Oxford is known for its picturesque scenery and historic attractions. Some of these are Radcliffe Square, Christ Church College, the University Parks, and Bodleian Library. However, this small city by modern standards also offers visitors many modern amenities that will make living in Oxford more pleasurable.
Oxford is a beautiful, historic city with a multicultural population that has been thriving since the 11th century. It offers everything from shopping to touring one of its many historic buildings on campus. With this handy guide, you’ll be able to enjoy all Oxford has to offer!
Housing and Rental Market in Oxford
Oxford is a large, bustling city with an increasing university population. In order to accommodate students and their families, the city offers a vast range of housing options. Luxury high-rise flats that offer top amenities to university housing that can be rented by semester or year-long leases, living in Oxford has many options.
The average rent for a one-bedroom flat is £1,237 PCM, £1,720 PCM for two bedrooms, and £2,068 PCM for three. To see more information about the average rental prices in Oxford, click here.
Oxford also maintains a thriving rental market for longer-term residents who are looking for more full-time accommodations. When researching living in Oxford, it is important to look at the neighbourhoods surrounding the city.
While many options combine modern conveniences and history within the city center, many Expats find that there’s just too much hustle and bustle, especially when trying to get their children to sleep before 10 pm.
Oxford Green Belts
For families looking for a more secluded area to call home, renting a house just outside of Oxford is an excellent option. Several areas have been marked as official green belts that surround the city and offer residents quiet streets with only the occasional lorry or school bus passing by.
The Oxford Green Belt extends out from Oxford and includes most of the land south of the Bletchingdon Rd, Church Lane, Church Road, and east of the B430 so as to include most of Manor Farm.
In terms of proximity to amenities, there’s truly something for everyone who wants to be living in Oxford. For those who enjoy the bustle of city life, Oxford offers plenty of shopping opportunities at its many malls and markets. Shoppers can spend hours browsing for souvenirs or unique gifts. There are also often seasonal sales that highlight local products like homemade jams or fresh-baked pies.
For residents looking to escape the noise, several parks offer walking or biking trails that pass through peaceful wooded areas. For those that need to stay closer to home, the city offers many indoor and outdoor sports facilities for residents of all ages.
Blackbird Leys Park
In the heart of Blackbird Leys, 9-hectare Blackbird Leys Park is a ‘green haven’ with a tree-lined meandering stream and open grass space. It’s adjacent to Leys Pools and Leisure Centre in the South East of Oxford.
The Green Flag Award was recently presented to Blackbird Leys Park by the Keep Britain Tidy organization. The Green Flag Award is the national standard for parks and greenery in England and Wales, as established in 1996. As a way of recognizing and rewarding the finest green spaces in the country, the scheme began in 1996.
Botley Park, which is located just outside the city centre on Botley Road, provides residents and visitors a fantastic location to go for sport, fun, or relaxation.
Florence Park, in East Oxford, is a lovely park with a tree avenue and colorful flowerbeds. It’s five minutes walk from Cowley Road and Templars Square in East Oxford.
Why Live in Oxford?
Finally, Oxford is centrally located between several major cities. Families who are relocating often find themselves looking for housing in both larger cities like London where career opportunities tend to be more readily available, and in smaller towns like Oxford where their children can grow up in a safer, quieter setting.
Living in Oxford offers so many benefits to Expats who are moving with children. The city has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for the hustle and bustle of big city life or want somewhere peaceful where you can raise your children in their own backyard.
Oxford is an excellent choice for Expats of all ages and with a variety of housing options available, there’s truly something for everyone!
Getting around makes living in Oxford very easy thanks to several transportation options. The city centre is home to two large bus hubs that service routes throughout the entire region, making it easy for visitors to get from one destination to another.
Getting around in Oxford
Coach services are also available, with service via Oxford Tube and the Oxford Citi 7 at regular intervals around the city. These services bring visitors from major cities like London or Cambridge for just one-day trips into town.
The Oxford Tube is the main provider of long-distance coach transport in and out of Oxford, with services running to London every 10 minutes during peak times.
The coach stop is on Gloucester Green bus station, which is located in the centre of Oxford.
The rail network at present only has services running north towards London Marylebone, but there are plans to expand further west. The closest train stations are Bicester Village and Bletchley Parkway both around 5 miles away from the city centre.
Many airports are within a few hours’ drive from Oxford, including those in London.
Public transport around Oxford is very well developed and the local bus service runs between most parts of the city. The Park and Ride services allow drivers to park outside the city centre and take one of the regular buses into the city, as well as trams which serve outlying areas.
An educated workforce makes for a strong economy, and Oxford’s primary schools are among the best. Nine out of ten students in the city receive their education in these schools, which have an 11:1 student-teacher ratio.
Oxford University hosts an excellent cohort of students and many of them live in the city’s neighbouring towns like Summertown, Headington, East Oxford, Jericho, St Clement’s, St Giles’, North Oxford, or Blackbird Leys.
Many study abroad programs are offered via the university including language courses at the Centre for Language Studies, the Business School MBA program in conjunction with partner institutions worldwide, or even participate in an exchange program where you live in one of over 200 dormitories on campus.
