Oxford in May
Want to soak up a bit of culture and get a change of scenery without having to endure airports, changing money and all the other hassle? Oxford is definitely one of the UK's finest cities, with plenty of museums and cafés, and lots to see and do for all ages.
In a nutshell
- Will suit: all ages
- Time difference: none, of course - though it's fun to know that Oxford time is 5 minutes after Greenwich
- Average temperature in May: 11°C
- Tourist information: VisitOxfordandOxfordshire.com, or Oxford Visitor Centre, 15/16 Broad Street, OX1 3AS
How to get there
- Direct buses 24/7 from London, X90 and Oxford Tube. Excellent train service from London Paddington.
- Journey time by car from London is about an hour and a half, subject to traffic.
Where to stay
- Plenty of options, ranging from the five-star Macdonald Randolph Hotel to the YHA next to the railway station.
- For a self-catering break, Cottages4you has a choice of cottages around Oxford. (And Mumsnetters receive discounts booking direct via this link.)
What to do
- If you're there without kids, or with older teens, you should take an Official Guided Walking Tour (daily morning and afternoon) so as to get the most out of the city. Tours take two hours and cover 1-2 miles.
- Travelling with the kids, then check out some of Oxford's free museums, one of the best is Pitt Rivers Museum which has dedicated trail for the under 5s to enjoy, and plenty of free family activities available.
- Potter round the Covered Market (kids love to see the fish stall with live lobsters).
- Visit Oxford Castle Unlocked and have a go in a straitjacket.
- For older children (13+) there are frequent free talks aimed at the general public by cutting-edge scientists. Check the What's On pages of the Visit Oxfordshire website.
- Take a walk through Christchurch meadows and feed the ducks.
- And don't forget a ride on the open-top city tour bus.
- Look out for free family events at Oxford's museums.
- There are also children's Cushion Concerts, and performances at the Playhouse, New Theatre and Burton Taylor Studio for children during their schedules.
- The Randolph Hotel is a good spot for afternoon tea (and you can pretend you're in an episode of Morse or Lewis).