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Oxford City

Radcliffe Camera, Oxford

About Oxford City

With an estimated population of 160,000 people, Oxford City is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. But the City of Dreaming Spires is best known as home to the world-famous University of Oxford – the oldest university in the English-speaking world, which for over 800 years has been home to royalty and scholars alike.

Oxford had been an established town in the 9th century before it became home to the fledgling university in the late 12th century. However, by the middle of the 14th century, the university had risen to dominate the town entirely. And the town’s history became effectively no more than a side story to that of the university.

Nowadays, the city is pretty cosmopolitan, with a healthy mix of ancient and modern. Whether you’re going out for a drink or a meal, taking in a show, or shopping till you drop – the city has it all. There’s indeed an excellent choice of museums, libraries, galleries and places of interest to take in on a visit to the city. Be sure to check out our invaluable guide to visiting Oxford City.

Oxford is also home to a growing community of life science and technology businesses that draw on the university’s intellectual capabilities. A few are located in and around the city – tucked away in residential areas. But other operate from the Science and Business Parks on the city’s outskirts.


Oxford City Guides


Local news & stories

Planning application submitted for A423 Kennington improvements
/ Transport

Planning application submitted for A423 Kennington improvements

Planning application has been submitted for improvements to the A423 in Kennington, which includes replacing the existing rail bridge structure to allow allowing for a new eastbound bus lane.
Forthcoming Exhibition: Daniel MacCarthy - Ship of Fools
/ Things To Do

9 brilliant things to do in and around Oxford this weekend

Need some inspiration for what to do with yourself this weekend? Fill your diary with these seven or so brilliant things to do in and around Oxford – you know, things that are really worth making time for.
“More realistic budget” required as City Council predicts £1.8m overspend on housing repairs
/ Housing

“More realistic budget” required as City Council predicts £1.8m overspend on housing repairs

Oxford’s housing revenue account, budgeted to handle more than £47m of income and expenditure in 2022/23, was expected to make a modest £64k profit. 
City councillors urged to keep focus on Cowley Branch Line reopening
/ Transport

City councillors urged to keep focus on Cowley Branch Line reopening

Oxford City councillors have been urged to keep the focus on reopening Oxford’s Cowley Branch Line rather than larger rail projects that could emanate from it.
Paperchase at Oxford’s Westgate centre at risk of closure
/ Retail & Leisure

UPDATED: Paperchase at Westgate centre in Oxford is closing

The Paperchase stores at Westgate Shopping Centre in Oxford and Bell Street in Henley-on-Thames could be at risk of closure after their parent company fell into administration.
Oxford City Council’s latest budget to help tackle cost of living crisis
/ Government

Oxford City Council’s 2023/24 budget to help tackle cost of living crisis

The budget funds a wide range of services to help tackle the cost of living crisis as well as multi-million-pound investments across Oxford, including new council homes and the rebuilding of East Oxford Community Centre.
Oxpens planning applications submitted for new homes, jobs, hotel and riverside public space
/ Real Estate

Oxpens planning applications submitted for new homes, jobs, hotel & public space

The scheme will turn an under-utilised 15-acre brownfield site into an extension of the city centre – a new residential, commercial and leisure quarter for Oxford.
The Voice UK 2022 winner Anthonia Edwards to join legendary Billy Ocean on his 2023 UK tour
/ Culture

The Voice UK 2022 winner Anthonia Edwards to join legendary Billy Ocean on his 2023 UK tour

The winner of ITV’s The Voice UK 2022, Anthonia Edwards, will be joining the legendary Grammy Award-winning vocalist Billy Ocean on his 2023 UK tour as a very special guest.
Pale Blue Eyes
/ Culture

New music festival to shine spotlight on homegrown artists in Oxford and Lincoln

Beam Me Up Oxford will see homegrown artists Joely, Danny Melin, Aphra Taylot, and Emily Jeffri take to the Truck Store stage with a special guest still to be revealed.
Oxford Castle & Prison wins gold in Tourism South East’s Beautiful South Awards
/ Retail & Leisure

Oxford Castle & Prison wins gold in Tourism South East’s Beautiful South Awards

Oxford Castle & Prison has won gold for the second year running in the ‘Small Attraction of the Year’ Category at Tourism South East’s annual ‘Beautiful South 2022/23’ Awards.