Oxford Life

Oxford Life

Oxford is a beautiful city with plenty of distractions - both old and new - all within stumbling distance from Wolfson. Here is a taster of what is on offer: local stores, independent coffee shops, high street stores, talks and concerts. Now it is up to you to find your Oxford life.   


Free Museums in Oxford

There are many fantastic museums to visit in Oxford, such as the Ashmolean Museum, which houses an internationally-acclaimed collection of archaeological artefacts and works of art. The Natural History Museum has a fantastic glass ceiling (check out the cafe too!) and the Pitt Rivers and Story Museums offer hours of exploration for children and adults alike. Better still, they are FREE!

Alice doll, Credit (CC-BY-2.0) Ben Sutherland

Eccentric Oxford

Living in Oxford allows you to experience, visit and partake in the quirky side of the city! There is a famous tortoise race, 'Alice Day' in celebration of Alice in Wonderland, and lively Morris dancers fill the city on May Day. It is not uncommon to encounter the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Tom Cruise or even Prince William - if you are brave enough you might ask for a selfie!

Chinese New Year Celebrations. Credit; John Cairns

What's on in Oxford

There are always loads of events happening across Oxford, especially during term time. Here are some useful lists and calendars to help you keep track of University and general lectures, concerts, plays and other events.

Red chairs

Research Connections Across Oxford

Our Research Clusters are well connected with other networks across Oxford, such as the Digital Research Cluster and the Oxford e-Research Centre.


Finding your way around Oxford

Oxford is a busy place with lots to see. Find your bearings with this searchable online map.

Christ Church Dining Hall Credit Chris Brown (CC-BY-2.0)

Visiting Other Oxford Colleges

One of the best parts of studying in Oxford is getting to visit the over 30 different colleges. Using your University (Bod) Card you can visit most colleges for free, and it is common for students to invite friends from other colleges to guest night dinners, bops and to common room events. The Entz Committee at Wolfson organises termly exchange dinners which you can sign up for. 

Wolfson Air

In the Neighbourhood: North Oxford

North Oxford is a leafy, relaxed part of Oxford, with excellent cafes, access to the Cherwell River and the University Parks. J. R. R. Tolkien and T. E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) both lived here and a large part of North Oxford was originally developed by St John's College (who are historically large landowners in Oxford).

The Covered Market

The Covered Market

Centred in the middle of the City, accessed either from the High Street, Market Street or through the Golden Cross in Cornmarket Street, the Covered Market welcomes its visitors with an array of colours and aromas.


Morning fixes in North Oxford

There are some very fine places to get your caffeine fix in North Oxford, including our very own cafe.


Cycling in Oxford

Oxford is a cycling city - most students have a bike to get around and most places are within a 15 minute cycle of Wolfson, including the centre of town. There are many resources for cyclists: have a look at some of the links here and pop into the bike workshop at Wolfson if you need assistance. It is a good idea to register your bike, and you can buy a high quality D-lock at a reduced price from the Oxford University Security Services.

Radcliffe Camera. Credit Tejvan Pettinger CC BY 2.0

Libraries in Oxford

The Radcliffe Camera (pictured) is one of the most distinctive and photographed buildings in Oxford. Yes, it is a library and yes, as a student you can work in it! It is not 'the' library but rather part of a connection of library buildings referred to collectively as the Bodleian Library. Some of the others are listed here and there are plenty of lovely spots to study in throughout the year.

Freshers' Fair

The Freshers' Fair

Oxford University Student Union (OUSU) organises a Freshers’ Fair in 0th Week to introduce new students to the wealth of Oxford clubs and societies. This is held at the Examination Schools on the High Street. The Academic Office will distribute tickets to the fair once they becomes available.

Flag. Credit (CC-BY-2.0): karendesuyo

LGBTQ+ Oxford

Student, staff and local community groups work hard to promote and higlight LGBTQ+ issues in Oxford. The city's gay nightlife is relatively small but popular with the student and local community. For more information check out the resources from the LGBTQ+ Society, LGBTQ Campaign, Oxford Pride and Equality and Diversity Unit.

Credit: The Vaults

5 Best Brunch Places

Brunch is a must on the weekends, perhaps after a run or well earned sleep in - there are several great spots listed here, and plenty of others will serve a big English breakfast for you as well.

