolling through it, you can’t help but feel you’ve been there before. Worth visiting to admire the university buildings, the medieval streets and the punters on the River Cherwell – oh, and to try and spot film locations.

 

Getting there by Train

Trains depart from London Paddington to Oxford every fifteen minutes. Journey time is one hour.

view map of Oxford

Oxford University

Established in the thirteenth century as a group of monastic colleges, Oxford University is the oldest English speaking university in the world. It is also the only remaining British university to educate child prodigies.

All but two British Prime Ministers have studied there and other famous students include Rupert Murdoch and Bill Clinton.

Most of the 41 colleges and halls (where people live, work and study) are open to the public at certain times. It’s also worth simply wandering around the grounds and viewing the buildings – and of course, the famous “Bridge of Sighs”.

The Bodleian Library

The main research library for the university and only second in size to the Vatican’s library, the Bodleian holds over three million books and many of the oldest manuscripts in existence.

The library was founded in 1480 and its exhibition room is open to the public.

click to view map and street view

Harry Potter Film Locations

The Harry Potter films, Chamber of Secrets and Philosopher’s Stone, were both filmed around Oxford. You can pay to go on a guided tour of the film locations or simply discover a few of them yourself.

Some of the locations include the Bodleian Library, which was used in the Chamber of Secrets, and the Great Hall of Christ Church College, used as the dining room in both films.