Bored in Oxford o a Sunday? Don’t panic! There are plenty of places to see and things to do in the city and its surrounding areas. In this article, I will show you some of my favourite Sunday activities for this seemingly uninspiring day. I promise you don’t be disappointed. So, let’s get started, shall we? What can you do in Oxford if it’s Sunday?
Things to Do and Places to see on a Sunday in Oxford
Oxford is a beautiful city full of museums, galleries, theatres, restaurants, and bars. If you’ve been here for a while, though, you might feel like you’ve seen it all! (Have you, though? Even Oxford’s truly secret spots?). Don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest you join me on a visit to the Ashmolean; although it’s a wonderful spot. And we all know the parks are there all the time. No, we’re talking about those things you haven’t done yet and haven’t even heard about that are perfect for a boring Sunday. Don’t believe me? Let me show you.
1. Discover a New Oxford Neighbourhood
If you’ve been trapped in your room studying or you leave your house when it’s dark just to return when… it’s dark again, you probably haven’t had much time to see the various gorgeous neighbourhoods of Oxford. There are my favourites in order of “how much I like them on a Sunday”:
- Cowley Road: Cowley Road runs southeast of the city. When I lived here, about a thousand years ago, Cowley Road was filled with houses and a single Tesco. Today, this arterial road has become a leisure district. There are dozens of large international communities living around this area, so it’s the perfect spot to see some art and try new food.
- Jericho: I am aware; we all know Jericho. But have you actually walked the little roads, the ones closer to Castle Mill Stream? Anyhow, Jericho is a perfect Oxfordian gem to visit on a Sunday, as it’s very close to the city centre and has plenty of shops, a cinema, awesome pubs, and some green spaces.
- Marston: Depending on who you ask, Marston might not be considered an Oxford neighbourhood. This village, about 2 miles from the city centre, has numerous footpaths and a cycle route, so you can get to it pretty easily. On a Sunday, Marston is quiet and pretty. A simple but effective option if you’re bored and want to go for a walk (don’t worry, we’ll get to more exciting ideas soon).
2. Have a Ride on the Miniature Railway in Cutteslowe Park
I bet you haven’t done this yet! A great option for something to do in Oxford on a Sunday is to visit the Cutteslowe Park Miniature Railway (and go for a ride, of course).
The park is operated by the City of Oxford Society of Model Engineers, and almost everyone who has visited it thinks it’s great (just look at those reviews!). This gem of a plce is perfect for children ages 3 to 99.
There are three rides. The A loop is on the inside track. Then, there’s another extension and another inside loop. Plenty to enjoy and definitely worth the £1.25 ticket price. One thing to keep in mind: The place can get a little busy, so make sure you reserve some 30 minutes for queueing – just in case.
3. Visit the War Graves in Botley Cemetery
Botley Cemetery has 156 burials remembering soldiers who died during WW1 (all of them due to injuries). The reason they are there is that they were driven to Botley by train during the Great War.
You might be thinking: Visiting a cemetery? Is that what you call an inspiring Sunday? But hear me out. First, lots of people do this; just because a place is sombre it doesn’t mean you cannot appreciate its tragically humane beauty. But also: Botley is beautiful, especially in Spring. There’s also a chapel and facilities.
Plus, you can then go for a drink or get some food from Jericho, which is just around the corner (sort of).
4. Join Some Friends To Try and Solve a Scape Room
Oxford has become quite a popular destination for escape room lovers, so this is something you should definitely consider doing on a Sunday. There really is a room for everyone (although you should bring some friends).
For instance, you can do an Alice in Wonderland escape room (like Clue the Looking Glass), which takes place entirely outdoors. Or you can try the City Mazes Escape Rooms, which have rather complex puzzles for two to ten people. Their experiences include a wizarding-themed room, a space operation, and an atomic agency, among many others.
You can see a list of all escape rooms in Oxford and how to book them in this article.
5. Finally Go Punting
If you do not belong to a college, you have probably never gone punting. I think most people that move to Oxford don’t try it; maybe because it’s seen as such a touristic choice. However, unless it’s winter, punting on the Cherwell is an excellent option if yo’re looking for something to do on a Sunday in Oxford.
This location is ideal for punting. Plus, you can do it entirely on your own! It’s also not particularly difficult, although you should set some time aside to learn the basics. One thing, though: If you’re going punting this Sunday, know you’ll nose and be nosed by many other boats!
You can see where to punt (and when) in this article: Punting on the River Cherwell.
We’ve covered a few things I like to do (or would like to do, if we look at n. 5) on a Sunday in Oxford. Do you have other ideas? Let me know!