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A historic city filled with modern vibrance
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It might be called the “city of dreaming spires” but there’s nothing sleepy about Oxford. Stepping onto a train to Oxford will whisk you to a city that is a heady mix of history and forward-thinking culture. Although its rich past is evident in the architecture, statues and museums that dot the city, it’s also a vibrant, young city, filled with students and the liveliness they bring. With a range of restaurants, bars and shops to suit all tastes, you’re sure to leave Oxford wanting more.
Oxford has loads to see and do and is pretty Instagrammable, so it’s no surprise that it’s a popular destination for national and international tourists, as well as students heading to uni. We run trains to Oxford from all over the UK, with many direct services to make your journey super easy. Below are some of our most popular routes.
Oxford Station is the only train station in the city.
Oxford city centre is easily accessible from the station. In just 10 minutes you can walk to Westgate Shopping Centre, top attractions and numerous restaurants and bars.
The closest airport to Oxford is London Heathrow. Passengers can reach Heathrow directly by catching The Airline coach - this takes 1hr20 to reach the airport. Alternatively, getting a train into London and then travelling to Heathrow from the capital is another option.
However, an easier option may be getting on of our trains to Birmingham Airport. This is a direct service and only takes an hour.
If you have any further questions about the station in Oxford, check out our station guide.
A compact city, Oxford has a surprising array of shopping options available for those in search of something unique or simply some retail therapy.
You’ll find most of your high street favourites concentrated around Cornmarket and Queen Street. Nestled between the two is Clarendon Centre, offering a wide range of shops all under one roof, so you can shop at your leisure whatever the weather.
However, if you’re looking for something more Oxfordian, you’ll not be short of options. You could spend hours dipping in and out of boutique stores discovering local designers, crafters and artists. Choose between the cool streets of Jericho, the historic Covered Market with its many delights and the diverse Cowley Road.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that Oxford is the perfect place to shop for antiques and books. For the former, our top choice is Antiques on High, where a traditional looking shopfront hides a treasure-chest of amazing vintage finds. For the latter there’s nowhere better than Blackwell’s - an Oxford institution. And it’s also well worth dropping by the Oxfam Bookshop for some second hand finds!
When it comes to food and drink, Oxford offers a huge variety. With a choice of cuisines that span the globe, there’s nothing better than following your nose and discovering the amazing dishes on offer.
Heading down Cowley Road will open up an array of wonderful sights and smells, and is one of the cheaper areas of Oxford to pick up something to eat. With plenty of choices, from authentic Thai to Spanish tapas, this area has it all – including a cheeky Nandos!
However, we couldn’t just leave it there, as we have some favourites in Oxford that we simply couldn’t wait to share with you. Head to the Vaults and Garden and you'll find delicious, locally sourced food in stunning surroundings. Their menu changes every few days in accordance with what gets delivered, but there is something for everyone with a guaranteed meat, veggie and vegan option. For something more upmarket, we’d recommend heading to the Rooftop Restaurant at Ashmolean where you can enjoy delicious food with a view!
If you’re interested in making the most of the local produce, head to the Covered Market and pick up some of the tasty local cheeses, breads, and perhaps even a beer, before heading out to the river to enjoy a delicious lunch.
It’s hardly surprising that Oxford has a lot to offer culture vultures of all types. Whether you’re looking for theatre, art or comedy, this city has it all. From cheap and cheerful student nights to beautiful professional productions, it’s hard to capture the full range of the cultural offering of the city in a few sentences – but we’re going to try!
When it comes to museums, Oxford offers something of an embarrassment of riches, and there really is something for everyone. One of our favourites is the Pitt Rivers Museum, with its quirky selection of interesting objects. However, Modern Art Oxford is also a contender. This gallery opened in the 1960s and has offered visitors an amazing array of stunning and avant garde art ever since.
From the New Theatre to the Oxford Playhouse, and the Oxford Revue to The Glee Club, there’s theatre and comedy nights across the city whenever you choose to visit. With so much on offer, it’ll be tough to make a choice, so keep an eye out for your favourites.
Of course, you haven’t truly had the full Oxford-experience if you don’t go punting!
We want you to enjoy affordable train travel, so encourage our passengers to book in advance where possible. You can book tickets with us via our website Train Tickets app. We also offer exclusive benefits to registered customers to make your journey extra enjoyable. If you’re looking for a trip away but aren’t sure where to go, our UK Holidays hub has plenty of inspiration.
If you want to explore Oxford and all it has to offer, you’ll want to stay for a few days! Make sure you plan ahead and book a great value hotel in Newcastle before you arrive.
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