Oxford spires from South Parks. Credit: Tejvan Pettinger

Best views

Oxford's dreaming spires are stunning, and best viewed from these special spots (or on instagram)!


Oxford for kids

There is plenty for children to do in Oxford and the surrounding area. With our many museums, parks and attractions little people of all ages can be entertained and explore, all year round.


Academic dress - What you need to know

The full academic dress at Oxford is known as sub fusc and is worn at Matriculation and Graduation ceremonies, exams and vivas. Gowns and caps can be hired or purchased from Castell & Son Ltd, Ede and Ravenscroft, Shepherd and Woodward and Walters of Oxford.

Falafel CC BY 2.0 Momo

Cheap eats in Oxford

Eating out in Oxford can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be if you know the right places to go!

Dawn Cocktail Credit (CC-BY-2.0) Adrian Scottow

Nightlife in Oxford

Looking for some music, a fun cocktail bar, or just a quiet beer in a cosy pub? There are loads of places to go out in Oxford, from sticky floored pubs with student discounts through to elegant wine bars.


Oxford University Newcomers Association

The Newcomers’ Club welcomes partners and families of graduate students, newly-appointed academics and visiting academics. The Club has a termly programme of events and outings.

The Handle Bar Café and Kitchen

The Handle Bar Café and Kitchen

The Handle Bar Café and Kitchen (previously Zappi’s Café) occupies the space above Bike Zone. Serving delicious all day brunch and light lunches everyday and supper Thursday to Saturday, their focus is on tasty food and great coffee.

Credit (CC-BY-2.0) Stephane Farenga - Real Ale Taps at Far From the Maddening Crowd

Historic Pubs in Oxford

Oxford has hundreds of pubs and they are incredibly popular places to meet, eat and enjoy a night out. British pub culture is strong in Oxford but you don't have to be a big drinker to enjoy it. There are pubs by rivers, pubs in town, tiny pubs, huge pubs, and pubs which have served US Presidents, famous authors and many a thirsty Oxford student.

HP location

Harry Potter and Oxford

Oxford has been a great inspiration for the filmmakers of Harry Potter. Explore the magical world of Harry Potter in Oxford.


Punting and leisure sports

The College owns six punts for the use of College members during the warmer months. There are sports lockers in the boathouse, which contain equipment for croquet, hockey, football, cricket and volleyball.

Wolfson College Boat Club

Wolfson College Boat Club (rowing)

Wolfson College Boat Club is one of Oxford’s leading college boat clubs, open to members of Wolfson and St. Cross colleges. For most of Wolfson College Boat Club, racing is why we do what we do. Our long-serving top men’s coach, Paul Kelly, may have put it best: “I don’t know who decided to take nine people from each college, put them in a boat, and see who can go backwards down the river fastest. But we might as well be the best at it.”

View from Wytham Woods Credit Paul Trafford

Wytham Woods

Wytham Woods are an area of ancient semi-natural woodland to the west of Oxford, UK, owned by the University of Oxford and used for environmental research.

London bus Credit (CC-BY-2.0) E01


London is only a skip, hop and a jump away from Oxford.


To get to London, there are two regular coach services run by The Oxford Bus Company (the X90 coach) and Stagecoach (Oxford Tube). The journey takes between 90 and 120 minutes depending on the traffic and discounted tickets are available, especially if booked in advance and in bulk. Both leave from Gloucester Green Bus Station, Queen’s Lane on the High Street, St Clement’s and numerous other stops.


The alternative route to London is to use the train, either Oxford Station (which goes to Paddington Station) or Oxford Parkway north of Oxford (which goes to Marylebone). The fast trains to London take one hour and are reasonably priced when purchased in advance from the station or online. Those aged 16–25 or registered as a full-time student are eligible for the 16–25 Railcard, which can be purchased from the station or online and entitles the holder receive 1/3 off most standard class rail tickets. Mature students are eligible for railcards too.

Travel to airports or Cambridge

London Heathrow International Airport and Gatwick Airport are linked to Oxford by The Airline coach service, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week from many of the same bus stops as the X90 and the Oxford Tube. There are also coach services to Cambridge, and some coaches stop at Luton and Stansted Airports. 

Blenheim Palace. Credit CC BY 2.0 katie.l.1@btinternet.com

Blenheim Palace

Home of the 12th Duke of Marlborough and birthplace of Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is one of the most impressive palaces in England and is a cycle ride away from Oxford.