London Day Trip: Oxford

Highlights: university town; city strolls; museums
Duration: five to ten hours
Exertion level: low
Accessible by: train, bus


Poet Matthew Arnold didn't call Oxford the "City of Dreaming Spires" for nothing! Photo: Codiferous.

Oxford is the prototypical university town, the grand dame against which other university towns are judged. And what grandeur! Almost 40 colleges make their home in Oxford. The colleges cluster together, in between parks, fields, meadows, and cute streets. The effect is incredibly charming, though the busloads of tourists passing in and out during peak months does diminish the appeal somewhat. Several of Oxford's colleges are worth visiting, including Christ Church College and Magdalen College.

To see

Oxford boasts an outstanding collection of museums, including the Ashmolean Museum, England's oldest museum. It holds a collection of extraordinary artworks and objects. Oxford also claims two kid-friendly museums: the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the spooky Pitt Rivers Museum, a veritable treasure chest of archaeological and ethnographic objects. Rounding out the selection is an amazing contemporary arts museum, Modern Art Oxford.

Oxford is also chockablock full of little pubs and restaurants, many quite charming. So when museum feet have caught up with you, rest assured that you can find a place to relax and enjoy the university town vibe.

For more information about Oxford, see Oxford City's official Travel & Tourism site.

Getting there

A roundtrip train journey between London and Oxford costs £8 for a Cheap Day Return fare. Such fares apply for weekday travel at non-peak times.

Bus travel between London and Oxford is more reliably cheaper than train travel. Megabus is the best value, with one way journeys for as little as £2.50. Catch Oxford-bound buses at the corner of Buckingham Palace Road and Elizabeth Bridge, diagonally across from Victoria Coach Station.

More day trips

Looking for more getaways from London? Check out this article on London day trips, including a jaunt to a medieval castle at Arundel and some fun in the sun in Brighton.

From our London blog

Welcome to EuroCheapo, a guide to cheap hotels and budget travel in London and throughout Europe.

Our editors have inspected, photographed and reviewed inexpensive accommodation in London’s central neighborhoods in search of the very best values. Although the city isn’t the easiest for travelers on a budget, London does offer some small and inexpensive hotel options, along with lovely family-run B&Bs and some hostels that could also be a good fit.

Ready to find a hotel for your travel dates? Search in the box above to see what’s available.

Or browse through a list of our recommended hotels. All of these are located in central London, and are clean and affordable.

Keep your travel costs down

Hotels are just the beginning, of course. Click through to see a list of articles covering budget tips, including ways to save on the Tube, sightseeing, and restaurants.

And be sure to check out our London blog, which is regularly updated by Nina and Frances, our London correspondents, with ways to save and cheap and free things to do.

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