“One of the most impressive and remarkable collections of books on Earth, housed in some of Britain’s most beautiful and historic architecture” - VisitEngland Assessor
The world-famous Bodleian Libraries is a must-see cultural destination in the heart of Oxford. The Bodleian Library was founded by Sir Thomas Bodley and officially opened in 1602. Today, together with the other libraries which serve the University of Oxford, the Bodleian is the largest academic library in the UK. In its reading rooms generations of famous scholars have studied through the ages, amongst them monarchs, Nobel Prize winners, British Prime Ministers and writers including Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. At the site, you can explore historic spaces that you might recognise from popular films and TV series such as Harry Potter, The Favourite, Endeavour and A Discovery of Witches. We also offer free, inspiring exhibitions featuring the libraries’ rich collections, two unique gift shops and a lovely café.
Awards, accolades and Welcome Schemes
Facilities – at a glance
Also in the area
About the area
Located at the heart of England, Oxfordshire enjoys a rich heritage and surprisingly varied scenery. Its landscape encompasses open chalk downland and glorious beechwoods, picturesque rivers and attractive villages set in peaceful farmland. The countryside in the northwest of Oxfordshire seems isolated by comparison, more redolent of the north of England, with its broad views, undulating landscape and dry-stone walls. The sleepy backwaters of Abingdon, Wallingford, Wantage, Watlington and Witney reveal how Oxfordshire’s old towns evolved over the centuries, while Oxford’s imposing streets reflect the beauty and elegance of ‘that sweet city with her dreaming spires.’ Fans of the fictional sleuth Inspector Morse will recognise many Oxford landmarks described in the books and used in the television series.
The county demonstrates how the strong influence of humans has shaped this part of England over the centuries. The Romans built villas in the pretty river valleys that thread their way through Oxfordshire, the Saxons constructed royal palaces here, and the Normans left an impressive legacy of castles and churches. The philanthropic wool merchants made their mark too, and many of their fine buildings serve as a long-lasting testimony to what they did for the good of the local community.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
Why choose Rated Trips?
Your trusted guide to rated places across the UK
The best coverage
Discover more than 15,000 professionally rated places to stay, eat and visit from across the UK and Ireland.
Choose a place to stay safe in the knowledge that it has been expertly assessed by trained assessors.
Plan your next trip
Search by location or the type of place you're visiting to find your next ideal holiday experience.
Read our articles, city guides and recommended things to do for inspiration. We're here to help you explore the UK.