The city of Oxford revolves around its prestigious university, established in the 12th century. The architecture of its 38 colleges in the medieval centre led poet Matthew Arnold to nickname it the 'City of Dreaming Spires'. The River Thames flow along the western and southern edge of the city and is easily accessible - beyond the river is predominately countryside and the River Hotel is well located in the middle, walk one way to the city, walk the other way to explore nature.
Dining and Bars
Blenheim Palace offers a wonderful day out for all the family, situated in the delightful town of Woodstock, 8 miles from Oxford and 20 minute drive. Bus S3 travels from Oxford Rail Station and takes around 30 minutes.
Blenheim palace was built between 1705 and 1722. The Park and Gardens at Blenheim provide a majestic formal setting for the Palace. You will be inspired by the majesty of the Palace, delighted by the interior filled with treasures and intrigued by the apartments devoted to Sir Winston Churchill. There are gardens in a variety of styles; lakes to row on, an adventure play area for children and even a narrow-gauge railway to take you from car park to the Palace. Blenheim Palace was built for the National Hero John 1st Duke of Marlborough and his Duchess Sarah, given by Queen Anne as a gift in reward for his military services.
Nearby Bladon is famous as the final resting place of Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Britain during the Second World War.
Selected Saturdays through the year
Blenheim Palace Flower Show
23rd - 25th June
The ever-popular Blenheim Palace Flower Show will return for its fifth year in June 2017.
This wonderful three-day show celebrates the very best of gardening in the UK and is packed with inspiration and colour. The Grand Floral Pavilion will be full of the UK’s finest nurseries and growers giving you expert advice and ideas for your garden.
Battle Proms Picnic Concert
Every summer, thousands of concert-goers pack up a picnic, stock up on fizz and join the party for the Battle Proms Concert. This year it's the 20th anniversary of the celebration! Expect an exceptional evening of classical music, carefully choreographed Spitfire, cavalry and aerial freefall displays, dramatic cannon fire and a stunning firework finale.
Oxford University is made up of 38 colleges spread across the city, most located in the small compact easily navigable city centre. There are many different buildings, including academic departments, colleges and halls, located around the centre of Oxford. Many University buildings, such as gardens, libraries and museums, as well as many of the colleges, are open to visitors during the day.
Nuffield College is the closest main college building to the River Hotel which is conveniently located just across from Oxford Castle; five minutes walk from the hotel.
The River Hotel and indeed most of West Oxford is built on Christ Church owned land, making Christ Church one of the wealthiest of the main colleges. Christ Church is also famous for educating some of Britain's Prime Ministers, author Lewis Carroll and more recently the film location of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. You can reach Christ Church via a leisurely walk along the towpath of the canalised River Thames to Folly Bridge.
An exhibition and series of events revealing how the latest neuroscience is transforming what we know about the lifelong development of our brains, from birth to the end of life. A partnership with Oxford Neuroscience.
Event date: 10 Mar 2017 to 1 Jan 2018
Event time: 10:00 - 17:00
Venue: Museum of Natural History, Parks Road
Event cost: Free
Further information: http://www.braindiaries.org
Games in Wonderland
Celebrate Alice’s Day in Oxford with Alice in Wonderland-themed games, and create your own flamingo croquet game.
Event date: 1 Jul 2017
Event time: 12:00 - 15:00
Venue: Museum of Natural History
Event type: Family-friendly
Event cost: Free
Further information: http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/visiting/whatson.htm
Undergraduate Open day dates in 2017
The next University-wide open days for undergraduates will be held on Wednesday 28 June, Thursday 29 June and Friday 15 September 2017. Students, parents and teachers are invited to spend a whole day in Oxford
Visit the university website for information on visiting the colleges, information on opening times and admission charges and links to their individual websites
At Hinksey Heights - The Oxford Golf Course - you will find an 18 hole championship course with the most remarkable views of Oxford's 'dreaming spires'. Set just on the edge of the city there is also the 939 yard nine hole Par 3 Spires Golf Course as well as a foot-golf course.
The River Hotel is on the west of Oxford and only a ten minute from the Hinksey Village and North Hinksey Golf Club, accessed from the A34.
Founded in 1683 the Ashmolean is the world’s oldest public museum with incredibly rich and diverse collections ranging from Egyptian mummies to Pre-Raphaelite paintings to contemporary art.
The Ashmolean is open from Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday from 10am–5pm.
The rooftop restaurant entrance is on St Giles with some marvellous views during the day.
It is a 15 minute walk from the River Hotel to the Ashmolean Museum, along Hythe Bridge st and Beaumont street.
Collecting the Past: Scholars’ Taste in Chinese Art
Date: 21 Mar 2017 to 22 Oct 2017
Featuring a range of Chinese paintings created by scholar-artists since the 18th century. These art works represent the tradition of collecting the past, aesthetic taste and the values of the Chinese literati who governed China for more than ten centuries. Explore the objects with which the scholars surrounded themselves in their studies, such as brush pots, ink stones, water droppers and scholar’s rocks.
The Sheldonian Theatre, an exquisite Grade I listed building situated in Oxford’s city centre, is the official ceremonial hall of the University of Oxford. Some of the ceremonial activities that take place in the Theatre include matriculation, graduation ceremonies, Encaenia and Congregation. The Theatre is open to the public to visit when not in use.
This unique historic Oxford venue, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, can also be hired for concerts, meetings, lectures, talks and other events.
The Sheldonian Theatre is in the centre of Oxford and a 15 minute walk from the River Hotel.
