Whilst conveniently placed for access to London, Oxfordshire is the most rural of the South East counties, with over half the population living in towns or villages of fewer than 10,000. Amongst its other charms, Oxfordshire boasts some of the most highly qualified workforce in the country and offers consistently high levels of employment, but is more commonly known for its beautiful market towns, stunning countryside in the Cotswolds and Chilterns and, of course, the academic, cultural and architectural glory of Bicester village, er Oxford.
From Banbury Cross of children's nursery rhyme fame in the North; through to the charming town of Woodstock, home of the stunning Blenheim palace; down through Wallingford, the country's oldest market town; all the way to sophisticated Henley, known for its annual regatta - Oxfordshire is strewn with quaint charms, but hides a darker side under all the historic regalia...
Yes, Oxfordshire is the murder mystery county of England, boasting not one, not two, but three famous fictional detectives! Agatha Christie lived here and is buried in the tiny town of Cholsey where you can visit her grave and take a guided walk of the area. Inspector Morse, of course, was based in Oxford and the various towns and villages of Oxfordshire provide the landscape for the infamous ‘Midsomer Murders'.
Oxfordshire also provides some opportunities for science fans as the aerospace industry becomes increasingly based in and around Didcot and Culham continues its research into fusion energy. It's not all culture, nature and science, however, as Bicester Village Outlet shopping centre provides the dream destination for bargain label-shoppers!
Family activities and things to do exist in abundance: the river and canal network allow for all sorts of boating fun and Cogges Farm in Witney brings history to life as a working farm/museum showing rural life in Victorian times. The Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens in Burford caters to the animal-mad and now boasts an exotic ‘Madagascar' enclosure for fans of the animated films to meet the real-life animals, whilst the Didcot Railway Centre is perfect for Thomas fans with over twenty Great Western steam engines and special theme days and events throughout the year. This is just a small selection of what's on in the way of family-friendly activities and days out on offer in Oxfordshire.
See our Local listings for further details and many more suggestions.