Travel advice | University of Oxford

Travel advice

We strongly recommend that you use public transport, if at all possible.

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


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.

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.

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).

Coaches from cities

Oxford Tube:
National Express:

Coaches from airports

London Heathrow (every 30 minutes during the day); Gatwick (every hour) with a reduced service overnight (both airports):

London Stansted:


Please refer to up-to-date traffic information for details of all local road works at this time and advance notice of any disruptions likely to delay your journey. Given the high number of visitors to Oxford on Open Days, combined with expected disruption from local roadworks, we have been advised that visitors should add at least one hour to the estimated journey times to Oxford suggested by online route planners or GPS devices.

Parking for Open Days

If you do travel by car, please note that parking in the city centre is very limited. We recommend that you use one of the Park and Ride car parks on the outskirts of the city centre. The best way to avoid long queues to pay for parking is to pay in advance online or by phone using RingGo for Redbridge or Pear Tree or ParkREG for Water Eaton or Thornhill. (Further details for each Park and Ride car park are given below.) Journey times from these car parks to the centre of Oxford vary, but are normally between twelve and eighteen minutes depending on the time of day.

Remember that you need to allow enough time to pay for parking, wait for a bus, pay for your bus ticket on board, travel into Oxford and then make your way to your first destination. Arriving at a Park and Ride car park at 09:15 does not allow enough time to make a 10:00 talk in most cases, for example.

For information on parking for the disabled in Oxford please see details of Oxford City Council's Blue Badge scheme.

Park and Ride car parks

The Oxford Bus Company runs buses from the following car parks on the outskirts of Oxford:

Redbridge (south) - OX1 4XG (located off the A34 from Abingdon, Didcot and Newbury.)  Approximate capacity is 1250 cars. Take the 300 bus to and from the city centre. 

Water Eaton (north) - OX2 8HA. Approximate capacity is 850 cars. Take the 500 bus to and from the city centre. Alternatively, take the train from Oxford Parkway station (which is situated next to Water Eaton Park and Ride) into central Oxford train station (£3.40 peak return), for easy access to the Said Business School. Journey time is 6 minutes.

Pear Tree (north) - OX2 8JD.  Approximate capacity is 850 cars. Take the 300 bus to and from the city centre. Buses from Peartree take a route along the Woodstock Road, which is convenient for the Science Area of the University.

Both Pear Tree and Water Eaton are accessed from the A40 (from Witney and Cheltenham, the A4260 (from Kidlington), the A34 (from Banbury, Bicester and Northampton) and the M40. 

Thornhill (east) - OX3 8DP (located off the A40 from Thame, Aylesbury, High Wycombe, London and the M40.)  Approximate capacity is 850 cars. Take the 400 bus to and from the city centre.

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

How to pay for parking:

Please note that you do not need to display your parking ticket in your car. You need to enter your car registration number when buying your ticket and this is used for verification purposes.

Redbridge (south) and Pear Tree (north)

- On site by exact cash (no change given) using the pay machines: 1 day costs £2.00

- On your mobile or online with a credit/debit card. Pay online on the RingGo website using location code 3920 for Redbridge or location code 3919 for Pear Tree, or to pay by phone call 01865 989000 from your mobile and register with RingGo. (If you have already registered with RingGo at any other location, you need not register again.): 1 day costs £2.20.

For help with parking at Redbridge or Pear Tree car parks contact: Oxford City Council parking control on 01865 252489

Water Eaton (north) and Thornhill (east)

  - On site with exact cash or card at pay points near the terminal building: up to 11 hours (including the first hour) costs £2 (more than 11 hours but less than 24 costs £4)

  - Online: at
  - By mobile phone: pre-register at, then text PARKREG, the number of hours parking you wish to pay for, your location code (27362 for Water Eaton or 27361 for Thornhill), and your car registration number to 67766. (For example, to park all day at Water Eaton, text PARKREG 27362 11 AA12 XYZ). You pay your standard text message rate plus a 15p surcharge.

For help with parking at Water Eaton car park ring Oxfordshire County Council parking control: 01865 815649 (out of normal office hours - 01865 793147)

For full details on parking charges: Oxfordshire county council

Bus costs from Park and Ride sites to the city centre:

- £2.80 same day return (a same day return using any park and ride service)

- £1.80 single journey (single ticket for 1 adult)

- £3.00 period return (return ticket for 1 adult - return within 72 hours)

- £4.80 2 to go (same day return ticket for 2 adults travelling together)

- £5.50 2 to go period return (return ticket for 2 adults travelling together - return within 72 hours)

- £4.20 24h Oxford SmartZone pass (unlimited travel on any park and ride bus and Oxford Bus Company, Stagecoach and Thames Travel bus within Oxford SmartZone - Not valid on Stagecoach nightbuses)

- Kids go free! (Up to 3 children under 16 can travel free when accompanied by a fare paying adult to or from any car park.)

Park and Ride buses accept both cash and contactless payments.

Further information can be found the Oxford Bus Company website.

Additional car and mini bus parking

Another car park run by a private company, UPark, is at Osney Lane (OX1 1NY). This car park has space for approximately 180 vehicles and is open from 07:00 to 19:00. It is a 10 to 15 minute walk to the city centre or a five minute walk to the railway station where it is possible to catch a bus to the city centre. This car park has limited capacity and is likely to fill up early so we would only advise attempting to park there if you arrive by 9am.

  • Mini buses - £14.00 for up to 12 hours
  • Cars - £7.00 for up to 12 hours

Coaches are not allowed to park here.

Coach and mini bus parking

If you are travelling by mini bus or private coach it is possible to park at Redbridge Park and Ride (OX1 4XG).  Coaches wishing to drop passengers in the city centre should do so in St Aldates, between Thames street and Speedwell street or on St Giles. Any queries about coach parking should be directed to the City Council parking office: 01865 252489. Please note Oxpens, Abbey Place and Westgate coach parks are closed.

Coach Park charges for mini buses and coaches

  • Mini buses 0 - 4 hours - £5.00
  • Mini buses 4 - 24 hours - £7.50
  • Coaches for 24 hours - £10.00

Local taxis

ABC Radio Taxis - Tel: 01865 242424
001 Taxis - Tel: 01865 240000

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