The following airport websites and maps may prove useful in planning your journey to Oxford:
From Gatwick and Heathrow Airports: The easiest way to get to Oxford from these airports is to use "The Airline" coach service. The most convenient stop in Oxford is Gloucester Green, the terminus of the service. You pay the driver in cash when you board or buy on-line using your credit card. They accept U.S. dollars as well as British pounds sterling and euros. Check costs and timetables by having a look at the Oxford Bus Company website: http://www.oxfordbus.co.uk/main.php?page_id=23
From London: It is easy to get to Oxford by either train (Paddington Station) or coach (outside Victoria Station or from Victoria Coach Station).
From the Oxford bus station: The main bus station in Oxford is located at Gloucester Green, which is in the middle of town. The easiest way to get to the UGA at Oxford Center from the bus station is by taxi. After getting off the coach, walk to the taxi stand across Gloucester Green square. The taxis line up at the other end of Gloucester Green (near the Odeon Movie Theatre). Give the taxi driver the address (104 Banbury Road). Transit should cost in the neighborhood of £10 (including tip).
From the Oxford train station: Again, the easiest way to get to the facility on Banbury Road is via taxi. The taxis should be lined up outside the rail station (see above). Read More
Oxford is a great college town as well as an international tourist attraction.
Below are just a few of the things UGA at Oxford participants can do when the books are put away:
- Attend a play: Whether it's professional, amateur, or student, classical, popular, or avant-garde, there's always a production in progress. Shakespeare adaptations are a favorite.
- Listen up: Punk, folk, classical, religious, alternative - it's all playing. If you're truly adventurous, sidle up to the karaoke machine at a pub and make your own contribution to the local scene.
- Attend a service: Oxford has many Church of England (Anglican) congregations; a list of other local denominations, synagogues, and mosques is available from program staff.
- Check out a museum: The Ashmolean and the Pitt Rivers are local landmarks, featuring paintings, sculpture, local and natural history, and antique scientific equipment. Museum web sites: http://www.museums.co.uk
- Catch a movie: Two local theatres and occasional festivals showcase British, American, and foreign films.
- Shop: Oxford is a paradise of bookstores, both new and used. To visit one of the largest and most celebrated, click here: http://bookshop.blackwell.co.uk/stores/oxford-bookshop/ Thrift and vintage clothing are well-represented, too, as are CD and vinyl shops and fairs. Warning: Past experience indicates that this is a dangerous pastime for students' wallets and carry-on luggage allowances!
- Go punting: What could be more romantic, more scholarly, more Oxford than boating on the Thames? Tip: Pick a (relatively) warm day. People have been known to fall in.
- Rent a bike: The Oxfordshire countryside is an attraction in itself. Example: Blenheim Palace, about eight miles away, is England's largest private residence (home of the Ninth Duke of Marlborough), as well as the birthplace of Winston Churchill.
- Go to London: A round-trip bus ticket is about six pounds; the trip takes an hour and a half each way and can be made at almost any hour of the day or night.
If you can't wait until you get to Oxford, here are a few ways to get to know the city before you go.
Visit the homepage for your college:
Keble College (for the Spring and Summer Programs); Trinity College (for the Summer Program)
Read a book:
- The novels included within the "Inspector Morse" mystery series by Oxford native Colin Dexter are all set around town (locals), with a healthy dose of gown (faculty types) thrown in. Start with the novel in which Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis first appear on the scene, Last Bus to Woodstock.
- Philip Pullman's celebrated trilogy, His Dark Materials, introduces readers to both a realistic and fantastic Oxford that promises to enrich any visitor to the city's imagination.
- Novelist, biographer, and royal relative Lady Antonia Fraser is the author of Oxford Blood; I haven't read it, but I assume it's a mystery.
- American Peter Feiler spent a year at Cambridge, dated a Canadian Rhodes Scholar studying at Oxford, and tells us all about it in Looking for Class: My Search for Wisdom and Romance at Oxford and Cambridge. This book is both informative and hilarious.
- The Children of Men by P.D. James differs from most books set in Oxford, which tend to relate a story in the present that's saturated with atmosphere from the city's past. This instead is a very futuristic thriller in which a divorced Oxford faculty member saves the human race (but is he late for tutorial?)
See a movie:
- The Saint, staring Val Kilmer as international thief Simon Templar, has a lot of footage set in Oxford. In fact, the Radcliffe Square of the Bodleian Library probably vies with Red Square in Moscow for the most on-screen time.
- Shadowlands is the weepie of this list. Anthony Hopkins stars as Oxford professor and Christian fantasy author (hint: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) C.S. Lewis. Debra Winger is the American poet who steals his heart.
- Then there's the pop classic Oxford Blues: Rob Lowe is an American who rows crew and generally gets into trouble. Ally Sheedy co-stars.
- The Inspector Morse mystery series (see above) has also spawned a series of television movies, usually available on public broadcasting or A&E.
- Finally, although no scenes in The Madness of King George are depicted as taking place in Oxford, several were shot there in the summer of 1994.
Culture and Entertainment in England:
- http://www.museums.co.uk offers a comprehensive listing of museum websites and information for England.
- The Royal Shakespeare Company main site. Information and online booking for the world's leading Shakespeare company.
- Shakespeare's Globe main site. A recently-opened reconstruction of William Shakespeare's Globe theater featuring performances, tours, and educational programs.
General Information on Britain and Study Abroad:
More things to do in Oxford (other than studying):
Want to have visitors while you're in Oxford? This list of inns, B&Bs, and hotels in the Oxford area will give you an indication of what might be available for your guests.
Please note: The UGA at Oxford Program does not endorse these locations by providing this information; we simply felt it wise to pass along contact information to those of you who may have a need.