The city of Oxford revolves around its prestigious university, established in the 12th century. The architecture of its 38 colleges in the medieval centre led poet Matthew Arnold to nickname it the 'City of Dreaming Spires'. The River Thames flow along the western and southern edge of the city and is easily accessible - beyond the river is predominately countryside and the River Hotel is well located in the middle, walk one way to the city, walk the other way to explore nature.
Dining and Bars
Blenheim Palace offers a wonderful day out for all the family, situated in the delightful town of Woodstock, 8 miles from Oxford and 20 minute drive. Bus S3 travels from Oxford Rail Station and takes around 30 minutes.
Blenheim palace was built between 1705 and 1722. The Park and Gardens at Blenheim provide a majestic formal setting for the Palace. You will be inspired by the majesty of the Palace, delighted by the interior filled with treasures and intrigued by the apartments devoted to Sir Winston Churchill. There are gardens in a variety of styles;lakes to row on, an adventure play area for children and even a narrow-gauge railway to take you from car park to the Palace. Blenheim Palace was built for the National Hero John 1st Duke of Marlborough and his Duchess Sarah, given by Queen Anne as a gift in reward for his military services.
Nearby Bladon is famous as the final resting place of Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Britain during the Second World War.
Selected Saturdays through the year
Alice & the White Rabbit
19th - 20th August:
Enjoy a game of hide and seek with Alice and the mischievous White Rabbit. Discover the Pleasure Gardens as you help Alice track down the White Rabbit.
Oxford University is made up of 38 colleges spread across the city, most located in the small compact easily navigable city centre. There are many different buildings, including academic departments, colleges and halls, located around the centre of Oxford. Many University buildings, such as gardens, libraries and museums, as well as many of the colleges, are open to visitors during the day.
Nuffield College is the closest main college building to the River Hotel which is conveniently located just across from Oxford Castle;five minutes walk from the hotel.
The River Hotel and indeed most of West Oxford is built on Christ Church owned land, making Christ Church one of the wealthiest of the main colleges. Christ Church is also famous for educating some of Britain's Prime Ministers, author Lewis Carroll and more recently the film location of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. You can reach Christ Church via a leisurely walk along the towpath of the canalised River Thames to Folly Bridge.
Which Jane Austen?
Event date 23 Jun 2017 to 29 Oct 2017
Event time 10:00 - 17:00
Weston Library Broad Street Oxford OX1 3BG
To mark 200 years since the death of Jane Austen, a major new exhibition at Oxford University’s Bodleian Libraries will challenge the current public perception of one of England’s greatest literary heroes.
Which Jane Austen? presents Austen as an ambitious and risk-taking businesswoman and a wartime writer who was informed and inspired by the surprising international adventures of her family and relations. Through a spectacular selection of Austen materials displayed together for the first time, the Bodleian Libraries delve into the myriad influences on this great writer's work.
Undergraduate Open day dates in 2017
The next University-wide open days for undergraduates will be held on Wednesday 28 June, Thursday 29 June and Friday 15 September 2017. Students, parents and teachers are invited to spend a whole day in Oxford
Visit the university website for information on visiting the colleges, information on opening times and admission charges and links to their individual websites
At Hinksey Heights - The Oxford Golf Course - you will find an 18 hole championship course with the most remarkable views of Oxford's 'dreaming spires'. Set just on the edge of the city there is also the 939 yard nine hole Par 3 Spires Golf Course as well as a foot-golf course.
The River Hotel is on the west of Oxford and only a ten minute from the Hinksey Village and North Hinksey Golf Club, accessed from the A34.
Founded in 1683 the Ashmolean is the world’s oldest public museum with incredibly rich and diverse collections ranging from Egyptian mummies to Pre-Raphaelite paintings to contemporary art.
The Ashmolean is open from Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday from 10am–5pm.
The rooftop restaurant entrance is on St Giles with some marvellous views during the day.
It is a 15 minute walk from the River Hotel to the Ashmolean Museum, along Hythe Bridge st and Beaumont street.
Collecting the Past:Scholars’Taste in Chinese Art
Date:21 Mar 2017 to 22 Oct 2017
Featuring a range of Chinese paintings created by scholar-artists since the 18th century. These art works represent the tradition of collecting the past, aesthetic taste and the values of the Chinese literati who governed China for more than ten centuries. Explore the objects with which the scholars surrounded themselves in their studies, such as brush pots, ink stones, water droppers and scholar’s rocks.
Raphael The Drawings
Exhibition Dates 1 June –3 September 2017
10am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday, and Bank Holidays
The exhibition will be open until 8pm on the following dates:
Friday 25 August
Saturday 2 September
The Ashmolean’s captivating summer show brings together 120 stunning works from international collections spanning the brief but brilliant career of this Renaissance genius.
Aged only 37 when he died, Raphael’s fame in drawing had a transformative effect on European art over centuries. This exciting exhibition focuses on his extraordinary creativity, and shows how exploration and experimentation shaped his breathtakingly accomplished drawings.
The Ashmolean’s unrivalled Raphaels are joined by superb works from the Albertina and loans from other international collections including the Louvre, the Uffizi and Her Majesty the Queen. Drawings include the exquisite Head of a Muse, which broke records when auctioned at Christies in 2009, as well as the sublime Heads and Hands of two Apostles, considered to be the finest drawing Raphael ever made.
Witness the expressive power of Raphael’s drawings and see how they still ‘speak’to us today, almost 500 years after they were created.
