Oxford is a city in the south-east of England, marking the eastern edge of The Cotswolds. The principle county town in Oxfordshire, Oxford has a population of around 160,000 people and holds one of the world's oldest and most famous universities. Two rivers flow through the city, the River Cherwell and the River Thames, although strangely enough the River Thames changes it's name to 'The Isis' along its 16km stretch through the city. Known as 'The City of the Dreaming Spires', Oxford is an architecturally stunning city, with several iconic churches, university buildings and monuments including the 18th century Radcliffe Camera, widely acknowledged as being one of the most beautiful buildings in Europe.
A city known across the world, Oxford recieves around 3.5 million tourists a year. Many of them are drawn by the sights and monuments such as the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Carfax Tower and the Botanical Garden. The Carfax Tower is particularly appealing as it offers spectacular views of the city centre from above, where you can see all the dreaming spires that inspired poet Matthew Arnold. The Ashmolean Museum is also a popular choice among tourists, with it being the oldest museum in the United Kingdom and exhibiting work by Michaelangelo, Da Vinci and Picasso.
The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the english-speaking world. Said to date back as far as the 11th century, many illustrious names have studied in the university including Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Hugh Grant and Sir Walter Raleigh. Nearly 20,000 students attend the university every year, attracted by it's reputation as one of the top ten universities in the world.
Several programmes and films, such as Harry Potter, have been filmed in Oxford, and simply walking through the historic streets of the city it's easy to see why. Around every corner and down each narrow street there is a beautifully crafted building or monument to admire. There are also many parks and gardens giving the city centre a green and leafy impression, and in which many decide to sit down for a picnic in the warm summer months. Another popular pastime in Oxford is punting, which can be described as being very similar to the gondolas of Venice, with a long pole being used to push the boat downstream.
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