The City of Dreaming Spires
The City of Oxford lies in central southern England. It is the county town of Oxfordshire and forms a district within the county, surrounded by a ring road. It has a population of 151,234, and that makes it the 50th largest city in the United Kingdom. Oxford lies within the Oxford metropolitan area with a population of 247,000. It is one of Britain’s fastest growing cities in terms of population and is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the United Kingdom. Oxford has a diverse economic base. Its industries include motor manufacturing, education, publishing, and a large number of information technology and science-based businesses. It also has a thriving tourist industry with overseas visitors traveling up from London just 67 miles away. Indeed Oxford Airport was recently renamed Oxford London Airport given it’s close proximity to London. The city is known worldwide as a university town, home to both the University of Oxford (the oldest university in the English-speaking world) and Oxford Brookes University. Buildings in Oxford demonstrate examples of every English architectural period since the arrival of the Saxons, including the iconic, mid-18th-century Radcliffe Camera. Oxford is known as the “City of Dreaming Spires“, a term coined by the poet Matthew Arnold in his poem Thyrsis. The River Thames flows through the center of the City and often floods residential areas close by during periods of heavy rain. Oxford is a semi rural city with quite large open green areas of meadow and parkland. These act as flood plains for the River Thames. University buildings are located in the center of the city and the industrial and mainly urban areas are to the east.