Why move to Oxford?
There's culture and history all around in Oxford, the city plays host to a plethora of theatres where plays can be taken in, as well as a fantastic selection of shops. Oxford also plays host to several well-stocked libraries, and even a few nature walks or city strolls among the ‘dreaming spires’ or along the river; it may be the Thames, but it’s known as the Isis in these parts. As well as being famous for its university, the city is also well known for its industries including manufacturing, education and publishing. Some of the most influential books in the world were published in Oxford.
A little bit of history
Oxford was originally settled during the Saxon period and had an important trading location on two rivers, the Cherwell and Thames. The University of Oxford began here in the 12th century, which dominated the town for a long period until the Industrial Revolution. Though ‘town and gown’ have had a tumultuous relationship over the centuries, the university gave the city most of its spectacular buildings, including Christ Church Cathedral, the Radcliffe Camera and Tom Tower.
Architecture and property
In a city that boasts such a rich history, you'll be unsurprised to learn that there are lots of different types of properties on the market. From grand, regency style houses to smaller apartments and flats, there's plenty of choices. Oxford is a surprisingly liveable city, but for those looking for a mix of city and village life, Jericho offers a happy medium with an excellent food scene, while Headington is great for families. Both are just a stone’s throw from central Oxford.
Shopping and amenities
From larger chains to smaller, independent retailers, there's something for everyone on Oxford's High Street. The upgraded Westgate Centre reopened to great fanfare in 2017 and includes 100 new shops including a John Lewis department store, a variety of cafés and restaurants, a cinema and multi-storey parking. There is also excellent shopping in the city centre along Cornmarket Street, the High Street and Queen Street. Bicester Village designer outlet shopping centre is about 25 minutes’ drive away. In the city centre there are two excellent theatres, the New Theatre and the Oxford Playhouse, plus a number of excellent museums including The Ashmoleum, Pitt Rivers, Modern Art Oxford and the Natural History Museum.
Restaurants in Oxford are extremely diverse, as you would imagine from such a cultural and internationally influenced city. There are national names like Brasserie Blanc, Giggling Squid, Bill’s and Franco Manca, as well as independent local names like The Nose Bag, The Rickety Press, Barefoot Jericho and GLUT burger bar. For cocktails, make your way to Raoul’s on Walton Street, The Alchemist or Freud, opposite the Oxford University Press.
The city of Oxford is surrounded on all sides by the beautiful countryside of Oxfordshire, with a green belt around much of the city preventing urban sprawl and protecting the nearby villages from development. As well as green spaces in the Cotswolds to the west and the Chilterns to the south, there is excellent walking in the city centre along the Cherwell and Thames rivers and flood meadows, within the University Parks, Aston’s Eyot and Port Meadow in Jericho – a 300-acre reserve with a seven-mile walk that passes excellent pubs like The Perch.
As well as its famous university, there are several academically outstanding schools in the city. These include d’Overbroeck’s for 7-18-year olds; Oxford High for 3-18-year olds and Dragon School, which is co-ed with pre-prep and prep schools. Summer Fields is a popular boys’ school feeding to Eton, while St Edward’s, also in Summertown, is a top co-ed senior school. In the city centre itself, Magdalen College School admits boys aged 7-18 with girls for sixth form. In Headington there’s Rye St Antony and Headington Girls School.
Oxford station has commuter services from 47 minutes direct into London Paddington Station, while by car the drive an easy route straight down the M40 and A40 for about 90 minutes. There’s also the Oxford Tube bus service which travels to various stops in London before culminating at Buckingham Palace Road near Victoria. Oxford City centre is easily accessed from the suburbs and around the city by public transport, cycling or on foot. There are excellent Park and Ride services around the city too.