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YOUR FAVOURITE THINGS IN OXFORD

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I am planning to go to Oxford for a week towards the end of March (how cool does that sound!).

My questions for esteemed and wise Fodorites:

Firstly the hotel:
I know that the university provides lodging in dormitories. However, DD is planning to come with, and all in all I think it will be easier to stay in a hotel.

I will attend a conference at the Harris Manchester College. Am I correct or am I wrong in thinking that the university area is fairly compact, and that lodging that is 'central' or 'near the university' will be near this college as well? Can 'near' possibly mean 'walking distance'?
I do not mind staying a bit farther out if I can find something that is within easy access with a bus - are there specific areas that you can recommend?
I am looking for an 'ordinary' nice 3 or 4star hotel ... any recommendations?

Strangely enough, I have had my fill of cute, old-fashioned creaky hotels for the moment; something modern and clean would suit me better (but I am not really picky). I have had a look at the hotels in Oxford, and they seem to be filling up fast. I should probably book asap.

I will have more questions to follow - this is the pressing one for now.

Thanks!

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