Oxford, England is a literary city through and through. If you decide to visit, there will be bookish hints around every corner. It has been one of my favorite places to visit and I am counting down the days before I get to visit again. If you are a book nerd or literary enthusiast, here are the bookish places you need to go to when you travel to Oxford!
Of course I would include a bookstore on this list. In fact, I have two bookstores! Blackwells is one of my favorite stores in the world, and this specific store of theirs is really special. This is one of the first places that JRR Tolkien ever published! This store is huge, with five floors and walls and walls of beautiful books. They even have a section of special signed first edition copies! There is also a Cafe Nero on one of the top floors so that you can get a nice cup of coffee and cake and read for hours on end.
Waterstones is the second bookstore that is a place any book nerd must visit when they go to Oxford. This store is huge, like… probably one of the largest stores I’ve ever been in. It has seven floors of glorious books and a wonderful cafe upstairs. Like Blackwells, this store has both new releases and old books, but Waterstones is famous for their specific special editions that they release. I really recommend checking out the store and all they have to offer.
4. Christ’s Church
Christs Church is one of the many colleges that is a part of Oxford University, but this one is special to literary fans for many reasons. Alice Liddell, the famous girl who inspired the character of Alice in Wonderland, met Lewis Carol here due to the fact that her father was the dean of Christ Church College. Lewis Carol also worked at this college. Additionally, here is a special staircase you can see on the audio tour of Christ’s Church that was used in the Harry Potter films.
4. New College
Need more Harry Potter movie spots? Well don’t worry because there are plenty! Another college used in the filming of Harry Potter was New College. Walk through the halls and outer gardens to find familiar backdrops for Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the rest of your favorite Harry Potter characters!
5. Bodleian Library
When you go to Oxford, you must visit the Bodleian Library! While it isn’t open to visitors, I took a university tour where they let us into a special room that was used in some of the Harry Potter films. This library is truly historic and is a centerpiece for many different novels, including A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. The outside is beautiful as well, and I greatly recommend making it a stop on your list of places to see. I do also recommend the university tour because they discuss the history of the town and each college you visit, as well as some cool literary facts about each place.
6. The Eagle and Child Pub
How could one not stop at The Eagle and Child Pub while they are in Oxford? This pub is one of the most historic literary spots in the entire city. This pub was a meeting spot for many writers including JRR Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. You do need a reservation before going, so make sure to book a few days in advance for your literary meal experience!