The Sights of Oxford

What can you expect to see when you come to Oxford?
We’ve found pictures of some of the most typical Oxford sights, to give you an idea of what awaits you when you come here.

Students in sub fusc

Image shows four Oxford students in sub fusc.One of the unique traditions of Oxford University is that students wear subfusc – the outfit you see in the picture – when they’re sitting their exams. A carnation is worn to show how far through their exams they are; it’s white during the first exam, pink for the middle ones, and red for the last exam. If you’re in Oxford while exams are on, you’re sure to see stressed-looking students dressed like this.


Image shows people punting in Oxford.Oxford is, of course, famous for punting. These flat-bottomed boats are a delightful way to explore the local waterways. At the busier points – for instance, near a punt hire station – another common sight is watching inexperienced punters trying not to ram each other. Thankfully the technique is reasonably easy to master with a little bit of practice.


Image shows a cyclist in Oxford holding an umbrella.Cycling is probably the most popular way to get around Oxford. You’ll see bikes chained to every railing and lamppost, and cyclists cycling along doing all kinds of remarkable things – holding umbrellas, texting, or even reading a book two-handed.

Afternoon tea

Image shows a scone with jam, cream and strawberries.A cream tea – consisting of a scone with jam and clotted cream – is a popular treat in Oxford. The full afternoon tea might also include cake and small sandwiches as well. Whether you should put the cream on top of the jam or the jam on top of the cream is fiercely debatable. We think it tastes delicious either way.
If you want to see Oxford in the best possible way, it isn’t too early to book for 2015 – browse our courses now ➙