Oxford University’s most famous college, Christ Church, was first founded in 1524 by Cardinal Wolsey and then refounded in 1532 by King Henry VIII. The grand chapel of the college remains a main draw as it is now Oxford’s cathedral. A total of 13 British Prime Ministers were educated at Christ Church, Lewis Carroll taught mathematics here, and it was also a filming location for the Harry Potter films.
Established in 1683, the Ashmolean Museum is Britain’s oldest museum. It was named after Elias Ashmole, who gifted the university a collection of treasures from Charles I’s well-travelled gardener, John Tradescant. Here you can discover Egyptian mummies, European paintings, key historical documents and Islamic artworks.
Take a break from the museums and colleges with a stroll through the central stone-walled botanic garden and sit under the tree that was said to have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ents in The Lord of the Rings. Opened in 1621, this is Britain’s oldest botanic garden.
The Pitt Rivers Museum is perhaps Oxford’s most weird and wonderful experience. The anthropologist Lieutenant-General Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers collected over 20,000 curiosities during his travels around the British Empire. Expect to see shrunken heads, trophy scalps and musical instruments on display in this quirky attraction.