Day Trip to Oxford + Chunnel to Paris

Old May 4th, 2006, 10:50 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 53
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Day Trip to Oxford + Chunnel to Paris

Hi-
My husband and I will be in London first 5 days in August..... We'd like to visit Oxford University one day. What's the best way to get there? How much should we expect to pay for the day trip? Any "must sees" while we're there?

Also, we'll be going to Paris (from London) for 5 days....... How do you go about making reservations for the Chunnel to Paris? Should I make arrangements before I leave the States?

Thanks In Advance.
abhodges is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 10:55 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,072
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oh, Oxford is so easy to get to! There are two 24-hour coach services. One is called "Oxford Tube", and if you put that in a search engine, you can find their website, with all the times. It's about eight pounds, I think, for a return ticket. As for must-sees, ummm, I'm not really keen on museums, so I haven't seen the Ashmolean. I do like to walk along the riverside, and wander through the schools. There are a few universities where you can visit their garden. One has a deer park. I think that's Magdalen. I know there are short river cruises in town, too, and I'd like to do that one day.
Merseyheart is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 11:06 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,755
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
re the chunnel..yes, book before you go for go rates. use the chunnel site as opposed to raileurope ect. second class is just fine! You can pay with a credit card and pick the tickets up from a machine at the rail station just before you leave assuming you have the same card.
travelbunny is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 11:08 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5,641
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Eurostar London-Paris has a myriad of fares - from $90 up to hundreds of dollars.
angles- yes book in advance to get cheap fares as they often dry up the closer the train gets. Can book up to 120 days in advance. fares are higher - up to $150 for cheapest often on Fri, Sat and Sun
But special fares for seniors 60 and over - $90 on any train subject to availability and youths under 25 -$45-75 depending on day of week and time.
But since you're going to Oxford on a day trip the LondonPlus Pass angle may be good for you - this pass, sold only thru Raileurope in US i believe gives you 2 days of unlimited travel in an 8-day period through about a 100 mile radius of London, Oxford included - on any train - just walk up - unlimited trains midnight to midnight. Can also use to go in from Gatwick Airport on Gatwick Express or other trains - LondonPlus costs $70 p.p. in 2nd class for two days unlimited trains out of 8 day period - use from airports and to Oxford but best it gives you a Passholder Fare on the London-Paris/Brussels Eurostar trains - a $75 fare that not only is cheaper than the next cheapest fare - $90 but can be used on any train any day, even more expensive weekends (subject to availability of course) and passholder fares can be changed once in London up till train time without penalty (subject to availability of pass fare on train you change to)
so you can get useful train travel in UK - between $15 and $25 from Gatwick depending on train and probably $25-50 to Oxford depending on train and type of ticket. (You can go by bus cheaper but takes longer - and trains have all different fares - day returns, etc. but most have restrictions, non-refundability, restrictions as to which of UK's 28 independent railways - often like in Oxford case may duplicate service - but pass can be used on any line to Oxford - go one way and take the slightly slower Chilterns, and more scenic route back to Marylebone station in London - cheap day returns must usually go same and return same way. Check out UK rail prices at www.nationalrail.co.uk for all Oxford (day return fares) and Gatwick prices. LondonPlus not valid on Heathrow trains or on London Tube. But check Eurostar fares - if they're a lot higher than $75 strongly consider the pass.
As for Eurostar booking i've always used BETS (800-441-2387) for their expertise and lack of some of RailEurope's mailing fees - they also sell the LondonPlus pass (prices at www.budgeteuropetravel.com).
But to get cheapest Eurostar fares, even passholder fares, early booking is often required. If you just show up you may pay $200 or more London-Paris.
PalQ is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 11:10 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5,641
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes check the eurostar site for prices in pounds but RailEurope is currently often much cheaper than tickets in London. Compare and see: www.eurostar.co.uk, www.eurostar.com; you will pay a per order $15 fee thru RailEurope for the mandatory seat reservations.
PalQ is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 11:15 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is this the same railreurope that charges for seat reservations on train services that don't have seat reservations?
alanRow is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 11:31 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 538
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can't get a train from Oxford to London Marylebone, unless you really, really want to spend hours going back on yourself.

And if all you want to do is go to Oxford and go to Paris, a two-day train pass is a waste of time and money.

At £17 day return on the train for the straightforward walk-up and buy return ticket to Oxford after 0921, personally I wouldn't bother with the rather slower bus.

Oxford doesn't have must sees. If you're interested in Inspector Morse, Tolkien, the history of libraries, the early history of palaeontology, Saxon pilgrimage centres, Roman pottery factories or whatever, then you'll know what you want to see. Otherwise, the walking tours at www.oxford.gov.uk/tourism/tourism-689.cfm give you most of the highlights.

