After spending 10 days exploring the Oxfordshire region in southern England, I decided to write this post about the 5 things to do and see in Oxfordshire. Please note that Oxford is not included in this list as I have written a separate post about it here > Visit Oxford With Kids.
The Oxfordshire region is a charming destination for travelers who want to explore the most authentic and genuine England. Here you can find many activities suitable for every type of traveler, but if you are looking for an unforgettable experience to share with your family, there is no better place. In this post, I will guide you to discover the best attractions for travelers with children, including the famous Blenheim Palace, the picturesque site of Minster Lovell, the enigmatic Rollright Stones, and the traditional Cogges Farm, where you can have lunch at Cogges Kitchen. Get ready for a memorable adventure in this region of England, whether you are traveling with family, alone, or with company.
Located a few kilometers from the city of Oxford, Blenheim Palace is one of the main attractions in the region and one of the 5 things to do and see in Oxfordshire. Built in the 18th century, this palace has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been the home of the Churchill family for generations.
The interior of Blenheim Palace is extraordinary and offers visitors the opportunity to admire British art and architecture at its best. The palace has numerous art and furniture rooms, each with its unique beauty and history. For example, the State Room is one of the most impressive rooms in the palace, with high ceilings and opulent decorations dating back to the reign of King George I. The Yellow Room, on the other hand, is a beautiful example of 18th-century Italian style and features antique furniture and Spanish tapestries. The Churchill Room is dedicated to the famous British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and offers visitors the opportunity to discover the history of the renowned statesman and his connection to the palace.
Furthermore, Blenheim Palace also houses a unique art collection that includes paintings, sculptures, and priceless works of art. Among the most famous works are the frescoes by Louis Laguerre depicting the life of Marlborough, a collection of porcelain, and the famous painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds portraying Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire.
There is also the possibility for children to participate in a kind of treasure hunt inside the palace. Equipped with paper and pen provided by the palace’s reception, their task will be to find hidden plush mice among the palace’s rooms. It’s not a complicated game, but certainly fun for the little ones.
But the visitor’s experience doesn’t end here: Blenheim Palace also offers spectacular gardens and parks where visitors can stroll, have picnics, or take bike tours. There is also an electric train that takes both adults and children from one point to another in the park for just £1 per person.
For children, the Adventure Play is a must-visit. This abandoned garden, which was neglected for many years, has recently been renovated and now offers a wide range of fun activities for children, including a giant maze, zip lines, a climbing wall, suspended paths, and much more. The entrance is separate from the palace and costs £7 per person. It’s truly a wonderful experience and adventure for children, even in bad weather, as was the case for us. Inside the
Inside the Adventure Play, you’ll find various play areas suitable for different age groups. There are sand pits, swings, slides, and even a miniature train that kids can ride. The garden is beautifully designed and offers plenty of space for children to run around and explore. It’s a fantastic way to let them burn off some energy while enjoying the outdoors.
To complete your visit to Blenheim Palace, I highly recommend indulging in an afternoon tea experience at one of the palace’s elegant tea rooms. You can treat yourself to a selection of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam, and a variety of delicious pastries and cakes. The atmosphere is delightful, and it’s a great way to relax and unwind after exploring the palace and gardens.
The entrance fee to Blenheim Palace starts at £22.50 for adults, but you can find a detailed price list in the photo below.
If you are staying in Oxford and don’t have a car, my advice is to book an organized tour that takes you from Oxford to Blenheim Palace by minibus. The tour includes admission and a guide. To book this tour, go directly here.
If you only want to visit the Adventure Play, the price is £7 per person (same price for adults and children). The entrance is separate from the palace, and there is a dedicated parking area where you can leave your car for free.
Located on the banks of the River Windrush, Minster Lovell is a historic site that is part of English Heritage and one of the 5 things to do in Oxfordshire. This village was the center of political and religious life in the region for many centuries.
Today, visitors can admire the ruins of Minster Lovell Castle, built in the 15th century, overlooking the river. The castle was abandoned in the 17th century, but the ruins have been preserved and are still beautiful to see. What makes this place special for children as well is the discovery of an ancient and fascinating history, thanks to the story of the castle and the medieval church of St. Kenelm. Additionally, children can play among the castle ruins, immersed in untouched nature and the tranquility of the English countryside.
The village of Minster Lovell also offers many scenic walks along the river, including the Windrush Trail. Minster Lovell can be visited all year round, and admission is free. There is parking available in the village square where you can leave your car for free and explore the castle and stroll along the riverside paths.
The Rollright Stones
For those intrigued by ancient mysteries, a visit to the Rollright Stones is a must. This prehistoric stone circle, located near the village of Long Compton, is believed to date back to the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods. The circle consists of three main elements: the King’s Men stone circle, the Whispering Knights burial chamber, and the King Stone. Walking among these ancient stones and learning about their folklore and legends is a fascinating experience.
Cogges Manor Farm
Cogges Manor Farm is a delightful family-friendly attraction in Witney, Oxfordshire. This working farm offers a hands-on experience for children, allowing them to interact with farm animals, feed the ducks, and explore the farmyard. There are also beautiful gardens and orchards to wander through, as well as a charming café called Cogges Kitchen where you can enjoy a delicious meal or snack made with fresh, local ingredients. Cogges Manor Farm provides a fun and educational day out for the whole family.
Children will definitely love the visit to the farm, where they can meet animals such as sheep, chickens, and pigs, and participate in cooking and craft workshops. There is also a playground with a zip line, tables, and benches for picnics in the greenery.
Cogges Manor Farm also offers a delicious lunch option at Cogges Kitchen, where you can enjoy typical English dishes made with fresh, local ingredients. And for the dads, they can also savor a pint of local beer.
The cost of admission to the farm is £9 for adults and £6 for children aged 4 to 16. Children under 3 years old enter for free. The admission fee includes access to the farm, gardens, and museum. For families, the price is £28 for two adults and 3 children.
North Leigh Roman Villa
North Leigh Roman Villa is an archaeological site located about 10 kilometers northwest of Oxford and is one of the 5 things to do in Oxfordshire. The villa dates back to the 4th century and was only discovered in 1813 when some farmers were digging a well. Today, visitors can admire the remains of the Roman villa, including the baths, dining room, kitchen, and bedrooms.
At this archaeological site, children can explore the daily life of Romans in Britannia and discover many interesting details about the culture, cuisine, habits, and customs of that era. Additionally, the site is surrounded by beautiful landscapes and walking trails, making it an ideal destination for families seeking a cultural and natural experience during their trip to Oxfordshire.
North Leigh Roman Villa is part of English Heritage and is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (last entry at 5:00 p.m.). The site is closed on Mondays, except during Bank Holiday.
Where to Stay in Oxfordshire
If you are looking for a place to stay in the Blenheim Palace area and a few kilometers away from the 5 things to do in Oxfordshire, there are several options to choose from, depending on your budget and needs.
If you want to stay near the Palace, you might consider booking a room at The Crown Woodstock, a cozy inn located just a short walk from Blenheim Palace. This hotel offers comfortable and tastefully furnished rooms, as well as a restaurant serving delicious British cuisine. With friendly and welcoming staff, it’s definitely the ideal place to explore the area.
Furthermore, the village of Woodstock is a charming place to discover, with traditional architecture of stone and red brick houses. The town center is home to several shops, restaurants, and pubs where you can enjoy local dishes and soak in the welcoming atmosphere of the local community. Additionally, the village also hosts a weekly market where you can purchase fresh local produce and crafts.