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Which Oxford do you want to explore? The city of learning? Most of the colleges that have been part of the city for 800 years are open to visitors (see for opening times).

The capital of a county celebrating its 1,000th anniversary? See for events in the area that gave birth to King Alfred and Hook Norton Ales. Or one of the Oxfords of fiction? Take your pick of themed walks from the tourist information centre in Broad Street (01865 252 200,

Pottering in Harry's Footsteps (1.30pm, October 26, pound;8 adults, pound;4.50 children, book with the tourist centre or is a tour of the Oxford locations, such as the Bodleian Library and a staircase in Christ Church College, that have appeared in the Harry Potter films. Fans of Philip Pullman have to wait until November 16 to join a walk around the locations for the film version of The Golden Compass, starring Nicole Kidman, and due to be released on December 5. There are C.S. Lewis walks too.

The city of explorers? Make for the delightfully dusty Pitt Rivers Museum (01865 270 927,, free family events on Sundays) and plunge into a collection that includes feathered cloaks, baskets made of telephone wire, a stuffed dodo and shrunken heads from around the world.

The dark side of town? Oxford Castle Unlocked (01865 260 668, is running a programme of Hallowe'en tours. The castle was used as a prison since it was built in 1071, so there are bound to be plenty of unhappy souls haunting it. Now, as well as a visitor and education centre, it also houses a Malmaison hotel (01865 268 400,, which makes being banged-up positively fashionable - and offers more than porridge.

Trains and buses will deliver you into the centre of town, but if you drive, stop at one of the five Park and Ride sites ( The tourist information centre can help with accommodation, or visit


Where to go

There are plenty of great pubs, most of which have featured in Inspector Morse. Try the King's Arms for a taste of university life, the Turf Tavern if it's a sunny day and you want a decent beer garden (although the fact it's hidden away down a narrow alley makes it difficult to find), or check out the famous tie collection at The Bear.

Elena, Kent

What to do

Take a stroll round Christ Church Meadow at dusk. This beautiful bit of common land is bounded by Christ Church College and the River Cherwell. At 6pm, if it's a quiet evening, you can hear the college bells chime right across the city.

Sara, Oxford

What to eat

Oxford has the best ice-cream makers in the UK - George and Danvers. You'll find one in St Aldates and one in Jericho. The best thing is their flavour petitions - you can suggest a new flavour and if you can get enough people to vote for it then they'll make it for you.

They do one new flavour a month. We suggested lime and chilli sorbet and got plenty of signatures, but were sadly beaten by Curly Wurly and butterscotch.

Alison, Newcastle

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