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I will visiting Oxford, England this summer. I noticed that Rick's 2008 book does not mention this area. Therefore, I have several questions: Could you recommend a way to travel to Oxford from Heathrow? Where would you suggest that I stay near Heathrow and in Oxford? Could you recommend some places to eat at, pubs, and sights in the area? Many thanks!

Posted by
10344 posts

Oh oh, it sounds as if you bought the wrong book! Oxford is covered, 10 pages, but in his England book. It sounds as if you have the Great Britain book, which has different coverage?Suggest you spend your first night in London, possibly near Paddington Station if you want to get to Oxford the next morning. When you are ready to leave London, you will train from Paddington Station to Oxford, 1 hr station to station. In the summer several colleges rent their clean, relatively spacious, centrally located dorm rooms to travelers; most have sitting areas, sinks, and shared bathrooms, a few even have private bathrooms. Rick makes 4 other sleeping recommendations in the Oxford chapter of his England book--note that budget sleeps are difficult to find, thus the attractiveness of dorm rooms in the summer. For sites and activities, you're going to need a guidebook: obviously the University is the big draw and you may want to go on a tour.

Posted by
445 posts

FRom Heathrow you can take the Railair bus connection nonstop to Reading Station where you can pick up the train to Oxford. I do this all the time. There is no need to go into London unless you want to.
Oxford is a difficult place to find an inexpensive room and in addition, it is very crowded...all the time! It is also totally impossible to park.There are scads of restaurants and pubs and fast food places.
One nice trip out of Oxford is to Woodstock and Blenheim Palace, doable either on a tour bus or by public transportation. You can also hop on the Cotswold Line at the train station to a Cotswold
village and just walk around to soak up some of the
atmosphere. Chastleton House (National Trust) can only be visited by advance reservation, this being done to preserve its fragile/special nature.
Check out the colleges for rooms in advance.
When you are ready to leave Oxford, if you want to go to London, the "London Tube" is a very inexpensive bus service to get you there. Contd.

Posted by
445 posts

contd. Use Google to find their website. It is a bus, not a train as some readers seemed to think the last time I posted information about this bus.

You can also tour some of the colleges. Check out the tourist information center on the web for more information.

Posted by
445 posts

I found a link to rooms at Oxford colleges:

I also suggest that you google Oxford University for their web site as there were some other links for rooms in colleges.

There is also a direct bus from Heathrow to Oxford from the bus terminal at Heathrow (easy to find) arriving at Gloucester Green which is the bus terminal in Oxford (centrally located). Not far from the train station or the main hub of Oxford.

Posted by
1717 posts

Hello William. For a small town experience, visit Woodstock. It is three miles from Oxford. It has a good old pub (good lunch), it has four fire places. If rooms in Oxford are not available, or expensive, you could sleep at Woodstock, in the Blenheim guest house. I was a guest there. It has old furniture, but it is comfortable, quiet, peaceful, with a tea room. Busses go between Oxford and Woodstock.

Posted by
17 posts

Try The Trout at Godstow a real Inspector Morse pub. Alas it has suffered a major refurb inside and lost lots of character, but its situation is great. Look out for Aslan the lion on the opposite bank!

The Turf Tavern is another favourite of mine and also The Eagle and Child in St Giles - a must for JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis fans.

There are lots of pubs in Oxford, so you may find this site useful

I live in Scotland now, but lived and worked in Oxford in the 1990's. It's a lovely little city. I especially like The Golden Cross indoor market.

PM me if I can be of further help!

Posted by
658 posts

I'm not going to disagree with any of Betty's pub choice. The Bird and Baby is a place I can often be found, as well as it's sister pub over the road The Lamb and Flag. The Turf is the best of all IMHO but don't miss The Kings Arms or the White Horse on The Broad.

The Carfax Chippie on The High is a great place to get good fish 'n chips.

One of the Best places to stay is the Linern Lodge ( part of the Best Western group ) on Lintern Road just north of St Giles ( and just around the corner from JRR Tolkien's house on Northmoor Rd. ) or you could try any one of the many B&Bs on the Banbury Road in Somertown ( where North Parade is in the South and South Parade is in the North ).

Must see places are Radcliffe Camera, The Bodleian Library, The Pitt Rivers and Ashmoleum Museums. Above and beyond all you must go down to Parson's Pleasure and take a punt out. Take a picnic and a bottle and have a unique day.

Posted by
5678 posts

I spent some time a number of years ago at Streatley on Thames and while I'm not sure that you need to go there, you might look into exploring the area around the Thames near Oxford. If you are a fan of Wind in the Willows, you'll recognize the countryside. Also, there's a strong Lewis Carroll / Alice and Wonderland connection to Oxford. If you want to get in the mood through mysteries, look for PC Dohherty's book that feature Hugh Corbett, I think Satan in St. Mary's is the first. They take place in Oxford in the 1300's. For something more contemporary, of course, there is Inspector Morse!