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Engage with nature

What better way to unwind and relax than taking a stroll around our beautiful gardens? Staff and students have free access to both the Botanic Gardens and Harcourt Arboretum. Also remember that Wytham Woods and University Park are on the doorstep, too! 

  • The Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in the UK and home to over 5,000 different plant species. Located in Oxford centre, there is plenty to explore including 7 glasshouses, a herbarium room and their beautiful gardens. Location: Rose Lane, OX1 4AZ
  • The Harcourt Arboretum has over 130 acres of the world’s rare and endangered trees to explore. Visitors can discover trees from around the world growing alongside tranquil British woodland and open meadows. Location: OX44 9PX (free parking and bus services available)

More information for both can be found on the Botanic Garden website

  • The University Parks offers a green oasis in the centre of the city. 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. More information can be found on the University Parks website
  • Wytham Woods, a little further out from the centre of the city, is an iconic location that has been the subject of continuous ecological research programmes, many dating back to the 1940s. It is also extremely beautiful. Visit the Wytham Woods website for more information.

Why not enjoy some mindful and wellbeing activities such as yoga, twilight tours, tree climbing, meditation or watercolour classes in our stunning gardens? Find out what's on in the gardens

Explore our Libraries and Museums

Did you know the University has four Museums and multiple libraries for you to enjoy? They are all part of the Gardens Libraries and Museums (GLAM) Division. 

  • The History of Science Museum is home to an unrivalled collection of scientific inventions, devices, and instruments from different cultures, places, and times in human history.
  • The much-loved Pitt Rivers Museum houses within an atmospheric building more than 500,000 objects, photographs and manuscripts from all over the world, and from all periods of human existence.
  • The Ashmolean Museum is Britain’s first public museum of art and archaeology, founded in 1683. Their collections range from Egyptian mummies to contemporary art, telling human stories across cultures and across time.
  • The Museum of Natural History holds a collection of natural history specimens and archives in a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture. It is home to a lively programme of research, teaching and events.

Or why not take a wander through the Bodleian’s reading rooms or visit the exhibition at the modern Weston Library? Visit the GLAM (Gardens, Libraries and Museums) webpage for more inspiration!

Music and other cultural activities

Exploring the city

Discover a different side of Oxford with the Oxford Preservation Society’s self-guided walks. Great for stretching your legs at lunchtime or after work. 

  • Walk 1: Hidden Heritage – Graffiti Trail
    Ever since there have been walls, there has been graffiti. Before the 19th century it was a very common way for the ordinary person to express themselves.

  • Walk 2: Oxford’s Historic Churches
    This walk takes in 12 historic parish churches that appear on David Loggan’s 1675 map view of Oxford.

  • Walk 3: Shakespeare Trail
    This circular walk is adapted from 'Shakespeare in Oxford' and begins at Carfax Tower.

  • Walk 4: Hidden Heritage – Jericho
    Discover the hidden heritage of Jericho, including the birthplace of Richard I.