With a range of fare types on our coaches, affordable travel to Oxford could be just as dreamy as the “city of dreaming spires” itself.
If you’re able to be flexible with journey times and take advantage of Coachcards, you could enjoy extra discounts, even if you’re only booking up to three days in advance.
Scroll up to buy your cheap tickets to Oxford, and enjoy more spending money for your trip.
Book direct coach travel to Oxford and visit a city steeped in history. Home to royals and scholars for over 800 years and more recently known as the home of Hogwarts and Harry Potter, Oxford is both traditional and modern in one.
Whatever length of trip you’re planning, we’ve put together some ideas to help you get started.
Duck into this Edwardian boathouse for upscale seasonal food accompanied by an excellent wine list. In the summer months, tables are offered out on the deck and you can also head out for a punt on the river.
Vaults & Garden
Don’t let the idea of eating in a church crypt put you off – Vaults & Garden has stunning architecture and offers a range of food from cream teas to vegetarian mains. It’s handily located right next to Radcliffe Camera and won ‘Sustainable Restaurant of the Year’ in 2016.
Comie’s Caribbean Grill
Just outside the city centre, Comie’s offers a selection of authentic Caribbean cooking, including curried goat and jerk chicken. With a relaxed atmosphere and quirky décor, you’ll have change to spare from the affordable menu.
Enjoy a classy cocktail
Raoul’s resides in trendy Jericho, Oxford’s hipster neighbourhood, and has a selection of expertly mixed drinks on the menu. You can also take one of their master classes to learn how to shake things up properly. Alternatively, survey the lay of the land by climbing up to the roof terrace at The Varsity Club with gorgeous views over the city, cocktail glass in hand.
Hit up a historical pub
Opposite Bear Lane is The Bear Inn, Oxford’s oldest surviving pub. It also has a strange but very impressive collection of ties, which are displayed on the walls and ceilings – this collection was started in 1952 and a tie end was snipped off at the bar in exchange for a free half pint. Alternatively, check out where Lewis Carrol and JRR Tolkein used to sink their pints at the Eagle and Child, which is affectionately nicknamed the Bird and Baby by locals and students.
Or head for somewhere a little more quirky
Thirsty Meeples is Oxford’s board games café; a gem with over 2,000 games to enjoy. After paying a small fee, players can enjoy as many games as they like for up to three hours, alongside a decent menu, including craft beers and finger food.
The Covered Market
Oxford is alive with bustling markets, some of which have been in the same spot since the 1700s, selling everything from local food to jewellery and furniture. Check out the Covered Market for artisan stores and food, as well as a branch of the chain Ben’s Cookies – which was actually founded in Oxford.
For high street names, Oxford city centre takes some beating. Cornmarket Street, High Street and Queen Street are home to dozens of leading retail stores which stand alongside smaller, independent shops and boutiques. If you’re able to take a trip outside of the city, you can also visit Bicester Outlet Village for discounted designer brands.
Boswell & Co
No trip to Oxford is complete without a visit to Boswell & Co. The sprawling department store is a magnet for shoppers from across the country who flock to the store that promises "something for everyone". It’s an ideal place to pick up unique gifts or souvenirs to take home.
The ancient buildings on cobbled streets are fascinating to tourists visiting Oxford, and each one has its own personality and charm. Opening times vary across the colleges, but it’s well worth checking these out to find locations you’ll recognise from films such as Brideshead Revisited and Harry Potter.
Pitt Rivers Museum
Founded in 1884 when influential figure General Pitt Rivers gave his collection to the University of Oxford, the beauty of this museum is that everything is organised by type. The displays are often crowded, with the majority of the over half a million objects in the collection actually on view. Contemporary exhibitions focus on culture and modern anthropology.
The birthplace of Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace has an extraordinary history and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Baroque architecture and surrounding park and gardens are beautiful – see if you can spot the eyes painted on one of the porticos, inspired by one of the former Duchesses who lived in the palace. You can also now undertake their course with the Royal School of Butlers in order to learn all the etiquette and skills required of a modern-day butler.
The Story Museum
If your little ones like a tale or two, the Story Museum will undoubtedly capture their imagination with a range of activities to get involved with and regularly changing exhibitions.
Take them punting on the river
You can either let the kids attempt to do the hard work (with a bit of parental guidance), or enjoy being chauffeured down the river by an expert guide.
Feed them quality ice cream
You won’t feel guilty treating the kids at G&D’s. The independent ice cream maker has a couple of ice cream cafés in the city and produces its own dairy and non-dairy frozen desserts without artificial preservatives or additives. These are served alongside ethically sourced coffee, sweet baked goods, and bagels.
It might seem like a bit of a stretch to visit all the sights (and every one of the University’s colleges), but don’t let that put you off finding some beautiful places to admire (with or without a camera).
Plan yourself a stroll around town
Most of the historical buildings in Oxford are within walking distance of each other, so you can expect to walk from the Bridge of Sighs to Radcliffe Camera and then onwards to the Covered Market with no more than a couple of minutes stroll between each of them. The Bodleian Library is also nearby. If you just can’t decide what you’d like to see, there are many tours around the city, and even one with a Harry Potter theme, citing locations that were used in the films.
Go back to school
Perhaps attending the University of Oxford is, was or never will be a pipe-dream, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still learn a thing or two whilst you’re visiting. Check out the Museum of the History of Science and take a peek at Einstein’s blackboard that still features equations handwritten by the man himself from his Oxford lecturing days. The Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers Museums also have tons to wonder at from the worlds of archaeology and ethnography.
Modern Art Oxford
This gallery has in the past had some amazing feats of curation, including solo shows by Young British Artists and other modern artists. Visit with free admission.
The Jam Factory
This old marmalade factory has now been turned into an arts centre and café. Head over to see one of their independent artist shows or unleash your own creativity at one of their classes and workshops.
Bridge of Sighs
Nicknamed after the ‘Ponte dei Sospiri’ in Venice, this beautiful skyway links two parts of Hertford College across New College Lane in Oxford. You can cut through underneath it to walk to High Street and central Oxford.
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