Lying in South East England, Oxford is a world famous and historical city. First settled in Saxon times, it was made prominent by its medieval university, and now has a population of almost 165,000. The city's numerous tourist attractions and famous institutions help draw over nine million visitors a year.
Oxford boasts two universities – the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University. The former is one of the world's most famous universities and the oldest in the English-speaking world, attracting leading academics from around the globe. The latter has for the last ten years been voted the best new university in the UK.
The city's buildings exemplify every English architectural period since the arrival of the Saxons, some highlights being the iconic mid-18th century Radcliffe Camera and the Oxford University buildings. The harmonious architecture of the latter has earned Oxford the name "city of dreaming spires".
Oxford enjoys extensive shopping areas within and outside the city centre, plus an array of theatres and cinemas. In the summer, punting on the Rivers Thames, Isis and Cherwell is also popular.
The city is also associated with a multitude of well-known authors, and has produced many successful bands and musicians. Another claim to fame is the Radcliffe Meteorological Station, which boasts Britain's longest series of temperature and rainfall records for one site, with continuous records dating from January 1815.
Oxford is easily accessed via its three main railway stations, an international airport and motorway links, and is twinned with seven cities worldwide.