Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire and a city in the South East area of England. It is the 52nd biggest city in the United Kingdom, with a population of 159,994, and one of the fastest growing and most ethnically diverse. Oxford has a diverse economic foundation. Its sectors include automobile manufacture, education, publishing, and a plethora of information technology and science-based firms, some of which are university spin-offs.
The city is well-known around the globe as the home of the Institution of Oxford, the world’s oldest university in the English-speaking world. Oxford’s buildings include outstanding examples of every English architectural style from the late Saxon period. The poet Matthew Arnold used the phrase “city of dreaming spires” to describe Oxford.
Oxford – Info Card
|POPULATION :||• City and non-metropolitan district 157,997|
• Urban 171,380
• Metro 244,000
|FOUNDED :||Founded 8th century|
City status 1542
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone GMT (UTC0)|
• Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
|AREA :||45.59 km2 (17.60 sq mi)|
|COORDINATES :||51°45′7″N 1°15′28″W|
|SEX RATIO :|
|ETHNIC :||72.4% White British|
6.7% Other White
8.5% South Asian
3.0% Mixed Race
1.4% White Irish
|AREA CODE :||01865|
|POSTAL CODE :||OX1 • OX2 • OX3 • OX4|
|DIALING CODE :||+44 1865|
Tourism in Oxford
Oxford is the oldest university city in the United Kingdom, located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of London in its own county of Oxfordshire, on the rivers Thames (the stretch of the Thames at Oxford is known as “The Isis”) and Cherwell. Oxford has long symbolized the English academic establishment and élite (“Oxbridge”), a sanctuary of tradition and achievement, alongside Cambridge (the second oldest university city and Oxford’s main competitor). Oxford’s famed “Dreaming Spires” allude to the Gothic-style medieval churches and colleges that tower above the busy contemporary town. Beautiful architecture and a dynamic contemporary life (fueled by students, light industry, and technology) located in the rolling countryside of Oxfordshire make this a wonderful vacation.
Oxford boasts a plethora of prominent tourist sites, many of which are affiliated with the university and colleges. In addition to numerous well-known institutions, the town center is home to Carfax Tower and the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, both of which give views of the city’s spires. The old Covered Market is popular with visitors. Punting on the Thames/Isis and the Cherwell is popular throughout the summer.
Oxford is home to several museums, galleries, and collections, the majority of which are open to the public and important tourist attractions. The vast majority are University of Oxford departments.
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of the most famous and prestigious higher education institutions in the world, with five applications for every available place and 40 percent of its academic staff and 15 percent of undergraduates coming from outside the country. According to QS World Rankings, it is now placed fifth in the world, behind its biggest UK competitor, Cambridge, which is ranked first.
Oxford is well-known for its tutorial-based teaching technique, with students attending one one-hour tutorial each week on average.
THE CITY CENTRE
Oxford city centre contains several shops, many theatres, and an ice rink, as well as being a key magnet for visitors (9.1 million in 2008, same in 2009). Because of the old structures, this site is a favorite choice for film and television crews.
The city center is tiny and centered on Carfax, a crossroads that connects Cornmarket Street (pedestrianised), Queen Street (semi-pedestrianised), St Aldate’s, and the High. Oxford’s major brand businesses, as well as a limited number of independent merchants, such as Boswell’s, which was founded in 1738, can be found on Cornmarket Street and Queen Street. Although St Aldate’s has few stores, it does have various local government facilities, including the town hall, the city police station, and local council offices. The High (the term street is generally removed) is the longest of the four streets and is home to a variety of independent and high-end chain retailers, as well as university and college buildings.
The Clarendon Centre and the Westgate Centre are two minor retail malls in the city center. The Westgate Centre, situated near the west end of Queen Street, is named after the old West Gate in the city wall. It’s a little town with a few chain businesses and a grocery. The Westgate Shopping Centre will be tripled in size to 750,000 square feet (70,000 square meters), with a new 1,335-space underground car park and 90 new stores and restaurants, including a 230,000 square foot (21,000 square meter) John Lewis department store. There will be a new and enhanced transportation system, as well as a thorough renovation of the present center and the neighboring Bonn Square area. The development plans include a number of new dwellings, and completion is scheduled in 2011, however this has been pushed back owing to the present economic conditions.
Blackwell’s Bookshop is a big bookstore that boasts the largest single space dedicated to book sales in Europe, the vast Norrington Room (10,000 sq ft).
Climate of Oxford
Oxford has a moderate marine climate. Precipitation is spread consistently throughout the year and is mostly given by weather systems that come from the Atlantic. In January 1982, the lowest temperature ever recorded in Oxford was 16.6 °C (2.1 °F). During the 2003 European heat wave, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Oxford was 35.6 °C (96 °F). The climate of Oxford is similar to that of Pershore, Worcestershire.
The Radcliffe Meteorological Station provided the average conditions seen below. It has the longest set of temperature and rainfall records for a single location in the United Kingdom. These documents date back to January 1815. Since 1767, there have been irregular measurements of rainfall, clouds, and temperature.
Geography of Oxford
The latitude and longitude of Oxford are 51°45′07′′N 1°15′28′′W, or grid reference SP513061 (at Carfax Tower, which is usually considered the centre).
Oxford is 24 miles (39 kilometers) north-west of Reading, 26 miles (42 kilometers) north-east of Swindon, 36 miles (58 kilometers) east of Cheltenham, and 43 miles (69 kilometers) east of Gloucester. It is 29 miles (47 kilometers) south-west of Milton Keynes, 38 miles (61 kilometers) south-east of Evesham, 43 miles (69 kilometers) south of Rugby, and 51 miles (82 kilometers) north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames (sometimes known locally as the Isis from the Latinised name Thamesis) stream through Oxford and meet south of the city center.
Economy of Oxford
Oxford’s economy is broad, including manufacturing, publishing, and science-based companies, as well as education, research, and tourism.
Since Morris Motors’ establishment in the city in 1910, Oxford has been an important center of motor production. The primary manufacturing location for Mini automobiles, which is currently owned by BMW, is located in the Oxford district of Cowley.
Oxford University Press, a division of the University of Oxford, is headquartered in the city, albeit it no longer owns its own paper mill and printing house. Wiley-Blackwell, Elsevier, and other smaller publishing firms have UK operations in the city as well.
TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE
The university’s presence has given birth to several scientific and technology-based enterprises, such as Oxford Instruments, Research Machines, and Sophos. In 1987, the university launched Isis Innovation to facilitate technological transfer. The Oxford Science Park was founded in 1990, and the university-owned Begbroke Science Park is located north of the city.
Oxford is gaining a reputation as a hotbed of digital innovation, as shown by Digital Oxford. Oxford is home to a number of businesses, including Passle, Brainomix, Labstep, and others.
Oxford has also become a center for the education business as a result of the university’s existence. Companies often hire teaching professionals from the pool of Oxford University students and alumni, and, particularly in EFL instruction, leverage their Oxford location to advertise their services.
Internet, Communication in Oxford
The Oxford Public Library in the Westgate Shopping Centre provides free internet access. Residents of the hostels near the railway station have access to the Internet.
In the city, there are also internet cafés. One to try is situated above the baguette (sandwich) store on New Inn Hall Street’s extreme south end (the little lane running perpendicular to George Street, right across from Gloucester Green bus station and immediately parallel to Cornmarket Street). They also provide international phone calls, faxes, and printing.