Bicester (pronounced Bistur) is a market town located in the north-east of the English county of Oxfordshire, some miles north of the university town of Oxford. It has become a popular destination on account of its being the location of Bicester Village, a large factory and designer outlet shopping village (see below, Buy).
Bicester has a traceable history of over a thousand years and was recorded in the Domesday Book. Like Banbury further north, it is experiencing growth and prosperity from its proximity to the M40 motorway linking London with Birmingham via Oxford.
The English writer Flora Thompson based her popular Lark Rise to Candleford trilogy on the area north-east of Bicester, encompassing the nearby villages of Juniper Hill, Cottisford, Fringford and Hethe.
Bicester is only a one-hour car or train journey from the cities of London and Birmingham. Exit Junction 9 of the M40 Motorway.
For fastest access, take the M40 Motorway to Junction 9. Follow the A41 for 2 miles towards Bicester. If you've come for the shopping village, follow the signs to 'Village Retail Park' and 'Bicester Village Outlet Centre' Don't miss the excellent Bicester Avenue home and leisure shopping outlet.
Bicester can be reached from Oxford by following the A34 northwards out of the city (12 miles/18 km).
- 1 Bicester North station, Chiltern Approach, Buckingham Rd, Bicester OX26 6EF. Chiltern Railways runs daily service to Bicester North from London Marylebone (every 30 minutes) and Birmingham Moor Street (every hour)
- 2 Bicester Village station, Station Approach, off London Rd, Bicester OX26 6HU. Bicester Village operates a direct shuttle bus to the outlet centre.
Stagecoach runs a regular and reliable bus service from Oxford to Bicester up to every 20 minutes with service number 27. The trip takes about 35 minutes from Oxford city centre and stops near Bicester Village (though not as near as one might expect) and in Bure Place bus station. Stagecoachs's X5 cross-county coach service from Oxford to Cambridge also stops in Bicester. It's slightly faster, normally taking 25 minutes but can only be picked up at Gloucester Green in Oxford and costs an extra pound.
Bicester village shopping Coach Service (From London to Bicester village).
The town is small enough to get around on foot.
- 1 Bicester Heritage, Buckingham Road, Launton (A4421), ☎ . Business park for the restoration, storage and enjoyment of vintage and classic cars, motorcycles and aeroplanes.
- 1 Bicester Avenue, Oxford Road, OX25 2NY (Take the A41 south out of Bicester towards Oxford. Bicester Avenue is off the A41 approximately half a mile outside Bicester.). M-Sa 9AM-6PM; Th 9AM-8PM; Su 10:30AM-4:30PM. A 102,000 ft² (9,500 m2) home, garden and leisure shopping centre built around one of the biggest garden centres in the UK. Wyevale, Antler, Cotswold outdoor, Laura Ashley, Moshulu, Pets Corner, Cotton Trader, Craft Central, World Of Water, Lakeland, Marshalls, Hobbycraft, Greeen & Pleasant and Newitts butchers.
- 2 Bicester Village, 50 Pingle Drive, OX26 6WD (located on the south side of Bicester). Su-F 10AM–6PM, Sa 9:30AM-7PM; Bank Holidays 10AM-7PM; closed Christmas Day. Large outdoor outlet shopping centre.
- 1 Denis (Traditional Turkish cuisine), 92 Sheep St, Bicester OX26 6LP (From the town centre go north along Sheep Street. Denis is just beyond the end of the pedestrianised area on the right hand side), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Th 5PM-10PM; F Sa noon-3PM, 5PM-11PM; Su noon-10PM. Mains: £10-15.
- 2 Jenny's Restaurant (Cafe), 13 Market Square, Bicester OX26 6AD, ☎ .
- 3 Pizza Express (Pizza Restaurant), 29 Market Square, Bicester OX26 6AG, ☎ . M-Sa 11:30AM-11PM; Su 11:30AM-10:30PM.
- 4 Shakil's (Indian restaurant & champagne bar), 94 Sheep St, Bicester OX26 6LP (From the town centre go north along Sheep Street. Shakil's is just beyond the end of the pedestrianised area on the right hand side), ☎ . M-Th noon-2:30PM, 5:30PM-11:30PM; F Sa noon-2:30PM, 5:30PM-midnight; Su noon-2:30PM, 5:30PM-11:30PM. Mains: £7-14, excluding sides.
Those looking for a night out, the top venues are Yates in Sheep Street and G's Wine Lodge (which has a stripper in the week). There are a variety of pubs both on the estates and in the town centre.
- 1 The Acorn (Hungry Horse pub & restaurant), Pingle Drive, Bicester OX26 6WB (The Acorn is on the large roundabout as you enter Bicester from the south on the A41. Entrance is on Pingle Drive.), ☎ . Daily 9AM-10PM.
- 2 The Bure Farm (Marston's pub with large seating area and childrens play area), Barberry Place, Bicester OX26 3HA, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Daily 11:30AM-11PM.
- 3 The Penny Black (Wetherspoons pub), 58 Sheep St, Bicester OX26 7JW, ☎ . M-Th 8AM-midnight; F Sa 8AM-1AM; Su 8AM-midnight.
- 1 Littlebury Hotel, Kings End, Bicester OX26 6DR (A few minutes walk from the town centre), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2 Premier Inn, Oxford Road, Bicester OX26 1BT (On the south side of town adjacent to the A41), ☎ . £.
- 3 Best Western Jersey Arms Hotel, The Jersey Arms, Ardley Rd, Middleton Stoney, OX25 4AD (3 miles west of Bicester in Middleton Stoney), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com.
- 4 Bicester Hotel, Golf and Spa, Green Lane, Chesterton, OX26 1TE (A few miles west of Bicester. Navigate to Chesterton then follow the Brown directional signs), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 5 Weston Manor, 135 Northampton Road, Weston-on-the-Green, OX25 3QL.