Oxfordshire

oxfordshire_map

Fun facts about Oxfordshire:

  • Reputed as the furthest location from the sea yet has various rivers and canals for boating activities
  • There are more pigs than people living in Oxfordshire
  • King Alfred burnt the cakes in Wantage
  • The county hosts an annual children’s festival: http://www.childrensfoodfestival.co.uk/
  • Harry Potter was filmed at Christchurch
  • The Oxford Castle complex is the site of Robert d’Oilly’s motte-and-bailey castle, built in 1071 for William the Conqueror soon after the Norman conquest

Blenheim Palace
Home of the 11th Duke of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, the palace was built between 1705 and 1722.  It is an English Baroque masterpiece, with a collection including tapestries, paintings, sculptures and fine furniture displayed in magnificent gilded state rooms.  This is a World Heritage site reflecting the importance of both the house and the 2100 acre park, landscaped by `Capability´ Brown.

Woodstock, Oxford, OX20 1PP
Click here for more information on Blenheim Palace and events at the Palace

Cogges Farm
coggs

Cogges is a unique, working museum depicting Oxfordshire rural life in Victorian times set in an historic manor house and Cotswold stone farm buildings.  Explore the beautiful farmstead, original Cotswold buildings and displays about farming in years gone by. Meet traditional breeds of farm animals, talk to farm hands and dairy maids and watch them go about their daily work.

The museum is open from 7 April  – 31 August:
* Tuesday – Friday 10.30am – 5pm
* Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday’s 11am – 5pm
The museum is closed on Monday

Cogges Manor Farm Museum, Church Lane, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX28 3LA
www.cogges.org

Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens
Set in 160 acres of landscaped parkland and home to a fascinating collection of birds, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates from around the world.  Newly opened is the Madagascar walk-through enclosure with free-roaming lemurs and enclosures for the Lac Alaotran Gentle lemur and Verreaux´s Crowned Sifaka both critically endangered in the wild. Baby Morelet´s crocodiles can be seen in the Reptile House, these babies are the only ones to be bred in the UK.  The gardens contain a mix of exotic planting and herbaceous borders.

Burford, Oxfordshire OX18 4JP
Website

Didcot Railway Centre
Home to a collection of over twenty Great Western Railway steam locomotives based in the original engine shed or under restoration in the locomotive works, together with Great Western carriages and wagons. There is a typical Great Western branch line with stations and signalboxes recovered from many parts of the GWR. Brunel´s original broad gauge railway has been recreated with a replica of the Fire Fly locomotive dating from 1840. There are Steamdays and special events throughout the year when you can ride on the steam trains.

Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 7NJ
Click here for more information on the Didcot Railway Centre

Farmer Gow´s
A much loved open farm in Oxfordshire.  Friendly, fun and a real ´hands on´ experience, Farmer Gow´s is a great place for a family day out. The farm´s speciality is its ´Meet the Animals´, held daily at 11am and 2pm.  There are always lambs or kids to bottle feed, eggs th collect and pigs or cattle to feed. Plus you can take a goat or a ferret for a walk and handle young chicks – wonderful. There are activities both indoors and outside – so its an ideal location whatever the weather. There are bales to climb, pedal tractors to drive, an adventure play area plus a host of other ´farmy´ facilities.

Longcot Road, Fernham,  Faringdon, SN7 7PR
Website

The Northmoor Trust
wittenham

Northmoor Trust manages an estate of 300 hectares, including Little Wittenham Nature Reserve and Wittenham Clumps, a conservation farm, a woodland dedicated to forestry research and Project Timescape, the Trust’s visitor centre.

The nature reserve at Little Wittenham lies on two small hills overlooking the fertile Thames floodplain.   The reserve is approximately half woodland and half grassland. The reserve’s grassland areas are grazed with sheep and cattle.  The Reserve’s two large ponds and the surrounding mature woodland habitat have been recognised due to the presence of the great crested newt, breeding dragonflies and other breeding amphibians.

Northmoor Trust, Hill Farm, Little Wittenham, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4QZ
Website

Sulgrave Manor
sulgrave

Sulgrave is a manor house – not a demanding marathon down endless corridors but a gentle stroll through three centuries of English history in the company of a friendly and informative guide.  The house contains many wonderful Tudor to Georgian furniture and artefacts, displayed in their natural settings with only the most delicate behind glass.
See the largest UK collection of George Washington memorabilia demonstrating the British contribution to the origins of the USA with a separate exhibition on George’s life and career in the US.  Also visit the buttery at which to refresh yourself with good fare, a shop from which to take away some souvenirs, picnic areas, a pleasant garden to stroll through and the National Garden of the Herb Society

Sulgrave Manor, Manor Road, Sulgrave, Nr. Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX17 2SD
Website

Wind in the Willows Exhibition at the River & Rowing Museum
wind-willows

The Wind in the Willows exhibition heralds the return of Mr Toad, Ratty, Badger and Mole to the banks of the River Thames, whose creatures and landscapes provided the inspiration behind this classic tale.  E.H. Shepard’s famous illustrations are brought to life via 3-D models that depict the adventures of Mr Toad, Ratty and their friends. The Museum has exclusive rights to use the original images by Shepard, who explored the meadows and willow-fringed river around nearby Pangbourne in search of settings for these classic illustrations.  The exhibition faithfully follows the original story line, using theatrical lighting and sound techniques to transport visitors on a journey through the whimsical world of The Wind in the Willows.  As they make their way through the exhibition, interactive exhibits and specially developed audio guides help visitors young and old really feel a part of the story…. whether joining Ratty and Mole’s picnic on the riverbank, getting lost in the Wild Wood or evicting the weasels from Toad Hall.

River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 1BF
Website

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