If you find yourself in London with a free day and are looking for something to do, we have the perfect solution: take a day trip to Oxford!
Just an hour away by train, Oxford is a historic university town that is steeped in culture and tradition.
Here is our guide to spending a perfect day in Oxford on a day trip from London.
How To Get To Oxford From London
There are plenty of transport options to get you to Oxford from the capital. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different ways you can make the journey and help you choose the best option for you.
London To Oxford By Car
The journey will take around 1 hr 30 to 2 hours if you’re travelling by car, depending on the time of day and where in London you are leaving from.
You’ll be able to enjoy the sights of the English countryside as you drive, and it’s a great option if you’re planning on making stops along the way. Just be sure to factor in the cost of petrol and parking when you’re budgeting for your trip.
On the M25, take the M40 at Junction 16, a distance of approx. 40 miles, about a 1-hour drive.
Parking in Oxford can be busy, particularly on weekends and during school holidays. Check out these Oxford car parks.
London To Oxford By Train
Taking the train is often the quickest and most convenient option for getting from London to Oxford.
The journey takes around 1 hour, and several trains depart every hour. It’s worth booking your tickets in advance to get the best price and keep an eye out for special offers too.
Great Western Trains run from London Paddington to Oxford
London To Oxford By Coach
Travelling by coach is a great budget-friendly option for getting from London to Oxford.
Coaches depart from multiple locations in London, and the journey takes around 1 hour for the fastest service.
You can usually find good deals on tickets if you book in advance, so it’s worth comparing prices before you travel.
Oxford Organised Tours
If you don’t fancy making your own way to Oxford, there are plenty of organised tours that will do all the hard work for you!
This is a great option if you’re short on time or want someone else to handle all the logistics.
Tours typically include transport, entrance fees, and a guided tour of some of Oxford’s most popular attractions.
Below are some of the most popular tour companies that offer day trips from London to Oxford;
- Evan Evans Tours – From London: Oxford and Cambridge Universities Tour
- Rabbies Small Group Tours – From London: Oxford and Cotswolds Villages Day Trip
- Premium Tours – Full-Day Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton Tour from London
- Evan Evans Tours – London: Full-Day Windsor, Stonehenge, and Oxford Tour
One Day In Oxford – Itinerary
If you have decided to make your own way to Oxford by train, coach or car, you’ll have the flexibility to decide on your preferred things to do in Oxford.
Below is a suggested one-day itinerary, assuming you arrive early in the morning and leave late in the evening. Of course, for shorter days, you can leave off some activities.
Before we carry on, know that you won’t fit in all the many things to do in Oxford in one day; there’s too much, but you can get an overview of this beautiful city.
Start your day with a visit to the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, among the earliest scientific gardens in the world and the first of its kind in the UK.
This lovely garden is right in the middle of Oxford, and it has plants and flowers from all over the world.
Head to the Ashmolean Museum, the oldest university museum in the world. Here you can explore a wide range of art and artefacts from around the world, including ancient Egyptian mummies, European paintings, and contemporary art.
Enjoy a lunch break at one of the many restaurants or cafes in the city centre. Oxford has many great options, including The Eagle and Child, a historic pub that was a favourite of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
Take a walking tour of Oxford’s famous colleges. You can start at the historic Christ Church College, which was founded in the 16th century and has served as a backdrop for a number of notable films, including Harry Potter.
From there, you can explore other famous colleges such as Magdalen, Balliol, and Trinity.
Among Europe’s oldest libraries, the Bodleian Library is a must-see in Oxford. You can take a guided tour of the library or explore the public areas on your own.
Explore the charming streets of Oxford and the city’s many shops and boutiques. Be sure to stop by the Covered Market, a historic indoor market with a wide variety of vendors selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts.
Finish your day with dinner at one of Oxford’s many great restaurants. The Rickety Press, a gastropub with good food and drinks, and Quod Brasserie, a stylish restaurant with modern European food, are popular choices.
Of course, this is just one possible itinerary for exploring Oxford, and there are many other attractions and activities to enjoy in the city.
Feel free to adjust the itinerary to your preferences, and take your time exploring this beautiful and historic city!