We take a look at the sights around Oxford University that you can see with your dog. Unfortunately dogs aren’t allowed in the actual colleges, but there is still plenty of Oxford University to see with your dog.
The famous circular domed building of the Radcliffe Camera was built between 1737 and 1748 as part of the legacy of John Radcliffe (1650–1714). He left a large sum of money with which to purchase both the land for the new building, a librarian and the books.
Interestingly, it was called the Radcliffe Library until 1860 when it was taken over by the Bodleian Library and renamed the Radcliffe Camera. There is actually no camera in the building – the word ‘camera’ means chamber in Latin!
While you are there you and your dog can take a peek through the gates to see All Souls College.
Sheldonian Theatre, The Divinity School, and The Clarendon Building
Be surrounded by the University’s history and go for a stroll around the courtyard in the centre of The Sheldonian Theatre, Divinity School, and Clarendon Building.
The Sheldonian Theatre, is the official ceremonial hall of the University of Oxford. As well as hosting many concerts and talks, it is also the location for the University’s ceremonial activities, including: matriculation, graduation ceremonies, Encaenia and Congregation.
The Clarendon Building was completed in 1713 and was the home of Oxford University Press, after it moved from the basement of the theatre. In the 1820s OUP moved to new premises in Walton Street, after which the University used the Clarendon Building for administrative purposes. In 1975 the building was transferred to the Bodleian Library, for which it now provides office and meeting space.
The Divinity school is a beautiful medieval building in the corner of the courtyard and the oldest surviving purpose-built building for university use. It was designed between 1423 and 1488 specifically for lectures, oral exams and discussions on theology. Interestingly the School was used by the House of Commons when they were driven from London by the plague in 1625. Although dogs aren’t allowed inside any of the buildings, if you take a peek through the window you may recognise the interior from the Harry Potter films.
Let your dogs have a run in University Parks, the official sports grounds of the University hosting cricket, lacrosse, tennis, football, and rugby. Read our guide to a dog walk in the park for more insights into the beautiful space.
Christ Church Meadow
A rare open space in the middle of the city, Christ Church Meadow offers the public an idyllic walk by the rivers Cherwell and Thames (or Isis as it is known while in the city). Take in spectacular views of Christ Church College and head towards the college boathouses, where rowing teams from each of the University’s college come to train and compete. In the centre of the meadow the two flood plain fields are home to Christ Church’s herd of pedigree Old English Longhorn cattle.
Bridge of Sighs
The bridge is popularly known as the Bridge Of Sighs but is officially called Hertford Bridge as it connects two parts of Hertford College over New College Lane in Oxford.
Despite its common name, the bridge actually looks more like the Rialto Bridge then the Bridge of Sighs in Venice.
The bridge makes for a perfect photo opportunity with your dog!
University Church of St Mary the Virgin, High Street
Standing in the centre of the once walled city of Oxford, there has been a church on this site for thousands of years.
In the early thirteenth century the University began to develop and scholars and teachers, with their classes of scholars, moved into small halls of residence here until around 1420 when the University began to expand.
You can walk around the outside of the church to admire its mix of medieval and contemporary architecture. Don’t forget to look up at one of the city’s most beautiful spires.
After all that sight-seeing you and your dog will be ready for a refresh. Head to The Vaults Cafe in the corner of University Church for a dog-friendly coffee with views you simply can’t beat.