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Christmas in Oxford

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To book this holiday please contact our Travel Experts directly on

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A FESTIVE ESCAPE TO THE ‘CITY OF SPIRES’

Explore long-held traditions and a vibrant history with a Christmas break in Oxford and its neighbouring Cotswolds.  

Take to the ‘City of Spires’ over the Christmas period with this unforgettable tour of Oxford and the Cotswolds. Witness Blenheim Palace in all its majesty with a guided excursion of the surrounding grounds and experience quintessential England in three of the Cotswold’s most picturesque villages. Enjoy a memorable Christmas Day in Oxford and discover the most iconic sights alongside your tour manager. 

   

What does this price include?

  • Five nights’ half-board accommodation at the three-star Linton Lodge Hotel, Oxford
  • Five breakfasts, five dinners, and a Christmas lunch
  • Guided tour of Oxford
  • Day trip to Blenheim Palace with a tour of its grounds and Christmas light trail
  • Excursion to the Cotswold’s with visits to Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water and Burford
  • Coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

View a full breakdown of your holiday to help you plan your trip

  • Make your own way to the Oxford hotel, situated in the city’s leafy suburbs, and settle in for the evening.  

    Meet your fellow travellers and friendly tour manager before dinner is served at the hotel’s restaurant.  

  • Enjoy breakfast in your hotel and board the coach for today’s excursion. Leaving the bustle of Oxford behind, you’ll be immersed in the Cotswolds’ untouched natural beauty as you’re driven through its rolling green hills.  

    Your first stop, Bourton-on-the-Water, offers plenty of celebratory cheer along its frosted riverbanks; be sure to keep an eye out for the village’s signature Christmas tree, which rises up from the river Windrush each year. Often called the ‘Venice of the Cotswolds’ thanks to the five low-arching bridges crossing its river, Bourton-on-the-Water will come alive with lights as you pass its waterfront. No festive visit to this market town would be complete without paying a visit to its dedicated Victorian Christmas shop, featuring an array of trinkets and keepsakes.  

     

    Your next village will be Bibury, home to the famous Arlington Row of weavers’ cottages. This 600-year-old string of homes was originally built as a wool store and later converted in the late 17th century. Today, it’s a Grade I-listed building, owned by the national trust, an architectural conversation area, and probably one of the probably one of the most photographed Cotswold scenes.  

    Once you’ve had your fill of the village’s medieval architecture, be sure to immerse yourself in its striking natural beauty. Keep a close eye on the Rack Island water meadows for a glimpse of its some of its resident waterfowl or wander through the village to Bibury’s trout farm, which offers a café, giftshop and market.  

    On your way back towards Oxford, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the medieval town of Burford. Once a hub of the wool trade, the town’s industrial past is illustrated at its old market hall turned museum, the Tolsey. Tradition is close to Burford’s identity and that’s certainly the case with the town’s high street. You’ll be free to supplement your Christmas shopping with its array of independent stores. Finally, after the day’s travel, you can recharge your batteries over a cup of tea at one of the town’s quaint cafés.  

     

    Having returned Oxford, you can settle into your hotel for dinner. 

  • To mark Christmas Eve in style, you’ll travel to one of England’s largest country houses, Blenheim Palace. Have breakfast at your hotel and be sure to wrap up warm before boarding your coach to this UNESCO-listed treasure. The building, in all its baroque majesty, is the only independently owned country house in England to hold the title of ‘palace’. From its regal hallways and bedchambers to the modest servants’ quarters below, this stately home and magnificent palace gardens can be surveyed during a guided tour.  

    Wander the walled gardens and trace your steps through the impressive Marlborough Maze, which comprises of almost two miles of intricately patterned hedgerow. Elsewhere, you’ll have the opportunity to glimpse further into Blenheim’s history with a tour of the palace’s Formal Gardens. Walk in the footsteps of Britain’s war-time Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill (this palace was his birthplace and ancestral home) or enjoy the secluded charm of the Secret Garden.  

    As the sun sets over Blenheim, you can revel in the festive atmosphere with the grounds adorned in decorations and lights. The palace’s famous light trail, considered one of the best in the country, is yours to embrace as you wish. While you soak up the smells and sounds of Christmas throughout this festive wonderland, sample some of the seasonal street food on offer. Be sure to check back in at the palace itself too as its interior gets a sprinkling of fairy dust as JM Barrie’s Neverland is brought to life with themed decorations.  

    Later this evening, travel by coach back to your hotel for dinner. 

  • It’s Christmas Day and you’ll have a day at leisure to fill however you see fit! For those keen to explore Oxfordshire’s idyllic rural spaces, ahead of your tour of the city centre tomorrow, a stroll along the river Cherwell makes for a relaxing festive treat as you pass through the city’s vibrant greenspaces.  

    Whether you make your way around some of Oxford’s lesser-known gems or enjoy your day from the comfort of the hotel, reconvene with your fellow guests for a special Christmas lunch this afternoon and a lighter dinner later in the evening. 

  • After breakfast this morning, take to Oxford’s city centre and discover the city’s importance to the UK, both in the past and present day. With some of the finest architecture in the country, you’ll be immersed in the most iconic sights of the ‘City of Spires’. Witness the gothic splendour of University Hall and Bodleian Library, counted among the oldest academic institutions in the world, and view the Bridge of Sighs and the University Church of St. Mary.  

    If you get the chance, it’s certainly worth climbing the church’s spiral staircases for the panoramic views of the city from the top of its tower. Also on the agenda today will be the Oxford Canal, which acted as one of the main routes for trade between London and the Midlands, and the impressive Christ Church Cathedral. You’ll now have the afternoon to spend at leisure, exploring Oxford’s winding streets at your own pace.  

    After a busy day, return to the hotel for your last night. With a host of new friends, enjoy dinner together this evening. 

  • Draw your Cotswolds escape to a close with a final breakfast at the hotel before making your way home along the country roads. 

Dates & Prices

To book this holiday please contact our Travel Experts directly on

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Hotels

Linton Lodge, Oxford

Built out of three renovated Edwardian houses and located on a quiet residential street, this hotel is just a 10-minute walk from the famous Oxford University.  

View Hotel

Further Information

  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.

  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.

  • Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.

  • Rules may have changed since you last travelled to European Union countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The following are useful guidelines which will help you prepare for your next adventure. You do require government issued passport to travel.

    Names - It is very important that all passenger names are exactly as per your passport although we do not require middle names.

    Passport - Your passport must meet two requirements to travel to an EU country and to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. It must be: Less than 10 years old on the day you return home (please check the "date of issue") and valid for at least 3 months after the day you return home (please check the "expiry date").

    Visa - You do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.

    European Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS) - Commencing in late 2023 or 2024, all citizens of the United Kingdom will require a ETIAS electronic form completed prior to their arrival into the EU and Schengen member countries. The cost for this travel authorisation will be €7.00 per person with exceptions for under 18’s and over 70’s. The latest information and further details can be found at www.etias.com.

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