County motto: Dare to be wise

* properties for sale in Oxfordshire

Best thing The ‘city of dreaming spires’, Oxford is an architectural treasure trove with more than 1,500 listed buildings

Local food Brakspear beer; Banbury Cakes; Frank Cooper’s ‘Oxford’ marmalade (far right); Oxford Sauce; Deddington farmer’s market

Heroes Winston Churchill; William Morris; Roger Bannister; Stephen Hawking

Events Henley Regatta; morris dancing festival, Bampton; Broughton Castle fête; St Giles’ Fair; Pooh Sticks Championships; May Day jump from Magdalen Bridge

Inventions In 1948, Sir Alec Issigonis unveiled the revolutionary Morris Minor, the first British car to sell more than a million

Battle The Battle of Chalgrove was politically important as Prince Rupert’s Royalists mortally wounded key Parliamentarian Col John Hampden

Worst thing You can’t move around Oxford without tripping over an author—it has more published writers per square mile than anywhere in the world

What they say ‘Nature invades: old rooks in each college garden Still talk, like agile babies, the language of feeling, By towers a river still runs coastward and will run, Stone in those towers are utterly Satisfied with their weight’ (W. H. Auden); ‘That is the Oxford, strong
to charm us yet: Eternal in her beauty and her past. What, though her soul be vexed? She can forget Cares of an hour: only the great things last’ (Lionel Johnson)

Artistic connections C. S. Lewis; J. R. R. Tolkien; Hugh Laurie; Martin Amis—to name but a very few

Oldest Oxford’s Botanic Garden is the oldest in the world, having been founded as a physic garden in 1621; Uffington White Horse is the oldest hill figure in the country at 3,000 years old

Local products Witney wool blankets have been famed since the Middle Ages—the secret is the water drawn from the River Windrush

Houses and churches Blenheim Palace commemorates the Duke of Marlborough’s unbeaten military record; Ashdown House; Broughton Castle; Chastleton House; Magdalen and Christ Church Colleges; Burford church; Greys Court

Population 631,900
Acreage 643,944
County flower Fritillary
Miles of footpath 2,367
Hours of sunshine 1487
Highest peak White Horse Hill 261m/856ft
Life expectancy 80.6 years
Did you know? One reason Oxford wasn’t bombed is that Hitler was intending to use it as his capital