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9 Inexpensive & Exciting Things To Do In Oxford Over The Summer

With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultural scene, Oxford offers a plethora of activities and events to enjoy during the summer holidays. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s something for everyone. From museums and tasting culinary delights to historical sites and nature walks, here’s our round-up of the most exciting events and things to do in Oxford over the summer: 

Things to do in Oxford Over Summer

River and Rowing Museum

An early morning rower glides through the early morning fog and the tranquil waters of the River Thames at Henley-On-Thames in springtime.
Image Credit: Bobtokyoharris via iStock

Located in the charming town of Henley-on-Thames, the River and Rowing Museum offers a wide range of family-friendly activities. Enjoy creative play and fancy dress with your little ones in their Discover! space, explore the numerous exhibitions and interactive activities, and jump into the beloved story of Wind in the Willows at their epic 3D experience. It’s bound to have you sailing through your day. 

Cogges Manor Farm

Spread across 17 acres, Cogges Manor Farm offers a truly unique experience for animal lovers. With regular events held throughout the year, they are a must-visit this summer holidays. Experience rural life as you wander through the farmyard, interact with the friendly farm animals, and take part in some of the traditional farm activities like feeding the sheep. Cogges Manor Farm always promises to be a fun thing to do in Oxford over the summer. 

Millets Farm Centre

Truly homegrown, Millets Farm has been with the Carter family since 1952 and they are very committed to their farming heritage. This fantastic farm offers families a wide range of activities from pick-your-own fruit and veg to fun-filled outdoor adventures like the maize maze, it’s definitely worth a visit this summer holidays. Parents and adults will even love their onsite shop which sells local produce and artisan products.

Boat Trips & Punting on the River Cherwell

four people sat in a punting boat whilst being taken down the cherwell river in oxford.
Image Credit: Toa Heftiba via Unsplash

When the weather is nice nothing beats a trip along the river. Bring a picnic and hire a punt (the flat-bottomed boats you push along with a pole), or simply enjoy a ride from Oxford to Abingdon and back with Salter’s Steamers, one of the oldest established passenger boats. Why not make the day extra fun and cycle one way and then relax and enjoy a cruise home? Alternatively, hire a kayak and go your own pace along the charming River Cherwell.

Here are some companies you can book with:

Oxford Prison & Castle

Step inside Oxford Castle and Prison and do 1,000 years of time. Enjoy panoramic views of Oxford after you’ve climbed 101 steps up St. Georges Tower, descend into the underground crypt lit by candlelight, step inside 18th-century prison cells, and participate in one of the numerous events they have on throughout the year. You’ll discover and learn all about the stories of the castle’s former inhabitants.

Fun Trails at Waterperry Gardens

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and step into the enchanting Waterperry gardens and explore the extensive gardens and peaceful surroundings. The gardens are an intriguing, exciting, and inspiring experience for all visitors, no matter their age. For children, there are plenty of trails to follow as well as an exciting open-air theatre where you can see all sorts of productions throughout the summer.

Blenheim Palace

The lake in Blenheim Palace, blue sky with some clouds at sunset in Oxfordshire, England
Image Credit: BargotiPhotography via iStock

If you’re looking for things to do in Oxford over the summer, then a trip to Blenheim Palace should always be on your list. This magnificent palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a range of events throughout the year. From art installations and live concerts to flower shows and children’s adventure play, theirs plenty on offer here for a truly immersive cultural experience.

What’s On in Oxford Over Summer

Shakespeare Festival

Dates: 19th June to 12th August

Immerse yourself in the timeless works of William Shakespeare at the annual Shakespeare Festival. From June through to August enjoy open-air performances of some of his best plays in the outdoor theatre at Oxford Castle & Prison. This year’s plays include Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing, the romantic classic of Romeo & Juliet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Previous years have included captivating renditions of classics like Hamlet and King Lear.

Oxford Foodies Festival

Dates: 26th to 28th August

Indulge your taste buds with a three-day culinary extravaganza that features a wide array of food stalls, celebrity chef demonstrations, artisan producers, and interactive cooking classes. The Foodies Festival was launched in 2006 in Edinburgh and now has a total of 12 festivals around the country. 

Each festival celebrates the very best food from the region with local street food traders and local producers taking centre stage. They also have both MasterChef and MasterChef Professional winners and finalists on tour with them to offer some help, advice, and lessons. Discover a world of new flavours and sample some truly spectacular treats whilst enjoying live music by well-known artists. 

There’s so much to explore, do, and see throughout this annual event.

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