“The city of dreaming spires” is a seat of learning, with its world famous university and associate research and academic facilities, as well as a delightful place in which to live and work. Education overarches much of the economy in the city and its surrounds but it also has a proud history of brewing and motor manufacturing, leading to a diverse and skilled labour pool.
Lying at the conjunction of the Rivers Cherwell and Thames (known as the Isis within the city’s boundaries), Oxford is a city which embraces its waterways and byways with rowing, punting and all manner of watersports a common sight.
A magnet for tourists, drawn by its compelling history and beautiful architecture, it’s not hard to see why Oxford remains one of the most attractive and popular places in the UK, fully deserving of its iconic status in the country’s make-up.
What a property buying agent can purchase
£1m buys: four-bedroom terrace house close to the city centre, a two-bedroom penthouse in the Lion Brewery, or a six-bedroom detached period house on the outskirts at Kennington.
£3m buys: six-bedroom semi-detached house in the best central Oxford location, or six/seven-bedroom, detached house with a large garden in the north suburbs.
£5m buys: an eight-bedroom house on Woodstock Road, or an eight-bedroom central Victorian property.
Best hotels in Oxford
More than just a hotel, Le Manoir Aux Quat’saisons is the iconic country house venue from where legendary chef Raymond Blanc has been serving the finest food in idyllic surroundings since 1984 when it was awarded the two Michelin stars it has held ever since (www.belmond.com). The Old Parsonage Hotel (www.oldparsonage-hotel.co.uk) is an historic city centre venue with a fine reputation for food and service. The Old Bank Hotel (www.oldbank-hotel.co.uk) has added funky, modern touches to an historic building.
Best restaurants in Oxford
Le Manoir (see hotels) remains the gold standard not just for the Oxford area but across the best dining establishments in the UK. If you can’t make it there, some of the Raymond Blanc magic is still on offer at Brasserie Blanc (www.brasserieblanc.com). Alternatively, try The Oxford Kitchen (www.theoxfordkitchen.co.uk) for a modern twist to classic British dishes or Quod (www.quod.co.uk) for a fantastic all day brassiere menu.
Best schools in Oxford
Magdalen College School (www.mcsoxford.org) combines a superb academic record with outstanding pastoral care. St Edward’s (www.stedwardsoxford.org) was founded in 1863 and is still providing education from its original site.
Buying agent fact
Blenheim Palace, just a ten-mile drive outside the city, is the only non-Royal palace in the UK and has been awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO. Family seat of the Dukes of Marlborough since the 18th Century, it is a magnificent building with splendid grounds and also has the added historical significance of being the birthplace of Winston Churchill (www.blenheimpalace.com).
How to get to Oxford from London
Train: 1hr 15 mins, direct train from Oxford to London Paddington.
Car: 1hr 20 mins using the M40.