Hop On Hop Off bus

Aug 25th, 2013, 03:06 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 269
Hop On Hop Off bus

If you recall from my trip report on London in 2012, DH hurt his ankle while we were there. In anticipation of our upcoming trip to England, he managed to break his leg three months ago. He is using a cane and knee brace, but he is still having some trouble getting around.

I plan to buy tickets for the buses in Bath and Stratford-Upon-Avon, but I would like to know more about Oxford. I remember reading somewhere on this board that the bus in Oxford was not that helpful. Would it be better to take taxis or would we be able to get around to the colleges via the bus? I had planned to take the walking tour, but I don’t think that is feasible at this point.
lovs2travel is offline  
Aug 25th, 2013, 10:52 PM
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I'm afraid I don't know about Oxford, but it might be more useful for you to re-post with "Oxford" in the title.
PatrickLondon is online now  
Aug 26th, 2013, 06:55 AM
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Just a note, the last time I was in Britain, the hop on hop off busses gave a discount if you had taken another within a few weeks--even if it was a different city. I.e. I had taken one in Edinburgh and then when I went to Cambridge took another. Fortunately I had saved my ticket from Edinburgh. Don't know if this still works, but save your HOHO tickets as you go.
irishface is offline  
Aug 26th, 2013, 09:42 AM
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I'm the bloke who's constantly bad mouthing HOHO buses in Oxford.

I've no idea whether they're helpful: but there are obviously cities in Europe that HOHO buses don't work in (few places in Europe worth visiting were designed for double-decker buses), and Oxford and Florence are top of the list of places where they're worse than useless.

In any medieval city these days, vehicular traffic is barred or severely limited from most of the streets and squares that make the city worth a tourist's while. Rather than admitting this, the HOHO operators in Oxford and Florence drag their misguided passengers round the bits close to the centre a bus can get into, leaving visitors under the dreadful misapprehension that that's all there is: at Oxford that involves a bizarrely detailed coverage of twentieth century science labs, and a lot of stuff about things built in the 19th century many will like - but no sight at all of most ofthe city's great architecture. Most pre-1850 colleges and university buildings in Oxford are in streets that buses and cabs can't access - and the only two major colleges that are accessible by vehicle (Christ Church and Magdalen)are pointless from the outside: their attractions are all within their gates, often so far from the gates, though, that DH might struggle getting to them without a wheelchair.

Taxis are no substitute in Oxford, since they're not allowed in most of the pedestrian-only streets - and they're driven by taxi drivers. Since there's no need for taxis in central Oxford, Oxford cab drivers know nothing about the city's history: their job is to get people in peripheral housing estates to the city's hospitals and out of town shopping centres. At this they're as good as London cabbies - but I've yet to encounter a single one with even a passing interest in the city's history, and by London standards their ignorance of the city they call home is just gobsmacking

The one claim HOHO buses can make is they kind of substitiute for limiting what you can see by some nifty views from the top deck. When my legs don't work well, I can still get up to the top deck of buses - but I've been shimmying up the stairs of moving buses all my life, and your hubby might find that a problem.

The real solution for you is a "walking" tour by wheelchair: Oxford - again like Florence - is supremely walkable. The official walking tours (http://www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire...eral-info.aspx) point out the limitations of this: there are parts of Oxford that wheelchairs just can't penetrate - and staircases that simply can't be made disability friendly, or can be only with a huge amount of help from college servants (which is how disabled members of the university cope) that simply can't be extended to tourists.

Contact the Tourist Info Centre (email at at the URL I've quoted above) about the restrictions: they will adjust routes of guided tours to meet wheelchair limitations, but I'm afraid there are a few things you might have to accept you're going to miss.
flanneruk is offline  
Aug 28th, 2013, 04:38 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 269
Thank you for your advice. I was afraid that the bus would not be of much help in Oxford based on what I had read, but this confirms it. I really appreciate the information about the taxis. I was hoping that it would be a better substitute. I will contact the Tourist Info Center to find out more about the walking tours. I will play it by ear, but I’m not sure if we will be able to include Oxford on this trip. Thanks again!
lovs2travel is offline  
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