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Alternative Work Spaces

There are many beautiful libraries in Oxford but sometimes you may want a more chilled environment or somewhere you can collaborate with your friends over coffee and snacks. If you’re having trouble finding a space to work or are simply getting tired of your college library then read on for some inspiration - these are my favourite non-library places to work in Oxford!


  • This is a lovely café very near to my college (Christ Church) and I have become a regular there!

  • They have student discount and loyalty cards making it a good option for coffee and snacks (they do amazing cinnamon buns), as well as breakfast or light lunch.

  • It is quite small but very cosy and they also have a downstairs seating area.

  • The music is not too loud and it tends to be quite quiet during the week.

  • The tables are big enough to fit food, drink and laptop as well as books.

Turl Street Kitchen

  • Quite a popular option for many students as it is very big and they have an upstairs seating area that is sometimes used for events, making it perfect for working and reading.

  • They have a really nice range of drinks and also a nice selection of pastries and breakfast options, too.

  • This place is great for taking lots of friends as they have big desks that can fit many people.

  • Very central location as well, making it easily accessible.

Modern Art café

  • Really lovely range of drinks as well as amazing pastries.

  • Very central location (right next to the Westgate shopping centre).

  • Really spacious, making it the perfect place to work. Their desks are also really big and a nice surface for working.

Covered Market

  • This may not be an obvious choice but there are many benches and seats located outside various cafes in the Covered Market and also inside, of course!

  • Great if you want to grab lunch, a coffee, or a pick me up.

  • Very spoilt for choice in terms of food and drink and also lots of places to sit - will have no trouble finding somewhere nice to work!

  • Also very nice in summer as the Covered Market stays very cool.

Meadows / Master’s garden (in Christ Church)

  • This is more specific to Christ Church but anyone from any college is allowed into the Meadows and the Master’s Garden (only in Trinity (summer) Term).

  • This is more of a Trinity Term workspace as it is dependent on the weather being lovely.

  • Really nice when sunny as you can tan and soak up vitamin C whilst doing some light reading.

It's important to remember that if you intend to stay in a cafe or coffee shop for more than the duration of drinking a coffee, it's polite to keep buying drinks - many of the best coffee shops in Oxford are independent, and it would be terrrible if they missed custom because of people working at their tables for hours and hours whilst only buying one coffee! It's also important to respect that some places have specific times when laptops are not allowed.

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