For a cultural getaway or a countryside ramble, Oxfordshire is a captivating county. Oxford itself, at the very heart of this rural county, is renowned for its heritage, exquisite architecture, and ancient university. But it’s well worth taking time out time out to explore the surrounding landscapes, enjoy the county’s bustling honey-coloured market towns, discover the film and literary connections or visit beautiful Blenheim Palace.
The first colleges of Oxford were built in the 13th century, but it wasn't until 1878 that women were admitted to the university.
What’s on in Britain in July
We can’t always rely on the British weather, but even when the sun doesn’t shine we’ve rounded up the best spots to put you in a summertime mood
Situated in a beautiful area of Oxfordshire, and just an hour outside London, is Henley-on-Thames. A bustling town with a countryside feel, it makes for an idyllic escape from London on a warm July day: a place to relax and enjoy a cold drink on the banks of the River Thames.
Cowes, Isle of Wight
Less than two hours from London and ringed by lovely beaches, the Isle of Wight is an excellent holiday destination and hosts some brilliant sea-related events every July.
The Round the Island Race has been described as sailing’s answer to the London Marathon. Thousands of participants enter every year and take part in the race that begins and ends at Cowes. An alternative is Shipwreck Isle, a day-long pirate-themed festival in Ryde, with local produce, music – and sword-fighting.
Both events are excellent days out, made even better by the gorgeous backdrop.
The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
The annual Summer Exhibition at London’s Royal Academy is turning 250 this year. With over 1300 carefully selected artworks, it promises to be the biggest Summer Exhibition yet. The Exhibition runs until the 19th of August; buy tickets here.
The Suffolk Coast
With 50 miles of unspoilt coastline, the Suffolk Coast is summer-holiday heaven. Highlights include Walberswick, a quaint Georgian seaside village with lovely pubs, and Southwold, with its broad expanse of sandy beaches and traditional villagey charm. Aldeburgh, with its world-class concert halls, provides a dose of culture.
Britain’s most spectacular stately homes
As these photos show, we have some gorgeous grand houses in Britain, from giants such as Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth and Highclere Castle to lesser-known gems
From Downton fantasies to dreams of Mr Darcy, nothing captures the imagination quite like Britain’s beautiful stately homes.
Once solely the proud ancestral seats of royalty and landed gentry, which the rest of us could only peek from afar or working ‘downstairs’, manor houses and country estates across the UK have now opened their doors and their gardens to the public. Architectural wonders, beautiful landscaping, lavish art collections and intriguing tales of visiting royals and secret scandals lie beyond their gates…