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Where to go and what to do on a spa break in Oxford

Famous for its prestigious university, Oxford is a heady mix of culture, heritage, architecture and bijoux shops, cafes and restaurants. Watch the world go by and settle into the splendour with our top things to do and spa hotels to stay in, in Oxford.

Things to do in Oxford

There are so many things to do in Oxford, it's hard to choose favourites - it's also a good reason to visit more than once. Here are a few favourite destinations to inspire your travel plans.

Tour the University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is very much a central feature of the city, with teaching believed to have first begun here as early as 1096 and making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Famous alumni range from former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to actors Emilia Fox and Hugh Grant. Go on a tour of its hallowed halls and candle-lit chapels to see behind-the-scenes of the colleges, quads and libraries.

Visit the Ashmolean Museum

The Ashmolean Museum is Britain’s oldest public museum; a neo-classical gem filled with artworks by Michelangelo, Raphael, Pissarro and Turner. Finish your cultural tour with coffee and cake at the rooftop bar and restaurant, complete with a bird’s eye view of the city.

Explore Blenheim Palace

Just a short distance into the Oxfordshire countryside, it's worth making the trip to the home of the twelfth Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace. The magnificent baroque property and surrounding gardens, was the birthplace of Winston Churchill and also hosts regular festivals and events. Tour the opulent State Rooms, see where Charlie Chaplin and Sylvester Stallone once stayed, walk in the parklands and get lost in the maze.

Take a river cruise

The river is an iconic part of this pretty city, so a cruise past the boathouses and meadows that inspired Alice in Wonderland is very much worth the ride. If you feel like putting in a little extra effort, you could even try punting in true Oxonian style.

Be inspired by the Oxford Botanic Gardens & Arboretum

A city of education, it's perhaps little surprise that the UK's oldest botanic garden is located here. Established 400 years ago with a view to growing plants for medical research, its giant glasshouses contain more than 6,000 types of plant, from medicinal powerhouses to carnivorous wonders.

Oxford spa hotels to stay in

Like we said, you can do a lot in a day, but stay a few days to really make the most of this beautiful city. Combine all that exploration with a little R&R for maximum benefit, whether you stay in the centre of it all or head a little further out for country tranquillity.

The Oxfordshire Golf & Spa Hotel

In the heart of the beautiful Chilterns, a little outside Oxford, The Oxfordshire Golf & Spa Hotel is a peaceful retreat with its own championship golf course. A luxury destination, it's modern and welcoming, complete with the exclusive Tempus Spa for exquisite treatments and plenty of space to unwind.

Book a spa break at The Oxfordshire Golf & Spa Hotel
Macdonald Hotel

Randolph Hotel

A five star hotel in the heart of Oxford, the Randolph Hotel is an iconic building with grand interiors. The restaurant proudly sports two AA Rosettes and The Morse Bar is named after its most famous (fictional) patron, Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse. The spa is all about pampering, with thermal facilities and joyful Elemis therapies just waiting to be enjoyed.

Book a spa break at Randolph Hotel

Leonardo Royal Hotel Oxford

A modern hotel near Oxford city centre, Leonardo Royal Hotel Oxford is the perfect base for exploring. A warm welcome and nothing-is-too-much-trouble attitude puts you right at ease, while the on-site Costa Coffee will set you up for the day. Fitness facilities and a popular spin class will energise you for a day of sightseeing, and you can take a load off tired feet in the pool come evening.

Book a spa break at Leonardo Royal Hotel Oxford

Bicester Hotel Golf and Spa

Close to the famous designer shopping outlet, Bicester Village, Bicester Hotel Golf and Spa is perfect for group getaways. The contemporary Cotswold stone retreat is surrounded by 134 acres of blissful Oxfordshire countryside including its own golf course. The restaurant serves up formal dining in the evening and an excellent afternoon tea for those with a sweet tooth. The Health Club and The Forest of Wellbeing Spa are popular in their own right, with a wide range of facilities, from two gyms to a 200-metre open water swimming lake, as well as seven treatment rooms for Elemis therapies.

Book a spa break at Bicester Hotel Golf and Spa

Heythrop Park Resort

Part of the Warner Hotels Group, Heythrop Park is an impressive Grade II* listed manor house dating back to 1710 and surrounded by 440 acres of parkland. For a restful retreat within easy reach of Oxford, it's perfect for romantic getaways. Sleep surrounded by botanical prints, dine in one of their three restaurants, and relax in the spa in the grounds of the estate. They have a full suite of wellness facilities, a dedicated spa menu, therapies from luxe skincare brand Temple Spa and a dedicated Grooming Station.

Book a spa break at Heythrop Park Resort
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