Oxford is a convenient city to tour at your leisure. Some of the salient places to visit include:
- Hertford Bridge New College Lane
Hertford Bridge is often called the Bridge of Sighs because of the similarity to the famous bridge in Venice. Actually, it looks more like the Rialto Bridge, and this Oxford structure was never intended to be a replica of any existing bridge. It was completed in 1914 to connect two sections of Hertford College. The bridge, and much of its current architecture, was designed by Sir Thomas Jackson. It was completed in 1914, despite its construction being opposed by New College.
- Bodleian Library
The Bodleian Library is a working library which forms part of the University of Oxford. It was opened in 1602 by Thomas Bodley with a collection of 2,000 books. In 1610, Bodley made an agreement with the Stationers’ Company in London to put a copy of every book registered with them in the library (nowadays, each book copyrighted must be deposited). Today, there are 9 million items on 176 kilometres of shelving, and the library can accommodate 2,500 readers. Books may not be taken off the premises. The Divinity School and exhibition room are open to the public. With the exception of the Shop and the Exhibition Room, admission to the interior of the buildings is charged for.
- The Sheldonian Theatre
It was built in 1668 from a design created by Christopher Wren. It was named after Gilbert Sheldon, who was Chancellor of the University at the time the construction was funded. The theatre is used for music recitals, lectures (such as the annual Romanes Lecture), conferences, and for various ceremonies held by the University (such as graduation and matriculation). The building seats 800–1,000 people and is situated in the grounds of part of the Bodleian Library adjacent to Broad Street. To the left at the front is the Clarendon Building and to the right is the Old Ashmolean Building. Behind the Sheldonian is the Divinity School.
- Divinity School, Oxford
The building is physically attached to the Bodleian Library and is also next to the Sheldonian Theatre where students gain their degrees. The Divinity School is a medieval building and room in the Perpendicular style in Oxford, England, part of the University of Oxford. Built 1427–83, it is the oldest surviving purpose-built building for university use, specifically for lectures and discussions on theology. It is no longer used for this purpose, although Oxford does offer degrees in divinity taught by its Faculty of Theology. The ceiling consists of very elaborate lierne vaulting with bosses, designed by William Orchard in the 1480s.
- Radcliffe Camera Radcliffe Square
Built in 1749 to house the Radcliffe Science Library, the Radcliffe Camera (camera is another word for ‘room’) is now a reading room for the Bodleian Library. The distinctive circular dome and drum of the structure makes it one of the most recognizable and often-photographed building in Oxford. This building is not open to the public except as part of a tour of the Bodleian Library.
- University Church of St. Mary the Virgin
The University Church of St Mary the Virgin is the largest of Oxford’s parish churches and the centre from which the University of Oxford grew. It is situated on the north side of the High Street, and is surrounded by university and college buildings. The tower commands some of the finest views of Oxford’s famous skyline. It is worth the climb of 124 steps to make it to the top to enjoy fine uninterrupted views in all directions across Oxford and the surrounding countryside.
- Turl Street
The street is located in the city centre, linking Broad Street at the north and High Street at the south. It is colloquially known as The Turl and runs past three of Oxford’s historic colleges: Exeter, Jesus and Lincoln. It meets the High Street by the early 18th century All Saints church, now the library of Lincoln College. To the west are Ship Street and Market Street, north and south of Jesus College respectively, both leading to the busy Cornmarket, a pedestrianised shopping street. To the east is Brasenose Lane, between Exeter College and Lincoln College, leading to the historic Radcliffe Square.
- Blackwell’s Bookstore
Blackwell’s is an institution in Oxford. It’s not just a regular bookstore – it has the largest single room devoted to book sales in all of Europe (the 10,000 sq. ft. Norrington Room). In order to create such a large space in a small city, Blackwell’s excavated underneath Trinity College’s gardens. Blackwell’s sells both new and second-hand books, and has a cafe.
- The Oxford Martyrs Stone
The three martyrs were the Anglican bishops Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley and Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury. They were tried for heresy in 1555 and subsequently burnt at the stake in Oxford, England, for their religious beliefs and teachings. The martyrs were burnt at the stake just outside the city walls to the south, where Broad Street is now located. A small area cobbled with stones forming a cross in the centre of the road outside the front of Balliol College marks the site.
- The Covered Market
It was officially opened on 1 November 1774 and is still active today. Located in Oxford, England, the Covered Market was started in response to a general wish to clear ‘untidy, messy and unsavoury stalls’ from the main streets of central Oxford. Today the covered market is still home to numerous traders, around half of which are food retailers, including traditional market shops selling fresh food, gift shops, bakeries and sandwich shops.
- Christ Church
This is one of the largest colleges in the University of Oxford and the Cathedral Church for the Diocese of Oxford. It has a world famous Cathedral Choir; scholarly collections of books and art; and is enjoyed by many people as visitors or guests at conferences and Summer schools. Christ Church has a fascinating history and many distinguished people have studied here including John Locke, Robert Hooke, John Wesley, Robert Peel, William Gladstone, W.H. Auden, David Dimbleby, Rowan Williams, Richard Curtis and Howard Goodall.
- Twenty-six British Prime Ministers have been educated at Oxford University. Of these, thirteen were educated at Christ Church.