Any Oxford Recommendations?

Old Apr 24th, 2002, 07:56 AM
Posts: n/a
Any Oxford Recommendations?

Dear Fellow Travellers,

I am contemplating a week long trip to the UK this fall and might be staying in Oxford instead of dear old London. I will probably be staying with a friend of a friend and thereby save some money. I do plan on taking at least one daytrip to London and maybe somewhere else, too. Is Windsor within a reasonable distance?

Many years ago, I took a daytrip to Oxford from London, but never had much time to see much of the city. I would love to hear your recommendations for things to see and do in Oxford, places to eat (especially tea rooms and such!), and maybe reasonably priced accommodations, too, just in case. I would love to experience some of the university life, too. Can one attend some lectures or receptions or are they all closed to the public?

I will naturally search the web for more info, but IMO one can never have too much information!

Old Apr 24th, 2002, 08:24 AM
former univ student
Posts: n/a
During the daytime you can get into many of the college quads--christ church is probably most beautiful; university college (on high street) is quite lovely, bill clinton's alma mater, and the oldest oxford college (i'm a little biased of course!) Magdalene College is also gorgeous and when you are finished looking at the grounds, go punting (small flat boats that you push with a pole--beware of swans!) on the river if the weather allows. I don't remember tourists in our lectures, but maybe they were incognito. Many of the receptions are in the common rooms of the colleges, so they would be closed to non-members. Each college also has its own pub inside, but I don't think you can go unless you are with a student (if you know a student, definitely go--I think going to the pub and rowing were my main student activities!) Go to the Eagle & Child pub (where C.S. Lewis and Tolkein used to hang out), climb to the tower of St. Mary's Church on high street for a fantastic view of oxford, and maybe take a day trip to beautiful Blenheim (spelling?)Palace, winston churchill's family property. We actually rode to Blenhiem on our bicycles from Oxford, and it was a long but enjoyable journey. You can rent bicycles from a shop in summertown (about 20 minutes walk from high street, if my memory serves); biking and the buses are an excellent way to get around the town. I don't know of reasonable accomodations--my family always stayed at the randolph hotel and it is lovely--maybe they have a tea you could go to in the afternoon. It has been about 5 years so my memory is a little rusty on names, but there are many fantastic pubs in the area and there was a thai restaurant that i adored. Hope this helps!
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 09:24 AM
Posts: n/a
here's some info for you
Oxford Univ.
Oxford Visitors Information
City info buses in and around Oxford
Ashmolean museum:
For more articles, go to
For train info,

For bus (coach) transportation to and from Oxford and London, Oxford Express coaches leave from the Oxford bus station to London Victoria Station daily about every 20 minutes, trip takes about 1 ¾ hours. The buses don’t require any changes, are cheaper, and the Oxford coach station is closer to the center of town than the train station is. I think there is also the “Oxford tube”, an express coach. Every 20 minutes, 24 hours per day.

Bus tours of Oxford,with commentary:

There is another tour company using minivans, called "Spires & Shires", 4 Walton Well Rd Oxford OX2 6ED,tel: 0865513998; fax: 0865791469.
This company offers daily half day tours to Blenheim as well as walking tours of Oxford. Reservations should be made in advance.
Thames Transit Minibus runs Oxford to Blenheim and other locations

“Guide Friday” has an office at the Oxford rail station, call 01865/790522. Offers one-hour open-top bus tours
around Oxford. Call for seasonal schedules.
The Oxford Story, 6 Broad Street phone 01865/790055 has an audio-visual presentation of Oxford. Daily 10-4:30. Family rates available.

Or go to the Oxford tourist information center, where they offer guided tours of some of the Oxford colleges and notable buildings during the day The Oxford tourist information centre is at the Old School Gloucester Green, opposite the bus station. The telephone number is 01865/726871. They sell maps and brochures, tee shirts, and can book hotels for a fee.
Open Mon-Sat from 9:30 am to 5; Sunday and bank holidays in summer from 10-3. The walking tours of selected colleges leave daily at 11am and 2pm. They do not include Christ Church or New colleges.. Don't miss Christ Church college, however.
Blenheim Palace is also accessible from Oxford by taxi or bus. Blenheim is closed to visitors from late fall through the winter.

You will also be nicely situated for exploring the Cotswolds villages from Osford. Stratford isn't too far either.
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 12:54 PM
Posts: n/a
Unfortunately, most of the colleges are closed to visitors most of the time. They ALL used to be accessible but just too many people and secutity issues anymor. The walking tours from the tourist information office are good, inexpensive and will get you into 1 to 3 colleges plus perhaps some other "off limits" places.

The Ashmolean is wonderful. if you have access to a bicycle or car then you can tour anywhere - Woodstock/Blenheim, Bladon, etc. If you don't have transport - the tourist office offers inexpensive tours to Stratford, Warwick and many places in the Cotswolds.

The train into London is fast and cheap if you get a day return ticket. There is also direct coach service from Oxford to Victoria Coach Station in London.
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 01:27 PM
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Bleneim Palace is well worth the visit, including the small Winston Churchill exhibition. Just one correction, however. Blenheim Palace is not Winston Churchill's family home. It is the home of the 11th Duke of Marborough. It is noteworthy as Winston Churchill's birthplace - quite by accident, his mother was visiting and went into early labor. I do think Winston was a distant relative of the Duke.
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 02:10 PM
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Rebecka: If school is not in session, you can actually stay in Student housing with breakfast, just like a B&B. We did this years ago with our teen age daughters and they loved it. Also, the student conducted tours are very good. Knowledgeable people with a charming delivery and lots of anecdotes. Don't miss the punting. The little town is delightful.
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 05:40 PM
Posts: n/a
I think former student gave you most of the highlights I would have given you, too. I also wanted to suggest a few colleges to see (if they are open): St. John's College (they have notable gardens), Worcester College (ditto), and Lincoln College (home of Wesley -- founder of Methodism).

If you have time for a day trip (and you probably will since Oxford is small), definitely go to the Cotswolds. Absolutely beautiful.

Aaaahh, Oxford. I had a great summer there. I am terribly jealous!
Old Apr 25th, 2002, 06:35 AM
Posts: n/a
Thank you for all the useful and detailed information. You're all terrific!!!

I'll have a look at those links of yours, Elaine. And Blenheim is another place I have long wanted to see. (Although I guess tea with His Grace the Duke would be out of the question! ;-) )

Ah, the more I read, the more I want to go! Looks like there is no shortage of things to do-

With much appreciation,

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