Oxford visitor information
Oxford is a beautiful yet vibrant city on the Thames. Its famous university has given the city much of its exceptional architecture and its rich cultural heritage: over 900 buildings are listed as having historic or architectural merit, all located within a square mile. A view along the High Street has been described as one of the most celebrated views in Europe.
Oxford has had a role in educating four British, and at least eight foreign kings, 47 Nobel prize-winners, three Fields medallists, 25 British Prime Ministers, 28 foreign presidents and prime ministers, seven saints, 86 archbishops, 18 cardinals, and one pope. Seven of the last eleven British Prime Ministers have been Oxford graduates. Amongst the University's old members are many widely influential scientists, artists and other prominent figures.
It should be understood that colleges are designed primarily for students: not for children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, the colleges do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.
Dates of Oxford's academic vacations
Rooms are mainly available during the academic vacations.
Easter: mid-March to mid-April
Summer: mid-June to mid-October
Christmas: beginning of December to mid-January
Detailed Map of Oxford showing colleges and museums: www.ox.ac.uk/aboutoxford/maps/map.pdf
Activities of interest in Oxford
In addition to simply soaking up the atmosphere, UniversityRooms.co.uk recommends the following:
- The Ashmolean Museum: www.ashmolean.org. A world renowned museum of art and archaeology.
- The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments: www.bate.ox.ac.uk. The history and development of musical instruments of the Western Classical tradition from the medieval period until the present day.
- The Pitt Rivers Museum: www.prm.ox.ac.uk. Archaeological and ethnographic objects from all parts of the world.
- The University of Oxford Botanical Gardens: www.botanic-garden.ox.ac.uk. The oldest botanic garden in Britain.
- The Museum of Oxford: www.museumofoxford.org.uk. Explore the wonders of Oxford’s long history.
- The Museum of the History of Science: www.mhs.ox.ac.uk. An unrivalled collection of historic scientific instruments in the world's oldest surviving purpose-built museum building.
- The Oxford University Museum of Natural History: www.oum.ox.ac.uk. The Oxford University Museum of Natural History houses the University's scientific collections of zoological, entomological and geological specimens.
Getting to Oxford
Oxford is about 60 miles (90 kms) northwest of London and has excellent road and national rail links.
- From London: options include train or bus. Trains leave regularly from London Paddington (enquiries: 08457484950; www.nationalrail.co.uk ). For buses, options include the Oxford Tube (enquiries: 0(044)1865772250) / Oxford Express (enquiries: 0(044)1865785410), which leave every 12 minutes during peak times. Coaches stop along the High st at intervals and end at Gloucester Green Coach Station in the city centre.
- From London airports: if travelling from Heathrow or Gatwick, use The Airline coach service, which operate a direct frequent service twenty-four hours a day. For information telephone 0(044)1865 785400. London Stansted airport is linked to Oxford by the National Express 757 coach service, running every two hours (tel: +44 (0)8705 747777). Alternatively, a number of companies, including Oxicars and CCB Cars, offer pre-bookable airport transfers.
- By car: We recommend public transport for travelling to Oxford, as many Oxford streets are now closed to traffic and parking is limited. Visitors by car could opt to stay at St Hugh's or Lady Margaret Hall colleges which have car parking, can find out more about parking options on the council website, or could use the Park and Ride bus services which operate between the city centre and parking areas on the outskirts of the city. Having left your car in the car park a regular bus will take you into the centre of Oxford, stopping at stages along the High St (the bus driver should know the nearest stop for you).
- Taxis: Taxis can be found at Gloucester Green Coach Station, Oxford Railway Station, and St Giles' in the city centre. Some taxi numbers: Radio Taxis, Tel: 0(044)1865 249743 or 242424 or ABC Taxis, Tel: 0(044)1865 770077.