The Oxford Area
The Oxford Area Travel Guide
At Isis Ceramics, outside Oxford, owner Deborah Sears, a collector of 17th-century English delftware, has resuscitated the art of hand-painted tin-glaze patterns.
Christ Church Picture Gallery nearby is a jewel box of Old Master paintings and drawings. The paintings are impressive, but it's the drawings—by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael—that dazzle.
The tight space here brims with 2,000 woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments, including a Swiss alpenhorn, one of the world's largest instruments.
The Pitt Rivers Museum, one of the world's top ethnographic collections, comprises a dizzying array of objects—vitrines stuffed with shrunken heads from the Amazon, Hawaiian feather cloaks, even fishing lures.
Come to the town of Oxfordshire for cool Britannia at a cut price—up to 70 percent off. Expect leather goods from Smythson (its creative director is Brit first-lady-in-waiting Samantha Cameron) as well as classic separates from Jaeger and heirloom knits by Pringle of Scotland.
The Ashmolean opened in 1683 as the world’s first public museum.