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Day Trips from London to Oxford

OxfordThe ancient city of Oxford is just an hour away from the centre of London. Its beautiful river, historic colleges, and many pubs conspire to make it the ideal daytrip from London. Oxford has culture, entertainment, nightlife, and is easily reached from the capital.


The easiest way to get to Oxford from London is a direct train from Paddington station. Depending on whether they are express or suburban services these can take from between an hour minutes up an hours and forty minutes. Some may require you to change at Reading. The services run regularly, and Paddington can be reached on the Circle Line if you are taking the tube. Oxford railway station is an easy walk from the centre of the city, and is close to many of the hotels.


You could always take one of the many bus services that run between various places in London and Oxford. These include the Oxford Tube service, which runs from outside Victoria railway station to Oxford bus station on Gloucester Green, right in the heart of the city, although there are other stops if you wish to see other sights first. This takes between an hour and a half and two hours (although traffic at peak times can extend journeys even longer on occasion).


Oxford itself has been populated for more than 1,000 years, and there are examples of architecture from every period since the Saxons. The first of the colleges grew out of one of the colleges for the many orders of monks who lived there in the twelfth century. There were hundreds of houses for student monks at the time, but only one, St Edmund Hall, established in 1225, still remains. University College was the first of the colleges as we have some to know them, and it was founded in 1249. Since that time, through plague and civil war, and despite regular disputes with the townspeople, the university and its institutions have proliferated, and they now dominate much of the city. 


Visitors should be aware that there is no central university building. Each of the colleges stands separately, and there is no central campus to visit. However, the area around the Sheldonian Theatre, and the Bodleian Library, including the delightful round Radcliffe Camera are the central areas for sightseeing. All of the colleges have different policies about sightseeing, some are happy to allow it out of term time, others are not; some charge, others do not, so it is always worth visiting the porters lodge after you arrive to find out if you can have a look around.


Whilst in Oxford you could also make time for its many museums, including the Pitt Rivers Museum, the Ashmolean Museum, Magdalen Bridge, and the University Parks, which, with the river running through them, are ideal for punting or picnicking, or just using to relax in. 


There are tea rooms and cafes galore, and, if you decide to stay for more than a day there are many hotels, from the luxurious Randolph to any budget options.