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Living in Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires

Living in Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires

Oxford, also known as “the City of Dreaming Spires”, is a truly beautiful and cosmopolitan city with a rich heritage many are proud of.

There are about 32,000 full-time students in Oxford (Higher Education Statistics Agency 2014/15), so if you are moving here to study or coming down for a long weekend to visit a friend, know that you will not be alone and there is a lot to keep you entertained.

Going out

There is a wide range of places to eat and drink in Oxford; restaurants, tapas bars, wine bars, independent pubs and bars with live music, tea shops and coffee houses. Hidden in the Covered Market, a historic market with permanent stalls and shops in a large covered structure in central Oxford, you will find The Varsity Club – why not stop there for a drink and some unique views of Oxford from the rooftop bar?

Throughout the year Oxford also hosts a diverse range of events: The Cowley Road Carnival, Oxford Pride and Parade, Oxford Literary Festival, Common People Festival, food events and many music events. Have a look online and see which events you could attend!


If you fancy a cultural visit, we recommend the wonderfully quirky Pitt Rivers Museum. It is a treasure trove of collected items from around the world. The Ashmolean is the University of Oxford's museum of art and archaeology showcasing fascinating collections from around the globe – definitely worth the visit.

Breathing space

If you are in the mood to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, why not see Oxford from the water? Punting is the traditional way to see Oxford from the water and is enjoyed by students, visitors and residents all year round – take a picnic with you as you discover Oxford from a different perspective.

Oxford is also known for its green spaces - there are over 50 parks, gardens, meadows and nature reserves as well as the Oxford Canal and the rivers Thames and Cherwell to enjoy. Explore University Parks or watch the sun set over the Oxford spires from South Park.

The Ultimate Picture Palace is a historic grade II listed cinema on Cowley Road and the Phoenix Picturehouse on Walton Street are both small cinemas featuring both indie and popular films. There are discounts for students and great refreshments available.

If you are into theatre, why not book tickets for a play, musical or music performances at the Playhouse and New Theatre in the city centre? Discounts are available to students.

Studying at Ruskin College, Oxford

Our campus is a close-knit community, helping students feel supported and welcome during their time here. With an award-winning café onsite, local shops, bars and restaurants close-by, students will never be far from what they need.

We are one of the liveliest venues for literary and political meetings in Oxford with visiting speakers, music evenings, and creative writing. We regularly host events including guest speakers, book launches, political events, Ruskin Red Ball, and a variety of performance-based evenings.

With the beautiful city of Oxford on our doorstep, and 32,000 full-time students in the city, as a student here, you will not be alone and there will be plenty to keep you entertained.

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