Travel advice | University of Oxford
Radcliffe Square
Radcliffe Square
Credit: Jonathan Webb, DPhil Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Graduate Photography Competition

Travel advice

Oxford is a beautiful city and is well worth a visit. Coming to have a look around is also a good idea for anyone thinking of applying to study here, especially if you have not been able to attend one of the University open days.

For maps and further details about travel, please see Maps and directions.

If you are travelling to Oxford we strongly recommend that you use public transport, if at all possible, as parking is extremely limited in the city.

Visiting by rail

There are two railway stations in Oxford: Oxford station and Oxford Parkway station.

Oxford station

Oxford station runs regular direct services to London Paddington, Birmingham New Street, Reading and others with less frequent direct services also available to Manchester, Newcastle and Southampton.

Check live travel updates for Oxford station

Oxford Parkway station

The new connection between Oxford and Oxford Parkway means that Chiltern Railways now offers a twice-hourly direct connection between Oxford and London Marylebone, High Wycombe, Bicester Village and other stations.

Oxford Parkway is on the same site as the Water Eaton Park and Ride car park and the 500 bus route goes past the University Science Area, St Hugh's College and close to Lady Margaret Hall, as well as the city centre.

Check live travel updates for Oxford Parkway station.

General rail information

The National Rail website has a number of travel tools available to alert passengers to any changes or disruptions in service, including Train tracker: 03457 484950 or text 84950 (charges apply).

www.nationalrail.co.uk

Visiting by coach

Coach services run to Oxford from many parts of the UK. The city's coach station is located centrally and within a short walk of many colleges and other facilities.

More information about coach services can be found at:

Visiting by air

Oxford is well-connected to the UK's international airports

Heathrow

Trains from Heathrow run to London Paddington, where you will need to catch a connecting service to Oxford.

Coaches run directly to and from London Heathrow every 30 minutes during the day, and with a reduced service overnight.

Gatwick

Trains from Gatwick run to London Victoria. You will then need to travel across the city to London Paddington or to Marylebone to catch a connecting service to Oxford.

Coaches run to and from Gatwick every hour during the day, and with a reduced service overnight.

London Stansted

Trains from Stansted run to London Liverpool Street. You will then need to travel across the city to London Paddington or to Marylebone to catch a connecting service to Oxford.

National Express Coaches run regularly from London Stansted to Oxford.

Visiting by car

Oxford is a small city with many traffic restrictions. If at all possible, please do not drive into the city centre. If driving into Oxford cannot be avoided, then please refer to up-to-date traffic information for details of all local road works and advance notice of any disruptions likely to delay your journey.

Oxford City Council's Accessible Guide to Oxford (PDF) has useful advice about driving and parking in the city for visitors with disabilities, or see details of Oxford City Council's Blue Badge scheme.

Parking in Oxford

Parking in the city centre is very limited. There is also no visitors' parking at colleges or University buildings (unless you are a Blue Badge holder). Street parking in Oxford is controlled by parking meter and can be very expensive.

Rather than driving into the city centre we recommend that visitors use one of the Park and Ride car parks on the outskirts of the city:

Redbridge (South):

  • Postcode: OX1 4XG
  • Location: off the A34 from Abingdon, Didcot and Newbury
  • Capacity (approx): 1250 cars.
  • How to travel to city centre: Park and Ride bus, number 300.

Water Eaton (north):

  • Postcode: OX2 8HA
  • Location: off the A40 (from Witney and Cheltenham), the A4260 (from Kidlington), the A34 (from Banbury, Bicester and Northampton) and the M40.
  • Capacity (approx): 850 cars.
  • How to travel to city centre: Park and Ride bus, number 500. Or take the train from Oxford Parkway station (which is situated next to Water Eaton Park and Ride) into central Oxford train station for easy access to the Said Business School. Journey time is 6 minutes.

Pear Tree (north):

  • Postcode: OX2 8JD
  • Location: off the A40 (from Witney and Cheltenham), the A4260 (from Kidlington), the A34 (from Banbury, Bicester and Northampton) and the M40.
  • Capacity (approx): 850 cars.
  • How to travel to city centre: Park and Ride bus, number 300 bus. Buses from Peartree take a route along the Woodstock Road, which is convenient for the Science Area of the University.

Thornhill (east):

  • Postcode: OX3 8DP
  • Location: off the A40 from Thame, Aylesbury, High Wycombe, London and the M40.
  • Capacity (approx): 850 cars.
  • How to travel to city centre: Park and Ride bus, number 400.

We strongly recommend that you do not use Seacourt Park and Ride car park as this is often full very early in the morning.

Paying for parking

You will need to pay a parking charge at the car park you are using, and also a bus fare to travel from the car park to the city centre.