To mark the third edition of Eccentric Oxford coming out, Ben le Vay picks some lesser-known and unusual sights and places to visit on a day out in the city.Read more...
Oxford - South of Queen Street & west of St Aldates
From the Carfax Tower, Queen Street runs due west and is taken up with big chain stores. There are quiet streets in this quarter though to amble along – Rose Place, St Ebbe’s and Brewer Street are all worth a walk but are not at the top of the list of places to visit if you are short of time. In fact, this whole quarter is more about everyday Oxford filled with modern shopping centres, car parks and the busy inner ring road and less about the historic city.
Climb the Saxon tower of the former city defences, descend into the crypt and experience the confines of prison life.
A notable exception is the remains of Oxford Castle. Once a royal motte and bailey stronghold – the mound is still evident – and the city’s prison, the whole space was regenerated in 2006. It now houses the boutique Malmaison hotel, several eateries and a visitor attraction, Oxford Castle Unlocked, revealing the history of the site. Visitors can climb the Saxon tower of the former city defences, descend into the crypt and experience the confines of prison life. Various events take place throughout the year including spine-tingling after-dark castle tours, a ghost festival and, on a lighter note, Oxford’s Christmas market.
Oxford Castle has served as a prison © Cmglee
Oxford has generated its fair share of world-class authors both for children and adults over the years.
Also notable is the Story Museum, which celebrates our love of stories and storytelling. Oxford has generated its fair share of world-class authors both for children and adults over the years (and, indeed, continues to do so) and this unusual and quirky museum is a welcome addition to the canon of visitor attractions in the city. It’s where all ages can become entranced by a character, fall in love all over again (or for the first time) with a children’s classic or delve into an imaginative world through the museum’s series of events and exhibitions. Snuggle up on the patchwork bed for a bedtime story, get writing – and doodling – or turn an ear to a renowned author doing what they do best – storytelling.