Oxford Symphony Orchestra with Tamsin Waley-Cohen
Saturday 24 June 7.30pm. Sheldonian Theatre
Oxford Symphony Orchestra are pleased to be welcoming Tamsin Waley-Cohen, one of the UK's most exciting rising stars and noted for her 'radiant and soaring' playing, to the Sheldonian Theatre where she will be performing Tchaikovsy's thrilling Violin Concerto.
Oxford Literary Festival – Chris Patton – First confession
Thursday 6 July 7.00pm. Sheldonian Theatre
One of the leading Conservative politicians of the 1980s and 1990s and holder of several of the great offices of state at home and abroad Lord Chris Patten looks back at his time as a minister, MP and public servant, in this special event organised by FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival to mark the publication of his memoir, First Confession.
Founded in 1860 as the centre for scientific study at the University of Oxford, the Museum of Natural History now holds the University’s internationally significant collections of geological and zoological specimens. Housed in a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture, the Museum’s growing collections underpin a broad programme of natural environment research, teaching and public engagement.
Delightful Dung Beetles
‘Presenting…’ is a small and changing display of treasures from the Museum’s collection. The next display will be about dung beetles. Dung beetles have been revered since Ancient Egyptian times and are now recognised as an ecologically and economically important group of insects.
From 22nd May - 17th July
The Pitt Rivers Museum displays archaeological and ethnographic objects from all parts of the world and all time periods. It is truly a global museum. The museum is also a teaching and research institution and the curators are also university lecturers in either cultural anthropology or prehistoric archaeology. The museum was founded in 1884 when General Pitt Rivers, an influential figure in the development of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology, gave his collection to the University of Oxford.
The museum is located next to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, University Parks is nearby. Situated in north Oxford, it is a 20 minute walk from the River Hotel through the centre of town.
Camel: A Journey through Fragile Landscapes – Photographs by Roger Chapman
Date: 15 May - 29 October 2017
This exhibition presents sixty-five monochrome prints by Roger Chapman from his major international photography project. Camel: A Journey through Fragile Landscapes is a story of connection, survival and interdependence on the edges of our world. From the dry heat of the Sahara to the bitter cold of the Mongolian steppe, camels are at the heart of pastoral communities in some of the harshest desert environments on the planet.
Offering an escape from the hustle and bustle of the City, but conveniently located right at its heart, is a green oasis offered by University Parks. Aiming to be available for the enjoyment of members of the University, local residents, and visitors to Oxford the park is open to the public almost every day of the year until dusk (the only exception being Christmas Eve) and boasts a choice of walks, a large collection of trees and plants and space for informal games and picnics. For those that enjoy sport there is the opportunity, depending on the season, to catch a game of cricket, lacrosse, tennis, football or rugby.
The New Theatre offers a unique facility within the historic city of Oxford. The New Theatre opened in February 1934 with a revolving stage and increased capacity of 2000 (1,710 seated). Following a refurbishment in 2003 the theatre reverted back to the name New Theatre.
We're Going On A Bear Hunt, New Theatre Oxford
Show details: 23 June 2017 - 25 June 2017
Running Time: 55 minutes
Pricing: From £15.15 + £4
Direct from a smash-hit West End and international tour. Michael Rosen’s award-winning book We’re Going On A Bear Hunt is brought vividly and noisily to the stage in director Sally Cookson’s fun-filled adaptation set to Benji Bower’s versatile lively score. Join our intrepid adventurers on their quest to find a bear; as they wade through the gigantic swishy swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the thick oozy, squelchy mud!
It is less than 10 minutes walk from the River Hotel to the New Theatre on George Street, where there are plenty of pre theatre bars and dining options. There is a taxi rank at the bus station.
Hire the beautiful Oxford Town Hall in the heart of Oxford for weddings, conferences, meetings, concerts, festivals, social events and exhibition
Oxfordshire Science Festival
Date: 17th June 2017 - 18th June 2017
Location: Oxford Town Hall
Time: 12:00 - 17:00
The Oxfordshire Science Festival aims to inspire intelligent conversations at talks and debates, science cabaret and family performances.
The 2017 Festival programme will also contain a busy weekend of exciting hands-on activities, performances and workshops in Oxford city centre, including:
Research Fair, Oxford Town Hall: 12pm – 5pm, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June
Street Science, Broad Street: 11am – 4pm, Saturday 17 June.
The Holywell Music Room is the oldest concert hall in Europe, built in 1742, and is famed for its excellent acoustic. Handel is among the many famous composers and musicians to have appeared here.
Upcoming Music Events
All Music Research Colloquia begin at 5.15pm in the Denis Arnold Hall at the Faculty of Music. The Colloquia feature leading figures as well as younger scholars presenting their research in papers on all kinds of music-related topics. The speakers come from Oxford and many different universities around the world. This series is organised by graduate students, Stefanie Arend and William Drummond. Presentations are followed by discussion and a drinks reception. Students, staff, and the general public are warmly encouraged to attend.
Start: Tuesday 13 June 2017 - 5:15 pm
End: Tuesday 13 June 2017 - 6:30 pm
Free admission – Open to the public
Venue: Denis Arnold Hall, Faculty of Music of Qawwali, the devotional music of the Muslim Sufis.
Didcot Railway Centre is pleased to announce the visit of the famous locomotive, 60103 ‘Flying Scotsman’.
Considered by many to be the most famous locomotive in the world, it will be at Didcot Railway Centre during the three days of the August bank holiday (26/27/28 August).
Didcot Railway centre is at Didcot Parkway, just 12 minutes by train from Oxford station, making it an ideal day trip when visiting Oxford. The River Hotel is just a few minutes walk from Oxford train station.