South East England – Oxford and Oxfordshire

Oxford and Oxfordshire
1. Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace is home to 11th Duke of Marlborough and was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Set in 2100 acres of beautiful parkland landscaped by Capability Brown, the exquisite Baroque Palace is surrounded by sweeping lawns, formal gardens and the magnificent Lake. Inside, the scale of the Palace is beautifully balanced by the intricate detail and delicacy of the carvings, hand painted ceilings and the amazing porcelain collections, tapestries and paintings displayed in each room.

2. White Horse Hill
The internationally-renowned Uffington White Horse can been seen from miles away leaping across the head of a dramatic dry valley. The stylised form of the White Horse, an icon of the English landscape, has been a subject of discussion since the 17th century. Written records date back to the 12th century but do not give proof of the Horse’s age or why it was there. New testing methods showed that the Horse is about 3000 years old (late Bronze-Age).

3. The Ridgeway Path
The Ridgeway National Trail travels for 87 miles through the North Wessex Downs and the Chilterns areas of Outstanding Beauty in south east England. Walk accross ancient landscapes of rolling, open downland to the west of the river Thames, through secluded beech woodland, over neatly cultivated fields and across chalk grassland nature reserves rich in wildflowers. There’s plenty of attractions along the way. Take a short walk with the dog, or hike the whole of its length!

4. Modern Art Oxford
Modern Art Oxford is the largest gallery devoted to modern and contemporary art in the South East. Founded in 1965, it has a national and international reputation for the quality of its exhibitions. From landmark solo presentations to pioneering group shows, Modern Art Oxford keeps you up to date with the most exciting developments in international art. The events programme includes talks, discussions, contemporary music and film nights. Facilities include a cafe and gift shop.

5. The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
The Ashmolean Museum first opened to the public on 24th May 1683, when even the use of the term ‘Museum’ was novelty in English. Highlights include collections of antiquities, Eastern and Western art and a coin room. The museum also has a fine collection of modern and contemporary painting and holds regular temporary exhibitions. This huge Neoclassical building has recently undergone a 61 million refurbishment programme. There is a restaurant, a cafe and a museum shop.

6. Punting on the river Cherwell
Situated in the heart of Oxford on the picturesque banks of the river Cherwell, the Cherwell Boathouse combines a restaurant, cafe and punt station with plenty of outdoor space and a beautiful terrace from where to relax and enjoy the surroundings. Enjoy fine food and wine in in a tranquil location, and spend lazy hours on the river in a traditional hand crafted boat. The slow moving current and exclusion of powered craft maintains a peaceful environment in which wildlife thrives.

7. Great Tew
Just over an hour away from London, Great Tew encapsulates what might be considered the archetypal English village – often described as the prettiest in England. It is set on the slopes of a ridge overlooking Worton Valley, with rolling grassland, oak woods and carpets of bluebells in spring. The village has Roman origins and was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Why not visit the Falkland Arms, and try some Real Ale in a traditional English pub.

8. Chastleton House
Chastleton House is one of England’s finest and most complete Jacobean houses,a unique 400-year-old time capsule containing rare tapestries, portraits and personal belongings. There’s a classic Elizabethan topiary garden, and the lawn where the rules of modern croquet were laid down. Chastelton House stands in an idyllic Cotswolds setting next to a 12th-century parish church. Entrance is by timed ticket only – advanced booking is advised.

9. Christ Church College
Albert Einstein, William Gladstone and no fewer than 12 other British prime ministers studied at Christ Church. Other alumni include W.H. Auden and Richard Curtis. The college consists of several different Quads, and has its own cathedral, library and a picture gallery containing works by many of Italy’s finest artists, including Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. The dining hall is the grandest refectory in Oxford, with a set of stern portraits of past scholars gazing down from the walls.

10. The Museum of Oxford
The Museum of Oxford is an interesting starting point from where to begin discovering the fascinating history of the City and University. Past exhibitions have included The Life and Times of JRR Tolkien, We’ll Meet Again: Memories of the Home Front in Oxford 1939-45 and On Location (movies filmed in Oxford). The Education Room hosts a changing programme of exhibitions by local artists and community groups and has displays exploring the local area.

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