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We are there during the Regatta: are we hosed?

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Los Angeles, CA
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We are there during the Regatta: are we hosed?

You can only plan so much.

Our itinerary leads us to Oxford on July 3rd this year, and as I checked the calendar, I see that is smack in the middle of the Henley Royal Regatta.

My orignal post was going to be which car park/ride is best for general sightseeing, spending the day in Oxford.

Now it might be a question of tourist survival. We'll be coming by car from a B&B in Bourton on the Water so we can't get our usual AM sprint - will probably linger for breakfast. We will be continuing to London for the night's accomdations, so we really are only passing through and I was hoping for a relaxing day - haven't nailed down our every step yet.

Is it asking for too much to think that maybe everyone will be at the regatta, leaving the attractions empty for us (grin)?

What should our strategy be? Especially parking? I expect once in town we will figure out public transportaion or take a hoho tourist bus.

Dunfermline, United...
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1. Re: We are there during the Regatta: are we hosed?

I'd be extremely surprised if the Henley Regatta would affect your day in Oxford :-)

Los Angeles, CA
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2. Re: We are there during the Regatta: are we hosed?

Ah. Finally googled it; Henley is about 23 miles away. Wonder why it was on Oxford's calendar page. I panicked. Whew!

OK so back to my original question - please talk to me about park and rides.

And if anyone has any favourite tours or tour guides - please weigh in, I have two teen boys, so I know HP, JRR Tolkein, CS Lewis are on the list etc.

Bingley, United...
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3. Re: We are there during the Regatta: are we hosed?

It's 25 miles from Oxford to Henley. There is no chance of being "hosed"

Gosford, Oxfordshire
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4. Re: We are there during the Regatta: are we hosed?

The park and ride places are dotted around the ringroad. From Bourton you'll probably come in at the Pear Tree one which is as good as any other - but when you leave for London, depending on the time, you may prefer to be on the London side of Oxford, which is Thornhill - so you don't have to go round the ring road in rush hour. However I've heard that Thornhill sometimes fills up by mid-morning so it may be a bit of a gamble. I think all the park and rides now have free parking and identical bus charges. 2 adults cost £4 return after 09:00 - children under 16 go free - this is a far better deal than any car park in Oxford if you want to stay more than 3 hours. There's a map here: …oxfordshire.gov.uk/content/publicnet/counci…

Oxford, UK
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5. Re: We are there during the Regatta: are we hosed?

The park and ride system in Oxford is excellent. Coming from Bourton on the Water, your closest park and ride will be the Peartree Roundabout. Parking is free, and there are frequent buses into the city centre - they are generally the green double decker buses.

I have taken an excellent and very personal CS Lewis tour conducted by a childhood friend of Lewis' stepson. It's filled with personal memories and anecdotes as well as history and historical locations. Ron can be found here: picturesofengland.com/oxford/…index.html. You can probably arrange for Ron to collect you from the park and ride.

The tourist information centre on Broad Street conducts fantastic walking tours of Oxford, many of which are themed (i.e. Morse, Inklings, Harry Potter, etc.). Call them to see what they'll have on that day - 01865 252200

You mentioned the hop on hop off bus tours - I highly recommend those as well.

Finally, you may want to do your own walking tour of oxford. Go to oxfordcityguide.com/TouristInfo/Itineraries.… to print out your own one day walking tour of Oxford.

The drive to London from Oxford is only an hour or so, leaving you with plenty of time to see our beautiful city.

Los Angeles, CA
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6. Re: We are there during the Regatta: are we hosed?

Perfect, I am clicking away on your links and edjucamating myself on logistics - drop off points etc.

One final question - how does rush hour move in/out of Oxford, to/from London and at what times - I don't want to assume anything!

Many thanks to you all.

Oxford, United...
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7. Re: We are there during the Regatta: are we hosed?

Just a bit more on the Park and Rides first:

a) Yes Thornhill P & R normally gets full well before 11am.

b) An alternative to Pear Tree - if it gets full - is Water Eaton - which normally has spaces at 11am. It's also slightly more convenient for a subsequent drive to London. Details of the Park and Ride buses are here www.oxfordbus.co.uk/main.php?page_id=22.

Oxford/London traffic is not an issue - however the Oxford Rush "hour" is! In the mornings - from about 7.30am to 9.15am - there is a lot of commuter traffic trying to get into the city from all directions - unfortunately especially from the west along the A40 (Bourton on the Water direction), and if you attempt to drive in at that time then you will have real delays. Parking at the Park and Rides and then getting the bus in is slightly (I emphasise slightly) better than driving in at that time - as the buses have dedicated lanes for part of the journey into the City. That being said there will still be a jam up to the P & R at that time.

In the evening, from about 4.15pm to 6pm the reverse happens - everyone is trying to get out of the City!

Outside of those times - it's normally pretty good!

Brno, Czech Republic
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8. Re: We are there during the Regatta: are we hosed?

Your teen boys will love the Pitt Rivers museum - recently re-opened after a refurbishment. I haven't been there yet since it was re-opened, but I have been going there for almost 40 years and still haven't seen everything. It is utterly fascinating, and it is free of charge - also the Natural History Museum in front of it http://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/ http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/

For CS Lewis you can visit his grave in Holy Trinity Church on Trinity Road in Headington Quarry - a bit tricky to find if you don't know the area, and honestly not a lot to write home about - a white slab of marble - but the church is quite pleasant and has some (newish) Narnia stained glass windows, or his house in Kiln Lane headington.org.uk/history/buildings/kilns.htm

A bit further out from Oxford is the Roald Dahl museum in Great Missenden http://www.roalddahlmuseum.org/default.aspx which is always a hit with kids of all ages, but maybe yours might be a bit old.

Los Angeles, CA
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9. Re: We are there during the Regatta: are we hosed?

Ya know

The more I look around at what Oxford has to offer the more I am wondering why we are doing Bath

(ducking and running for cover from the Somerset folks)

Brno, Czech Republic
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10. Re: We are there during the Regatta: are we hosed?

Oh I don't know - Bath is beautiful as well (coming from a staunch Oxford supporter) :)