Oxford with kids, what to do? Last week, I wrote about our trip to Oxford, prior to our trip the Oxford of my imagination was very grown up place home to under-graduates and spires. A city of historic pubs beloved of Morse and aged-professors (there are plenty such pubs). I wasn’t sure how much there would be to entertain my 7-year-old. Turns out, Oxford offers some cracking gems for days out with children. These are 7 of my favourite picks.
1. Please touch
The Natural History Museum in Oxford is a wonderful treasure, the building is beautiful, ornate Victorian Gothic revival. It is small but packed with things to see; elephant bones and dinosaur remains. The very best part; the museum has exhibits which it actively encourages to touch, feel one of the oldest rocks or pat a stuffed stag. Free entry.
2. Mess about on the river
Hire a punt at Magdalen Bridge, they give out small oars which my son used to “row”. The water is shallow and a small circuit takes around an hour. Ducks popped their heads right into out boat looking for picnic scraps.
The perfect place to see inside an Egyptian casket and view the MRI scan of an actual Egyptian Mummy is the Ashmoleam museum. A classic museum with a welcoming feel. It cover almost thousands of years of history from neolithic remains to ancient Greek statues. Collect children’s trail sheets and clipboards from the information desk near the entrance. Free entry. There is a good cafe in the basement and dinning on the roof.
4. Botanical Gardens
Oxford Botanic Garden is compact and perfectly formed. Push-chair friendly and a great size of little legs. My 7-year-old particularly loved the hot houses, lush hanging tropical plants, huge prickly cacti, the insect-eating plants were his very favourite.
5. Storm the castle
From the vaults to the tower explore Oxford Castle, the past brought to life by historically attired guides.
6. Ice Cream Stop
Who doesn’t love an ice cream on a day out? G&D’s is the local ice cream maker, in three Oxford locations, the city centre Aldate’s cafe had a queue every time we passed by. It’s popular for a reason, G&D’s delivers big scoops in lots of glorious flavours, just add toppings. I can confirm it is delicious, so good I forgot to take a photo.
7. Climb a tower
Fire up the imagination and wear out a child. Carfax tower has 99 narrow steps and rewards with views across the city of dreaming spires.
Disclosure: our trip to Oxford was courtesy of First Great Western Trains.