Oxfordshire is a county in South East England, on the southern fringes of the West Midlands, bordered by Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire. Straddling the upper reaches of the Thames River valley west of the Chilterns, Oxfordshire is home to the ancient university city of Oxford and vast areas of archetypal English landscape, studded with fascinating towns and villages, many along the River Thames.
Cities, towns and villages
- 1 Oxford – ancient cathedral and university city, county town of Oxfordshire. Also where Harry Potter was filmed.
- 2 Abingdon – a historic town full of picturesque buildings and nice views.
- 3 Banbury – the home of the 'Banbury Cross'.
- 4 Bicester – home of Bicester Village, a vast area of outlet stores.
- 5 Chipping Norton – a small ancient market town in the heart of the Cotswolds, complete with old buildings and beautiful countryside.
- 6 Didcot – small town south of Abingdon, known for its railway heritage and locally for its power plant.
- 7 Faringdon – small town home to William Morris' 16th-century manor house
- 8 Henley-on-Thames
- 9 Thame
- 10 Wallingford – a truly beautiful town near Abingdon.
- 11 Wantage and the Vale of White Horse
- 12 Witney
- 13 Burford – Cotswold town known for its antique shopping and garden centre.
- 14 Sandford-on-Thames
- 15 Shillingford
- 16 Shiplake – known for its private school Shiplake College
- 17 Woodstock – a historic town just north of Oxford, location of Blenheim Palace one of the great stately homes of England and nearby small picturesque village of Bladon, the burial place of Sir Winston Churchill.
- 1 The Cotswolds - is a recognised area of outstanding natural beauty which includes part of Oxfordshire.
- 2 Whitehorse Hill – the highest point in Oxfordshire, in the Vale of White Horse, reaching 261m (856 ft).
Oxfordshire, being in England, is obviously an English-speaking county, though while in Oxford, the name Magdalen (which is the name of a college, a church, a bridge and a street) is pronounced 'Maw-da-lin'.
1 Oxford Airport (OXF IATA) at Kidlington is used mainly for private and charter aircraft and has only intermittently had scheduled airline flights; it is useful only if you fly your own plane, or are able to charter a small aircraft.
- 4 RAF Brize Norton (BZZ IATA) (west of Witney). Although a military base carries civilian passengers from the Falkland Islands
Oxford is connected to regular train services from, Birmingham New Street, London Paddington and Worcester. Didcot Parkway station is connected to Oxford, and is also a stop on the main line between London and Bristol. Bicester and Thame are also connected to London Marylebone, in one direction, connecting with the Oxford-Birmingham line at Banbury.
Oxford is connected by regular buses to London's Victoria Coach Station, and to Cambridge via Buckingham, Milton Keynes and Bedford. All of the local airports are connected, with the most frequent connections to Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
There are bus services from Oxford to each of the major towns in the county. There are also railway connections along the Cotswold line toward Worcester, this being the only railway line across the Cotswolds. There are regular stopping trains servicing the line between Oxford and London Paddington, with many calling at Didcot. Services also run along the line to Banbury, and the Chiltern Main Line to Marylebone via Thame Parkway and Bicester.
Buses can be infrequent to non-existent in rural areas, and often do not run an evening service, though there is a Stagecoach service running buses regularly as far afield as Chipping Norton/Chalbury (S3), Banbury (S4), Witney and Carterton (S1), and other towns around the edge of the county. Frequent bus services also connect Oxford with interesting towns just across the county border, including Swindon (66), Reading (X38/X39/X40), and Aylesbury (280).
- The Oxfordshire Cotswolds – the county enjoys a large portion of the famed Cotswolds region within its boundaries, second only to Gloucestershire
- Many of the villages of Oxfordshire were the locations for the TV series Inspector Morse and Midsomer Murders"
- The Oxford Colleges
- Kelmscott Manor in Kelmscott – the home of writer and Arts and Crafts designer William Morris
Oxfordshire is, on the whole, one of the safest counties in England (as regards both people and the environment), however Oxford city has higher levels of crime than the national average (for all major crime types) and visitors should be cautious when wandering around certain parts the city at night.
- Stratford-Upon-Avon - The Birthplace of Shakespeare is in the nearby county of Warwickshire.
- Cambridge - The home of the 2nd oldest university in the English speaking world may interest those who have enjoyed visiting Oxford.