Oxford is a city with a lot going for it: restaurants serving food from all over the world, six different cinemas, more than 100 pubs and bars, 25,000 students and a collection of some the most historic college buildings in Europe.
And yet, there are still days when you want something more. Whether you’ve got a yearning to take in a West End show, watch Arsenal play at home or see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, at some time or another even the most settled Oxford students are probably going to want to head down to the bright lights of London.
The good news, though, is that the trip could hardly be easier. Whether you go by plane, train or automobile, Big Ben is just 56.8 miles away and there are any number of ways to get there.
1. By train
Just five minutes’ walk from the Oxford Business College premises you’ll find Oxford Station, from where trains into London Paddington take as little as an hour. At £27.40 return off-peak, it’s not the absolute cheapest option, but it’s probably the most reliable.
2. By bus
There are certainly no shortages of buses (or coaches, as they used to be known) running between Oxford and London, and at all hours of the day and night. Two competing companies – the Oxford Tube and the X90 – run equally popular services, with return tickets costing just £15. The drawback, of course, is the traffic. At peak times, central Oxford to central London can take more than two hours, although 100 minutes is about the average. On the plus side, the main Oxford bus station is directly across the road from OBC.
3. By car
If you’re feeling rich, why not book a taxi? From Oxford to London will cost you around £100, but your driver will still have the London traffic to contend with. Ditto for ride-sharing services such as BlaBlaCar, although they’ll help you get the price of a one-way journey down to less than £10.
4. By helicopter
For oligarchs, tycoons and members of obscure royal families, this is the only way to pop down to the capital. Get your chauffeur to take you up to Oxford’s small (but expanding) airport to the north of the city and from there you can be landing at Battersea heliport within half an hour. If you need to know the price it means you definitely can’t afford it, but for the record, Capital Air Services have quoted us about £4,500 for a day trip in a helicopter seating six.
5. On foot
No, really. The Thames Path – running alongside the river from its source in the Cotswolds to the Thames Barrier – is one of the country’s great long-distance walking trails and plenty of hikers make the scenic 184-mile trek every year, camping or stopping at bed & breakfast accommodation along the way. The Oxford to London stretch is a little over 100 miles long – and there’s even an annual race starting in Richmond, south-west London, and finishing in the grounds of Queens College, Oxford. The record – for almost four marathons back-to-back – stands at a scarcely believable 14 hours, 9 minutes.