The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of the most famous and prestigious higher education institutions of the world, averaging five applications to every available place, and attracting 40% of its academic staff and 15% of undergraduates from overseas. It is currently ranked as fifth-best university in the world, according to QS World Rankings, behind its main UK rival, Cambridge, in first place.
Oxford is also served by Oxford Parkway railway station which is situated in a rural area just outside the city boundary. It was opened in October 2015.
Oxford Saints is Oxford's senior American Football team. One of the longest running American football clubs in the UK, the Saints were founded in 1983 and have competed for over 30 years against other British teams across the country.
A permanent military presence was established in the city with the completion of Cowley Barracks in 1876.
In 2003 DIY grassroots non-corporate media has begun to spread. Independent and community newspapers include the Jericho Echo and Oxford Prospect.
Arriva runs the 280 Sapphire service to Aylesbury via Wheatley, Thame and Haddenham seven days a week, at a frequency of up to every 20 minutes. The new Sapphire buses have three-pin power sockets, leather seats and free, onboard Wi-Fi.
London Welsh RFC moved to the Kassam Stadium in 2012 to fulfil their Premiership entry criteria regarding stadium capacity. At the end of the 2015 season, following relegation, the club left Oxford.
Night view of High Street with Christmas lights - one of Oxford's main streets
Oxford has five park and ride car parks with frequent bus links to the city centre:
Greyhound racing took place at the Oxford Stadium from 1939 until 2012 and hosted some of the sports leading events such as the Pall Mall Stakes, The Cesarewitch and Trafalgar Cup. The stadium remains intact but unused after closing in 2012.
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All Souls' College looking east up the High Street from St Mary's Church
The Oxford Martyrs were tried for heresy in 1555 and subsequently burnt at the stake, on what is now Broad Street, for their religious beliefs and teachings. The three martyrs were the bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley, and the archbishop Thomas Cranmer. The Martyrs' Memorial stands nearby, round the corner to the North on St. Giles.
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Oxford was historically an important port on the River Thames, with this section of the river being called the Isis; the Oxford-Burcot Commission in the 17th century attempted to improve navigation to Oxford. Iffley Lock and Osney Lock lie within the bounds of the city. In the 18th century the Oxford Canal was built to connect Oxford with the Midlands.
Oxford Harlequins RFC is the city's main Rugby Union team and currently plays in the South West Division.
Save on 24 hours parking at Oxpens car park in the centre of Oxford, Monday to Friday.
In November 2014 almost all Oxford Bus Company buses within the Oxford SmartZone area have free WiFi installed.
There are several hockey clubs based in Oxford. The Oxford Hockey Club (formed after a merger of City of Oxford HC and Rover Oxford HC in 2011) plays most of its home games on the pitch at Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus and also uses the pitches at Headington Girls' School and Iffley Road. Oxford Hawks has two astroturf pitches at Banbury Road North, by Cutteslowe Park to the north of the city.
During your visit, the friendly, international team at the Oxford Visitor Information Centre on Broad Street will be happy to answer all your questions. The Visitor Information Centre sells maps, guide books, discounted attraction tickets, souvenirs (also available in our e-shop) and offers affordable luggage storage while you explore the city.
Broad Street, showing the main entrances to Trinity and Balliol Colleges, and obliquely, the frontage of Exeter College from the Sheldonian Theatre.
Oxford railway station is half a mile (about 1 km) west of the city centre. The station is served by numerous routes, including CrossCountry services to as far away as Manchester and Edinburgh, Great Western Railway (who operate the station) services to London Paddington and other destinations such as Worcester, Banbury and occasional Chiltern Railways services to Birmingham.
Since 1949, The Oxford Classical Dictionary has served students and scholars as the unrivalled single-source reference for a rich study of the Greco-Roman world. Yet as the field of Classics has evolved, the need for trusted, online resources adaptive to changes in scholarship has evolved as well. More about Exploration >
Local government in Oxford was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, and the boundaries of the borough were extended to include a small area east of the River Cherwell. The boundaries were further extended in 1889 to add the areas of Grandpont and New Hinksey, south of the Thames, which were transferred from Berkshire to Oxfordshire. At the same time Summertown and the western part of Cowley were also added to the borough. In 1890 Oxford became a county borough.
There is a bus station at Gloucester Green, used mainly by the London and airport buses, National Express coaches and other long-distance buses including the route X5 to Milton Keynes and Cambridge.
Popular local papers include The Oxford Times (compact; weekly), its sister papers the Oxford Mail (tabloid; daily) and the Oxford Star (tabloid; free and delivered), and Oxford Journal (tabloid; weekly free pick-up). Oxford is also home to several advertising agencies.
The Museum of the History of Science is housed on Broad St in the world's oldest-surviving purpose-built museum building. It contains 15,000 artefacts, from antiquity to the 20th century, representing almost all aspects of the history of science.
Adjoining the Museum of Natural History is the Pitt Rivers Museum, founded in 1884, which displays the University's archaeological and anthropological collections, currently holding over 500,000 items. It recently built a new research annexe; its staff have been involved with the teaching of anthropology at Oxford since its foundation, when as part of his donation General Augustus Pitt Rivers stipulated that the University establish a lectureship in anthropology.
Oxford, the “City of Dreaming Spires” boasts 1,500 listed buildings from every major period of British architectural history from the 11th century onwards. The centre looks like an enchanted fairy-tale city - no wonder Oxford is a firm favourite of film makers from all over the world, and has inspired countless famous writers over the centuries.
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A mosaic of grotesques and gargoyles in Oxford, England
Oxford's second university, Oxford Brookes University, formerly the Oxford School of Art, then Oxford Polytechnic, based at Headington Hill, was given its charter in 1991 and for the last ten years has been voted the best new university in the UK. It was named to honour the school's founding principal, John Henry Brookes.
Oxford, The City of Dreaming Spires, is famous the world over for its University and place in history. For over 800 years, it has been a home to royalty and scholars, and since the 9th century an established town, although people are known to have lived in the area for thousands of years.
Bus services in Oxford and its suburbs are run by the Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach Oxfordshire as well as other operators including Thames Travel, Arriva and several smaller operators.
Keble College, one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford
Oxford R.F.C is the oldest city team and currently plays in the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Championship. Their most famous player was arguably Michael James Parsons known as Jim Parsons who was capped by England.
Oxford is flat and compact, with many of its major attractions, such as the University of Oxford and its 38 colleges; Bodleian Library, the museums, and Oxford Castle right in the centre – perfect to explore on foot.
Oxford University Press, a department of the University of Oxford, is based in the city, although it no longer operates its own paper mill and printing house. The city is also home to the UK operations of Wiley-Blackwell, Elsevier and several smaller publishing houses.
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Oxford City Stars is the local Ice Hockey Team which plays at Oxford Ice Rink. There is a senior/adults’ team and a junior/children’s team.