There are many schools in Oxford, primary and secondary. There is also a very high standard of education as well as good quality teachers to students ratios. To view the complete list of schools, click here.
If you’re looking for a doctor, there are plenty to choose from in the city. The average wait time at the five major hospitals is no more than forty-five minutes.
Health care facilities are easily accessible here, with five major hospitals. There is also a short wait time for patients who use these health care facilities. For more up-to-date information on school enrollment or health care facilities, visit the government website.
Oxford’s Top Attractions
The Ashmolean Museum is the oldest public museum in the UK. It houses exhibits collected by Elias Ashmole which were put on display in 1683.
It has a large collection of works from artists such as Raphael and Michelangelo, as well as many other famous pieces like da Vinci’s “St. Jerome” and Vermeer’s “The Astronomer”.
Oxford Castle dates back to the 11th century, with many of the current buildings still standing from this period. The castle played an important role in the English Civil War, with King Charles I surrendering at the site in 1646. It now houses Oxford Crown Court.
Oxford University serves as the city’s largest employer, with many of its students coming from overseas to study.
Christ Church College is one of the most famous colleges at the university, having alumni including 13 British prime ministers. It lays claim to being the location where the sport of rugby was invented in 1823.
The Covered Market in Central Oxford is the oldest indoor market in the UK, established when the surrounding buildings were erected in 1774. The markets sell an array of different foodstuffs at low prices, with many stalls selling fresh produce.
The Eagle and Child is a popular pub on St Giles, which was frequented by C.S Lewis and JRR Tolkien and said to be the place where the idea for “The Lord of The Rings” was first conceived.
Where to go Shopping
When you first arrive in Oxford, one of the first things on your to-do list should be to go shopping! Here are some of the best places for finding local shops and unique gifts.
The Westgate Shopping Center
The Westgate is the newest mall in town and was built in 1989. It’s located at the westernmost end of Queen Street and is easily accessible by car or bus. The shops inside include major brands like Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Topshop, Zara, River Island, and Primark. There’s also a large food court with restaurants like McDonald’s and Subway, as well as a smaller cafe.
The Cornmarket Shopping Center
The Cornmarket is located right by the iconic Magdalen College on High Street. It has everything you would expect from an Oxford mall-from clothing stores to cafes to grocery shops and more! The ground floor hosts all the major chains like Boots, WH Smith, Waterstones, and Starbucks among others. The upper floor is filled with local businesses including a sweet shop and a bookstore for rare editions.
The Broad Street Shopping Center
The largest of the three malls in Oxford is the Broadgate shopping center located on BroadStreet. With over 100 stores inside, you’ll find all the major chains like Marks & Spencer, H& M, Topshop, and John Lewis.
Like The Cornmarket mall, there are also popular fast-food chains for a quick bite to eat, as well as an indoor shopping center located across the street with cafes and grocery shops just outside.
Pubs and Restaurants in Oxford
If you’re looking for a fun night out on the town, head to one of Oxford’s many pubs. Whether it’s an old-fashioned English pub or something more modern, there is sure to be a bar near you that will suit your taste.
Many pubs serve traditional British food alongside their signature beer, so whatever type of food you’re in the mood for, there will most likely be a pub nearby that has it.
Oxford is home to many restaurants ranging from pubs and cafes to fine dining establishments. You can find everything from American cuisine like burgers and fries to authentic Pakistani dishes at restaurants around town. Pair your meal with Oxford’s famous beer or choose from their large selection of wines.
If you’re looking to eat out but don’t want to spend much, try lunch at many Oxford establishments. Many cafés and restaurants offer specials during lunch hours so you can get a great meal without breaking the bank.
It’s easy to find food that suits your taste when living in Oxford. With such a large selection of pubs, cafés, and restaurants to choose from, there’s something for everyone!
The Bear Inn (The Bear for short)
The Bear is one of Oxford’s oldest taverns. It has the appearance of a traditional Oxford pub – low ceilings, tiny rooms, beamed ceilings, worn wooden floors. It’s as significant to the city’s history as Christ Church and should be on your list of things to do in Oxford.
The Turf Tavern
The Turf Tavern is practically impossible to discover by accident. It is tucked away and only accessible via two tiny alleyways. Thanks to its lovely beer garden, half-timbered structure, and pleasant interior, The Turf Tavern is one of Oxford’s finest pubs. The Turf Tavern is a pub that distinguishes itself with its hospitality and warm atmosphere which leaves many customers not wanting to leave.
The King’s Arms
The King’s Arms is another establishment vying for the title of Oxford’s oldest pub, having opened in 1607 and becoming a popular student hangout and local watering hole since. In the summer months, the charming pink buildings are adorned with flowers – making it the perfect spot to soak up the city life while sitting outside on a bench.
Outside of Thailand, Oli’s Thai is without a doubt the best Thai cuisine outside of Southeast Asia, if not Thailand itself. Everything has a distinct Thai flavor to it – fragrant and salty, punchy and complex. The rice is fluffy, and the Chang beer adds a pleasant finish to the meal.
