In no particular order:
A boardgame café with knowledgeable staff and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of games. You’d do well to book in advance for a slot, as it’s very popular. With milkshakes, cake, and yes, alcohol, it’s the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.
Atomic Burger and its sister join Atomic Pizza are a geeky delight, with brilliant, American-style food. Try the sci-fries or the spacedust shakes.
3. Punting on the Cherwell to Victoria Arms and back
Punting in general is a must when visiting Oxford, but I’m particularly fond of this leg, which leaves from the Cherwell Boathouse and ends up at the Victoria Arms, where you can tie up your punt and have a relaxing pint or two in the sunshine.
4. Port Meadow to the Perch
Again, an excursion with a pub on the horizon. Port Meadow is an ancient grazing land bordered by the Thames and a clutter of narrowboats. It’s a lovely walk, and while the Perch is not quite as quirky as it used to be, it’s still a good public house, made famous by being the first place where Lewis Caroll gave a public reading of Alice in Wonderland.
5. The Quarter Horse’s banana bread
A small but perfectly formed café with banana bread worth travelling for. I’m not even joking. There are no toilet facilities, alas.
There’s no shortage of museums, but I’d recommend this one, not just because it’s excellent (it is), but because it’s close to all sorts of other sightseeing check-list places. These include the Bodleian, the bridge of sighs, and the Turf Tavern, all a stone’s throw away.
Across the street from the History of Science Museum, I challenge you to leave this place without buying a book. If it gets too much, have a pint at the White Horse next door.
There’s no shortage of great pubs in Oxford, but this one gives you an excuse to visit one of the loveliest parts of Jericho. The food’s pretty great too. While there, check out St Barnabas Church, which looks better suited to Florence than Oxford.
Last but not least, an independent bookshop that regularly appears on ‘ten best bookshops across the world’ lists. With regular events, it’s the beating heart of cultural Oxford. Spend a few moments browsing there, and you’re bound to find something unexpected. Particularly good for beat poetry, jazz and American pulp. You can also get some great hand-bound stationary there courtesy of Immaginacija Bindery.