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London to Oxford--which train?

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Apr 21st, 2012, 06:46 AM
  #1
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London to Oxford--which train?

We'll be in London for 6 days the first week of July, staying in Covent Garden. We're 2 60+ and 2 youth(13 and 14). We want to do a half day in Oxford-- I've been to London several times, but haven't been to Oxford--which station should we depart from, and what website should I use to search for the tix?
Thanks, Barb
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Apr 21st, 2012, 06:54 AM
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nationalrail.co.uk lists trains from the various private companies all over the country, and will direct you to the appropriate sites to buy them if you want to do so online. Trains to Oxford leave from Paddington station.

There have also been discussions here about taking a bus to Oxford. I haven't done that, but you might search for he threads to see if it will save you money or effort.
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Apr 21st, 2012, 06:58 AM
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Another option is one of the two coach lines that run daily from several stops in London.

The Oxford Espress--yes, that's how they spell it http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/

Or the Oxford Tube--which is NOT the Tube/Underground in London
http://www.oxfordtube.com/

You just wait for the bus and pay onboard. Either drops you off a bit more centrally in town than the train station. You might find train tickets way ahead for cheaper than bus fare, but then you are locked into a specific time. Or else you pay steep prices for train fare day-of-travel. The coach/bus options don't require any pre-planning in terms of specific times.

And I wouldn't plan "half" a day--it's not enough realistically. Too much to do--plus it is 60-90 minutes each way whether train or coach, I think. Anyway, there is time needed to travel. If anyone in your group has any interest in C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, or a myriad of other authors, there are so many sites/connections.

Google Oxford tourist information and see what walking tours they offer when you are there--they are varied and worth the small cost.
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Apr 21st, 2012, 07:55 AM
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The official travel times vary a bit more. Train 60 mins, bus 100 minutes.
On weekends and during off-peak hours I'd probably see the bus as an alternative.
Otherwise I'd be leaning more towards the train.

From my tourist's perspective, I would go by train TO Oxford (and commit on a specific date/train to get a cheap fare) and not lose time in heavy morning street traffic in London.
And go BACK to London by bus any time I thought I had "enough" of Oxford.

Though, whatever transport you chose, it will be much more a full day trip than anything close to a real 1/2 day trip.
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Apr 21st, 2012, 01:19 PM
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Cowboy makes good points. On the trip when we used one of the bus options, 1.we went on a Saturday (and traffic was busy but not like it would have been on a weekday probably) and 2. we got off the bus at Thornhill Park and Ride, on the outskirts of the city, from whence we walked to Lewis's house and grave--that was one of the perks of the bus, being able to see a couple Lewis sites we wouldn't have been able to if we'd ridden the train. (still many thanks go to flanneruk for the excellent instructions for how to fit this in!)

But whether you chose bus or train--do allow a WHOLE day for a wonderful trip.
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Apr 21st, 2012, 02:16 PM
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If you have any interest in visiting the Ashmolean Museum just be aware that it is closed on Monday. We enjoyed seeing the dining hall at Christchurch College all set up for lunch. Kids might like that as I think a Harry Potter scene was filmed there. Definitely allow a full day.
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Apr 22nd, 2012, 05:03 PM
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www.redspottedhanky.com is a good site, you can book a train ticket but don't have to specify which time train time so you can get any train that day that comes up on screen when you choose your ticket price.

At Piccadilly Circus catch the Bakerloo line to Paddington and the train from Paddington station to Oxford is about 1 hour. Oxford is a lovely place, go for the whole day x
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