The Rickety Press
Oxford’s foodies consider this to be the finest restaurant in the city. The pub is popular with the elegant Charles Michel when he was still in town. So, too, did the Oxford Gastronomica crew, who know a thing or two about dining.
The Rickety Press was formerly a low-key, food-focused restaurant with exquisite cuisine and ideas. It’s been given a makeover now, and it appears to be more focused on a crowd that wishes it were in London but has yet another ten miles to drive.
Entertainment in Oxford
When you live in Oxford, your entertainment options are limitless. Whether you like to dance the night away or enjoy a quiet evening at home, there is always something going on that will meet your needs.
Many bars and pubs in Oxford have live music or DJs, so you can listen to great tunes and meet new people without ever leaving the bar. Many bars even have dancing, so be sure to ask your bartender what events they have coming up!
For a more peaceful environment, try attending a classical concert at one of Oxford’s many historic college chapels. The University of Oxford has more than 40 colleges, each with its own unique charm.
Other Things To Do in Oxford
Everyday life in Oxford is bustling with activity, but once a year it slows down for the Summer Solstice when thousands of people come together to celebrate the longest day of the year. The Summer Solstice Festival takes place at Stonehenge, an ancient monument built in 3000 BC.
Many festivals also take place throughout the year, including a weekly farmers market where you can purchase fresh produce and locally made delicacies. If you’re interested in tasting European culture, why not take a trip to Europe! The city offers many options for international travel, from cruises to trains that depart from nearby London.
Recommended Hotels for visitors
If you’re visiting the city to look at different apartments or flats before relocating, Oxford has no shortage.
The Radcliffe Hotel offers guests ample amenities and an ideal location within walking distance to many attractions. International visitors who hope to experience British hospitality can book rooms at the luxurious 17th century Malmaison.
If you are also traveling with your family, make stays at the historic Randolph Hotel or newly refurbished Ibis Oxford Centre Hotel part of your itinerary.
Oxford has everything you could need for an amazing holiday. Whether you’re looking for budget, mid-range, or luxury accommodations, there are plenty of options to accommodate your needs. The city offers an extensive range of villa rentals with indoor fireplaces, outdoor pools, or even private gyms to ensure you have a comfortable stay.
To learn more about living in Oxford, you can also visit the city’s official website.
The local events in Oxford are increasingly culturally diverse. Celebrations of Asian and Latin traditions on top of the typical British festivities grace this historic city.
From the Yule log at St. Giles to the lighting of Oxford’s famous Chinese Dragon, travelers can enjoy a wealth of annual traditions when they visit Oxford.
You can join the celebration of La Festa and La Quindicina. These two festivals bring the best of the Italian and Argentinian cultures to this town. The events center around Christchurch Meadow. Christchurch Meadow is a large park that hosts many summertime activities from outdoor concerts to picnics. Oxford offers other local attractions like the boating lake and rose garden.
In addition to these many summertime activities, travelers can also enjoy the many indoor attractions such as the Westgate Shopping Centre and Covered Market.
Celebrities who Live in Oxford
There are always a number of well-known people who call Oxford home. Celebrities such as JK Rowling, Hugh Bonneville, and Ian McKellen can be found in this historic city.
Other celebrities who are living in Oxford include musician Eric Clapton, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, former Royal Ballet dancer Wayne Sleep and the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen.
This list is far from exhaustive; Oxford’s reputation as one of Britain’s most prestigious universities coupled with its growing population of more than 150,000 people makes it an attractive place for celebrities to live.
Tips for First-time Travelers
Maintaining a high quality of living is one of the many perks of commuting to an established city like Oxford. With so much history dating back nearly 1,000 years, travelers are sure to find plenty of amenities and landmarks that will help preserve their experience for years to come.
For starters, if you’re driving in from London or other surrounding cities, opt for a day parking lot. Visitors staying near Carfax Tower will find this particular route makes it easier to access Carr Road, avoiding Oxford’s notorious roundabouts.
Stay alert while driving around town! If you’re not used to driving on the left side of the road, pay attention. Remember to honk your horn when merging into traffic and always use the blinker before turning.
Don’t plan on walking from one end of town to another, either. Oxford is a large city, and locals tend to prefer using their own cars instead of public transportation. If possible, avoid traveling during peak hours. These typically run between 8:00 and 9:30 A.M. and 4:30 to 6:00 P.M. as the roads tend to become congested.
Oxford is a great city with rich history and culture. With so many amenities, travelers and Expats will be sure to enjoy their time in Oxford. If you need any additional information about living or visiting this specific area, please comment below! We’ll update the article as soon as possible with more resources for your convenience.
Oxford is the perfect destination for travelers and people who want to relocate. Experience a city with rich history and culture. With so much to see, do, eat while living in Oxford you’re sure to experience everything this city has to offer.
Enjoy your time in Oxford! If there’s any additional information you’d like about living or visiting this specific area, please comment below. We’ll be happy to update you with additional resources as soon as possible.
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