The marvel of Oxford is that so many attractions are within an easy stroll of the railway station. Really, what couldn't you find? Shops, colleges, the excellent covered market and gracious buildings such as Christopher Wren's Sheldonian Theatre, all are packed together.
A favourite walk of mine leads via the City Museum to Christ Church College (the Great Hall is Hogwarts Hall). Walk on through the water meadows alongside the Thames and Cherwell, past the spot where, in 1784, James Sadler became the first Briton to fly (in a balloon) to the University Botanic Garden, the oldest in Britain. Then back to the Bodleian Library (its Divinity School is the Hogwarts library) for the one-hour tour.
The Pitt Rivers Museum is one of my favourite museums anywhere in the world. Reopened in May after a Lottery-funded makeover, this is a spectacularly diverse collection of the objects that make people different. Splendidly old-fashioned display cases are crammed with the unexpected - Hawaiian feather cloaks in brilliant shades of red and yellow, ceremonial ivories from Benin, actors' masks from Japanese Noh dramas, Inuit fur parkas, decorated moccasins and magic amulets. Lieutenant-General Pitt Rivers made an original gift of 18,000 objects in 1884, some collected on Captain Cook's voyage in the 1770s.
And we could easily find your own way around the settings for the many books, TV series and films that have used the city, but the official guides know where the bodies are buried, so to speak, in Jericho and the other blood-spattered districts of fictional Oxford. And yes, Einstein was here, guys!
We could also try Jamie Oliver's cooking at first hand. The next best way to savour the young whiz's menus is in one of his restaurants. In Jamie's Italian on George Street, the menu is driven by what ordinary people eat in Italy. Rustic, simple dishes, a mix of fresh pasta, local seasonal ingredients and Italian imports, prepared and served without fuss. Yum!