Oxford in summer means much more than just an opportunity to admire the sites. The students may have vanished but the city still hums, with a season of festivals under way.

How about, for example, The Oxford Festival of the Arts (www.artsfestivaloxford.org) which continues until July 2, offering everything from cooking workshops to an outdoor performance of The Marriage of Figaro ? Or the Cowley Road Carnival (www.cowleyroadcarnival.co.uk) on July 10 celebrating the life of the multi-cultural and modish district, just across Magdalen Bridge from the city centre. For good measure, there’s Oxford Canal Festival (www.oxfordcanalheritage.org) on June 25 which provides a good reason to the visit a charming but often neglected patch of Oxford within strolling distance of the university district.

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