What to do in Oxford: On a £20 budget

What to do in Oxford: Oxford on a budget of £20 for the day.


In preparation for the book I intend to release this December, ‘What to do in Oxford: An imagination tour’. This week I have decided to see what I can offer you on your tour of Oxford at the low cost of £20 for the day, this will include some food!

I have selected from a wide variety of locations and tried to pick things that will inspire, relax, feed and bring a few smiles I’m sure.

St Mary’s Church



£16 remaining

St Mary’s Church a place with plenty of history, views, trials and graduations. Also known in its full name as University Church of St Mary the Virgin has seen many things in its time. Built-in Anglo-Saxon times, although not the oldest church in Oxford it has an interesting history. By the 1300s it had become part of Oxford University life and was used in congregations and would be used for University Graduations until they became too rowdy, and the students were banned. In 1555, it held the trials of the Oxford Martyrs, a group of priests who refused to conform to Catholicism and in 1833 it was the starting place of the Oxford Movement. A plan to reinstate traditional Christian values in England and started by prominent men of Oxford University. What you may like to visit is the tower, which has recently been renovated and modernised, so to allow more people access to the top of the Tower, where you can see breathtaking views of Oxford.

Oxford, England, OX1 1DP

Phone: +44 (0) 1865 279111

Opening Hours:

9:00 am – 5:00 pm

July and August 9:00 am – 6:00 pm


The Pitt Rivers



A museum full of wonders and history equal to that of the Ashmolean. There is so much to see, from the entrance you have a giant Red-Wood and the footprints of a Megalosaurus. Once inside you see bones of ancient to modern animals including a T-Rex. A little-known fact is during the 1970s a rhino skeleton was found on the roof. It was put out there just before World War Two started. As you go into the depths of the museum, there is a backroom full of items (600,000 in total in the museum.) and the room has been darkened to help preserve the items, including totem poles, Native American headdresses, mummies and even shrunk heads.

£16 remaining

S Parks Rd, Oxford OX1 3PP

Phone: +44 (0)1865 613 000

Opening Hours:

Monday 12pm – 4.30pm

Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 4.30pm


The Covered Market

The Covered market
What to do in Oxford The Covered Market

This Market is two years older than the United States and has plenty to offer any visitor. If you are looking for something to eat after all that culture and beauty you are in good local hands.

  • Alpha Bar
  • Georgina’s
  • Brothers
  • Browns café
  • David John pies
  • Ben’s Cookies

These are just a few of the places to choose something to eat. There is a wide variety of choice for Meat Eaters, Vegetarians and Vegans. I would very much recommend Alpha Bar, which runs with University term times. Brown’s café is a traditional English café and they do a nice breakfast fry up. Brown’s does excellent sandwiches and David John is an excellent butchers and pie makers.


£9 remaining

Opening Hours:

Monday to Saturday 8am – 5.30pm

Sundays 10am – 4pm

Modern Art Oxford


Constructed in 1965 its aim is ‘the advancement of education of the general public in the modern visual arts’. This gallery built a reputation on showing up and coming artists from Europe, Africa and

1989 Yayoi Kusama, William Morris, Andy Warhol,


£9 remaining

Established in 1965

30 Pembroke Street, Oxford,

Phone: +44 (0) 1865 794154

Opening Hours:

Monday Closed

Tue-Sat: 10:00 – 17:00

Sun: 12:00 – 17:00


The Botanic Gardens


If you are looking for inspiration or just to see beauty crammed into every corner, you cannot go far wrong with a visit to the Oxford Botanic Gardens. This was originally a Jewish cemetery and now houses the world first botanic garden. Establish in 1621, these gardens have inspired Philip Pullman and Tolkien from the trees to the benches where William and Lyra sat.

Day tickets

Adult: £5.45

Adult + Gift Aid: £6.00

Children under 16: Free*

£3 remaining

Rose Ln, Oxford OX1 4AZ

Opening Hours:

Monday to Sunday 9:00 – 17:00


Ben’s Cookies

Ben's cookies
What to do in Oxford Ben’s cookies

Simply the best cookies that I have ever eaten, and I have travelled across the United States. To get the best out of these cookies you must try and get them after they have come out of the oven. The ingredients will have melted into the cookie, leaving a soft, rich goo in the centre. I have given an estimate on one cookie, as they are priced by weight. You will not want more than one, I’ve heard that one cookie is worth a thousand calories.


£1.50 – £2

£1 remaining

108-109 Covered Market, Oxford OX1 3DZ

T: +44 (0) 1865 247407

Opening Hours:

Mon- Sat 9:15 – 17:30

Sun: 10:00 – 16:00


If you would like to know what to do in Oxford for free have a look at last weeks blog.

If you think there was something else to offer or something I’ve missed I’d love to hear your suggestions.

With your one pound, you might be interested in giving to a charity.

I can definitely recommend Helen and Douglas House. An Oxford-based and the world’s first hospice for children.

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What to do in Oxford. Six free things to do in Oxford.

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