Travel advice

Oxford is a beautiful city with a huge amount to offer visitors of all ages and we strongly recommend a visit if you are considering applying to the University. For maps and further details about travel, please see Maps and directions.

Travelling by car

Oxford is a small city with many traffic restrictions and parking is limited. If at all possible, please do not drive into the city centre. We recommend that you use the Park & Ride system.

If driving into Oxford cannot be avoided, please refer to up-to-date traffic information for details of all local road works and advance notice of any disruptions. Please note that there is no visitors' parking available at colleges or University buildings (unless you are a Blue Badge holder).

Oxford City Council has some advice about parking in the city for visitors with disabilities.

Park & Ride

We recommend using one of the following four Park & Rides conveniently located on the outskirts of Oxford. Please click on the links below for full details:

Name:Redbridge Park & RidePear Tree Park & RideThornhill Park & RideSeacourt Park & RideOxford Parkway (Water Eaton) Park & Ride
Postcode:OX1 4XGOX2 8JDOX3 8DP OX2 0HPOX2 8HA
Location:Off the A34 from Abingdon, Didcot and NewburyOff the A40 from Witney and Cheltenham, A4260 from Kidlington, A34 from Banbury, Bicester and Northampton and the M40.Off the A40 from Thame, Aylesbury, High Wycombe, London and the M40.Off the A420 to the west of the city on Botley Road. Off the A40 from Witney and Cheltenham, A4260 from Kidlington, A34 from Banbury, Bicester and Northampton and M40.

Paying for parking:

You will need to pay a parking charge when you park at a Park & Ride. The standard parking charge is £2 per vehicle (up to 11 hours) and £4 per vehicle (up to 24 hours). You can pay by cash or card at designated parking ticket machines.

You can also pre-pay using RingGo for Oxford Parkway and Redbridge and Pear Tree Park & Rides, or ParkREG for Thornhill. We strongly advise you to pay in advance to avoid lengthy queues at the ticket machines, particularly at Oxford Parkway (Water Eaton) and Thornhill, where improvement works will reduce the number of machines available during the Open Days.

Paying for the bus:

You will need to buy a return bus ticket to and from Oxford city centre. You can pay by cash or contactless on the bus. A peak adult day return ticket costs £3 or £5 for two adults travelling together. Under 16s travel free. There is also a Freeflow system that allows you to “tap on” the driver ticket machine at the start of each journey  and “tap off” at the end of each journey using a contactless payment method.

How to pay for a combined ticket:

A combined parking and bus ticket is available to purchase at specific combined ticket machines at each Park & Ride. The cost of a combined ticket is £6.80 and covers two adults and three Under 16s. Combined tickets can only be purchased on the day.

School groups travelling by coach or mini-bus

There is no general coach parking in Oxford city centre, so if you are travelling with a large group of students, we recommend dropping them in the city centre and parking at Redbridge, which offers parking for coaches and mini-buses.

On-street pick-up and drop-off points are provided by Oxfordshire County Council at the following locations:

  • St Aldate's South (northbound) - just south of the Combined Court OX11TL
  • Beaumont Street (westbound) - just outside the Playhouse OX1 2LW
  • St Giles' (northbound) - in the lay-by by the Taylorian OX1 3NA

Travelling by train

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 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 & Ride car park and the 500 bus route goes past the University Science Area, St Hugh's College and close to Lady Margaret Hall, terminating in 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 the National Rail app and  Train tracker: 03457 484950 or text 84950 (charges apply).

Travelling 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:

School groups travelling by private coach or mini-bus

Please read our advice on the 'by car' tab.

Travelling from abroad

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 two hours 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. 

Travelling around Oxford

Disabled access

The collegiate University is committed to improving access and is currently continuing to develop its Access guide. As more of our historic buildings are modified the Access guide will become more comprehensive. In the meantime, the Access guide is a helpful first point for information on accessible buildings. Where there are gaps in the information we suggest you contact the places you wish to visit directly.

The Oxford City Council website provides further information on accessibility. The council also runs a scheme enabling visitors to hire self-propelled or battery operated wheelchairs and scooters for free.

Taxis

There are taxi ranks at Oxford Railway Station, Gloucester Green Coach Station and St Giles' in the city centre. A list of taxi companies can be found on Oxfordshire's Visitor Information Centre website. 

Buses

Some Open Day venues that are located outside of the city centre can also be accessed via bus. Please see the Oxford Bus Company's journey planner to plan your route.