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Culture, Knowledge

Oxford Tourism

Gen Z Frenzy

Oxford River

Until last month, it had been three years since my last holiday. While this is probably a slightly unsurprising piece of information considering two of those were spent not leaving our houses, let alone our countries, I think this gap might’ve made me forget how to holiday.

The combination of delays, and the fact that I like to allow about 3-5 working days to get through security, meant that me and my boyfriend spent around 50% of our holiday in Bristol airport – luckily for us, they have a fairly big duty free. We got there in the end though, and while we had a great time, we seemed to come back more frazzled than we left. There was this manic voice in our heads making sure we were making the most of our holiday, and it ended up leading to a bit of a hectic one. “We’ve spent a lot of money on this, make sure you have fun,” it would remind me. “Are you definitely making the most of this annual leave Ellie? come on, ARE YOU HAVING FUN YET?” Bit of a buzzkill at times I won’t lie.

Again, I should reiterate that we did have a lovely time, but it certainly made me wonder whether there’s an easier, lower-pressure type of holiday we could opt for next.

Having grown up and spent my whole life in Oxford, I often overlook the fact that it is, in itself, a holiday destination – granted, there’s a severe lack of beaches depending on how highly you rate Port Meadows, but a holiday all the same. My boyfriend recently moved from Yorkshire to live here with me (clearly, he didn’t quite feel like he was paying enough for rent) but showing him around has definitely reminded me how lucky we are to be here.

As bizarre as it is to watch tourists take pictures of your local Pret on your morning commute, it’s a good way to make you appreciate where you are, and that actually, that building is 650 years old, so yeah, fair play, take a picture – I might get one too?

If this year isn’t one for extravagant holidays, get out and do some tourism on your own doorstep. Annoy the locals, go on a tour, and for some inexplicable reason, buy an Oxford uni hoodie.


Corinne Bailey Rae
Wed 1 May 2024

Corinne Bailey Rae’s Put Your Records On snap-shotted the summer of 2006. Her most recent release, Black Rainbows came out 2023 and it is obvious to hear how much she is relishing the full range of her unique voice and, as I was to discover when we spoke, her extraordinarily lyrical vocabulary.

Paul Foot 3 wi4hf6
Tue 2 Apr 2024

Award-winning quirky and alternative comedian Paul Foot is returning to Oxford this month with his new show, Dissolve which is set to be his most vulnerable and honest yet. We got in touch to find out what we can expect from his performance at Oxford’s New Theatre, as well as – in very Paul Foot fashion – getting side-tracked by King  Tutankhamen, and what  Jesus might have  achieved if  he'd been a plumber...

Katie otb8tw
Fri 1 Mar 2024

This month, Katie Melua will be in Oxford, helping to launch the Oxford Literary Festival’s new Programme in Georgian Literature and Culture.

Namvula BBC Music nuyc98
Fri 1 Mar 2024

Described as having a diasporic upbringing, singer-songwriter Namvula is also a gifted photographer and was co-founder of Film Africa, a London-based celebration of African cinema and culture. She now lives in Oxford where she will be performing later this month at The North Wall.