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three nights in Oxford

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Sydney, Australia
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three nights in Oxford

I am arriving in UK early December. Instead of heading straight for London, have decided to go straight to Oxford for three nights, for a change. From there will head to Moreton In Marsh. We will be relying on public transport.

I am trying to loosely plan Oxford itinerary, keeping in mind the winter season. Is three days too long? We both love history. I also enjoy walking/ambling, but not if I'm freezing. I am very interested in suggestions, ( for the Cotswolds also, though I know there is another forum)

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London
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1. Re: three nights in Oxford

Are you looking for advice on transportation, or itineraries, or both?

For starters, you could take the bus from Heathrow to Oxford.

…oxfordbus.co.uk/timetables/…timetable

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: three nights in Oxford

I have stayed at Oxford for 1 night and 2 night stays on the same trip, so it was about the same amount of time as you. I found that there was plenty to see. There are several museums such as the Ashmolean and the Natural History museum and others. These are free. I also did paid tours of the Bodleian Library and the Sheldonian Theatre. I only looked at the colleges from the outside. You have to pay into most of those. I also spent plenty of time browsing the bookshops, and just wandering around, so I found plenty to occupy 3 days. Early December could be quite cold, but there are plenty of indoor attractions.

On the other hand, the attractions in the Cotswolds are mostly outdoors, and it is not an area with a lot of public transport.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: three nights in Oxford

Thankyou. I was considering getting the bus to Oxford from the airport. While in Oxford I was hoping to spend most of the time in Oxford itself, maybe a day trip to Stratford on Avon by train or tour company, if available that time of year.

The post which follows yours suggests that the Cotswolds may be a little more difficult at that time of year, any suggestions? I was hoping to spend a week in the area before heading to London.

Bucks, UK
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4. Re: three nights in Oxford

Nothing wrong with Oxford as a destination and there will be plenty to do - the only summer activity that won't be available will be punting, but you can still walk along the river to Iffley Lock or across Port Meadow to the Trout - it's very atmospheric with the mist over the river. Michaelmas term will finish on 6th December so you will find most of the colleges should be open as there will be fewer students to disturb; the museums and galleries and the Bodleian will all be open as usual, and the pubs will be cosier than usual with open fires in some - the Turf Tavern usually has braziers in its courtyard around which you can sit with your mulled wine or winter ale - the Covered Market will also be looking very Christmassy by that time of year, and I recommend you try to catch evensong at Christ Church or Magdalen.

You can also visit Woodstock and Blenheim Palace (open Weds-Sun) via the S3 bus from Oxford (takes 30 minutes) and Burford is also reachable by bus, although the service is less frequent.

Nothing particularly wrong with the Cotswolds at that time of year, but daylight hours will be short (from 8am to 4pm) , bus services are a little less frequent, and hanging around at a bus-stop in the dark, possibly in the rain, sleet or snow, may be a bit much for warm weather possums like yourself; you will also have to accept that there will not be much to do other than shop, eat, visit churches etc and go for walks, as this is a rural area and therefore a bit short of "bright lights".

From Moreton in the Marsh you can at least visit Hereford and Worcester by train for a bit of variety but I wouldn't pick anywhere smaller as a base unless you have a car or are happy to snuggle up with a book for part of your holiday. You could even use Oxford as your base - its train service is well-connected so places such as Bath are only 1h20m away.

Alternatively, Bath might be a good place to stay - small, pretty city with own theatre, nice restaurants, it's 15 mins by train from the slightly brighter lights of Bristol and there are plenty of small tours to places such as Glastonbury and Wells, Lacock, the Costwolds etc

5. Re: three nights in Oxford

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