Visiting & Tickets
Timed tickets will be in operation.
Full Price Ticket with Gift Aid Donation
£13.50 (£12 for a Standard Full Price Ticket)
The Sheldonian Theatre, an exquisite Grade I listed building situated in Oxford’s city centre, is the official ceremonial hall of the University of Oxford. Some of the ceremonial activities that take place in the Theatre include matriculation, graduation ceremonies, Encaenia and Congregation. The Theatre is open to the public to visit when not in use.
This unique historic Oxford venue, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, can also be hired for concerts, meetings, lectures, talks and other events.
The Sheldonian Theatre is in the centre of Oxford and a 15 minute walk from the River Hotel.
Saba Douglas-Hamilton:A Life with Elephants
Saturday 18 November 7.00pm. Sheldonian Theatre
Join Saba Douglas-Hamilton, the highly acclaimed elephant conservationist and wildlife TV presenter of This Wild Life and Big Cat Diaries for an evening of exciting animal stories and intimate behind the scenes tales of life in Kenya with her young family.
Founded in 1860 as the centre for scientific study at the University of Oxford, the Museum of Natural History now holds the University’s internationally significant collections of geological and zoological specimens. Housed in a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture, the Museum’s growing collections underpin a broad programme of natural environment research, teaching and public engagement.
Word Detectives with Read Oxford
Meet ReadOxford - the word scientists behind the Word Detective game in the Brain Diaries exhibition. Take part in real experiments and help us understand more about how our brains process language.
Thursday 10th & Friday 11th August, 10am - 4pm, drop-in
Afternoon Explorers:Rascally Reptiles
Get a close look at some of our rascally reptiles but don’t get too close to the crocodile! Take part in craft activities and see some of our scaly friends.
Monday 21st August 1 - 4pm, drop-in
The Pitt Rivers Museum displays archaeological and ethnographic objects from all parts of the world and all time periods. It is truly a global museum. The museum is also a teaching and research institution and the curators are also university lecturers in either cultural anthropology or prehistoric archaeology. The museum was founded in 1884 when General Pitt Rivers, an influential figure in the development of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology, gave his collection to the University of Oxford.
The museum is located next to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, University Parks is nearby. Situated in north Oxford, it is a 20 minute walk from the River Hotel through the centre of town.
Camel:A Journey through Fragile Landscapes –Photographs by Roger Chapman
Date:15 May - 29 October 2017
This exhibition presents sixty-five monochrome prints by Roger Chapman from his major international photography project. Camel:A Journey through Fragile Landscapes is a story of connection, survival and interdependence on the edges of our world. From the dry heat of the Sahara to the bitter cold of the Mongolian steppe, camels are at the heart of pastoral communities in some of the harshest desert environments on the planet.
Offering an escape from the hustle and bustle of the City, but conveniently located right at its heart, is a green oasis offered by University Parks. 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. For those that enjoy sport there is the opportunity, depending on the season, to catch a game of cricket, lacrosse, tennis, football or rugby.
The New Theatre offers a unique facility within the historic city of Oxford. The New Theatre opened in February 1934 with a revolving stage and increased capacity of 2000 (1,710 seated). Following a refurbishment in 2003 the theatre reverted back to the name New Theatre.
New Theatre Oxford
24 August 2017 - 26 August 2017
A brand new dino-mite adventure!
Dare to experience the dangers and delights of Dinosaur World in this interactive new for show all the family (ages 3+).
Derren Brown - Underground
New Theatre Oxford
08 September 2017 - 09 September 2017
Direct from its sell-out London run, Derren Brown:Underground is the latest stage show from the multi-award winning master of psychological illusion.
It is less than 10 minutes walk from the River Hotel to the New Theatre on George Street, where there are plenty of pre theatre bars and dining options. There is a taxi rank at the bus station.
Hire the beautiful Oxford Town Hall in the heart of Oxford for weddings, conferences, meetings, concerts, festivals, social events and exhibition
The Holywell Music Room is the oldest concert hall in Europe, built in 1742, and is famed for its excellent acoustic. Handel is among the many famous composers and musicians to have appeared here.
Upcoming Music Events
Research Colloquium:Juliana M. Pistorius
‘A Traviata of irony and enjoyment’:coloured opera as political act in apartheid South Africa
Juliana M. Pistorius (Lincoln College, University of Oxford)
All Music Research Colloquia begin at 5.15pm in the Denis Arnold Hall at the Faculty of Music. The Colloquia feature leading figures as well as younger scholars presenting their research in papers on all kinds of music-related topics. The speakers come from Oxford and many different universities around the world. This series is organised by graduate students, Stefanie Arend and Edward Spencer. Presentations are followed by discussion and a drinks reception. Students, staff, and the general public are warmly encouraged to attend.
Start: Tuesday 10 October 2017 - 5:15 pm
End: Tuesday 10 October 2017 - 6:30 pm
Free, Open to All
Organizer:Faculty of Music
Venue: Denis Arnold Hall, Faculty of Music
Didcot Railway Centre is pleased to announce the visit of the famous locomotive, 60103 ‘Flying Scotsman’.
Considered by many to be the most famous locomotive in the world, it will be at Didcot Railway Centre during the three days of the August bank holiday (26/27/28 August).
Didcot Railway centre is at Didcot Parkway, just 12 minutes by train from Oxford station, making it an ideal day trip when visiting Oxford. The River Hotel is just a few minutes walk from Oxford train station.