Oxford is a doddle to walk round in a day. Don't be tempted to take the hop-on bus, which can't get to most of the nicest bits, so takes you round the bits that are hardly worth spending time on. Unless you really want to see where Bill Clinton first discovered about being a small fish in a big pond.

Scarred him for life.
CotswoldScouser is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 11:50 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5,641
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cotswolds: you missed my point - there are times where the passholder fare is way cheaper than other available Eurostar tickets - not always but could well be that even if you don't use the pass you could save money - and if you could use the pass, even 17 pounds is well over $30, add this to a Gatwick ticket and you're at about $50 to use on the pass - then you qualify for a changeable $75 London-Paris fare - that's my point - it could be useful, very useful at times.
No from Oxford i took a short trip to Banford i believe to hop the Cotswold line back to London - not that much a hassle - i always like to return a different way if possible - possible with pass but not on day returns where you must take same route i believe.
PalQ is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 12:08 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 53
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow! Thanks for the wealth of information....... and, so fast!

While I'm still on the board... we are considering staying at the Portobello (Nottinghill) or Zetter (Bloomsbury). Is it much of an inconvenience to stay in these areas or would it be wiser for us to stay in another area? Thanks!
abhodges is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 12:12 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 538
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Banford is a misspelling of the people who make Britain's biggest brand of back hoe loaders.

If you mean Banbury, an Oxford-Banbury-Marylebone return journey can't be done on a day return, and more or less doubles the journey time. If Branson's train turns up on time, which it practically never does.
CotswoldScouser is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 12:16 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,060
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
PLEASE, it is the Channel Tunnel, not the Chunnel.
It's like a fingernail on a blackboard to most of us.
Think of Frisco instead of San Francisco.
Josser is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 12:16 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 972
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oxford is an astoundingly beautiful place. I would simply wander, seeing as many of the college chapels and cloisters as possible. Christ Church Chapel doubles as the city cathedral and is a must-see. As someone else pointed out, Magdalen College has a deer park, but also something called Addison's walk which is an idyllic place as well.
Guy18 is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 12:27 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 53
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
To Josser - My apologies........... I live 20 min outside of San Francisco and Yes, we hate to hear it referred to as Frisco!
abhodges is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 12:44 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 5,641
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"it is the Channel Tunnel, not the Chunnel.
It's like a fingernail on a blackboard to most of us"

Though i don't believe i often use the Chunnel please explain why it upsets you so much - no criticism here just wondering why

They say Big Ben and not Parliament Clock Tower (Big Ben i know is just a big bell at least i believe it is and not the tower but universally they say Big Ben - what's the difference
I personally like the Chunnel over Channel Tunnel - brevity has its merits but note your opinion but WHY?
PalQ is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 01:02 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
While you're at it, also check www.eurostar.fr - sometimes the € fare is even better than the $ or the £.

If your browser is set up to accept cookies, you have to clear the eurostar cookie so it forgets the "nationality" you specified the first time you went to the site.
Robespierre is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 01:14 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 972
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm an American, and as soon as it was pointed out how grating "chunnel" is I could understand. It's got an "I'm so clever to be calling it this" sense about it when, indeed, there is nothing clever about it at all. If you had to hear it called that over and over and it was in your very own backyard, you might feel that way too. Do I have this right, Josser and others?

(By the way, PalQ, I hope you saw my post to you before your Foies Gras thread was pulled, and I hope your new diet is going well for you! )
Guy18 is offline  
Old May 4th, 2006, 03:12 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Keep in mind that we're talking about people who pronounce "Leicester" as "Lester," "Chalmondely" as "Chumley," and "Magdalene" as "Maudlin."

Let's Call The Whole Thing Off.
Robespierre is offline  
Old May 5th, 2006, 01:23 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why does "Chunnel" grate? I'm not entirely sure myself, but it does grate a bit on me. It would grate that foreigners might develop a pet name for something of ours (and bear in mind that there can't be a French equivalent). Suppose we all started calling Chicago "Toddlingtown", or the Grand Canyon "the Big Ditch"?

But it did originate in the UK, and that usage recalls overhyped enthusiasm of at least one failed attempt to get the whole thing off the ground, and all the vacuousness of a lot of 1960s and 1970s "Swinging/trendy/technowhizz Britain", which you might not have noticed at the time, but some of us are a bit embarrassed about nowadays.
PatrickLondon is online now  
Old May 5th, 2006, 01:49 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think "Chunnel" was one of those words used to make snappy newspaper headines, in the same way that any increase, enlargement or expansion becomes a "boost", and an inquiry, research or investigation becomes a "probe". These are all words that people hardly ever use in speech: we don't ask the boss to boost our salaries, or probe whether we can afford to boost the time we spend on holiday.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Old May 5th, 2006, 05:07 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,534
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I believe someone once won a competition for the UK tabloid headline most likely to push all the most commercial buttons with "Diana in toddler sex-change mercy dash drama"
PatrickLondon is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:56 AM.