|| Oxford has always
been ahead of the times and it is for this reason that
it can claim many unusual firsts.
It has the oldest music performance hall in Europe in
the shape of the Holywell Music Room (built in
1748) and can also, naturally, lay claim to having the
oldest English-speaking university in the world in the
shape of Oxford University.
You probably first read about Oxford in the dreamy laments
of romantic poets such as Browning and Matthew
Arnold, or the more modern detective thrillers of Colin Dexter, but did you know that Oxford has
more published writers per square mile than anywhere in
the world? Books have been printed in Oxford since 1478
and one of its most read exports is the Oxford English
Oxford excels in sporting achievements and one of its
most famous came in 1954 when Roger Bannister became
the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes
at Oxford’s Iffley Road sports ground.
There’s also the regatta at Henley where
some of the world’s best rowers meet for
a day packed with thrills and spills. The regatta dates
back to 1839 and still proves to be a great day for
the whole family to enjoy.
If you’re looking for something quirky why not stop
for a pint at The Bear Inn, which is believed to
be the oldest pub in Oxford, dating back to 1242. However,
don’t wear your best suit as the owner has a huge
collection of snipped-off ties (in exchange for a free
Not far from Oxford town centre is the The White Horse
of Uffington which is thought to be the oldest hill
figure in Britain. It is 374 feet long and thought to
date back 12,000 years, to the late Bronze Age. From this
one equine historians have been able to piece together
the fascinating history of the area.