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Why Oxford is a Prime Destination for Living, Working, and Family Life

Posted on April 3, 2024 by Peter Donaldson
Why Oxford is a Prime Destination for Living, Working, and Family Life

Are you considering where to settle down next? Look no further than Oxford, where the blend of countryside charm and urban convenience creates an irresistible allure. Surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty and seamless connections to major cities like London, Oxford caters to diverse lifestyle preferences. Whether you crave the energy of bustling towns or the tranquillity of quaint villages, this historical city offers superior living standards to suit every taste.

Oxford’s esteemed educational institutions make it a prime choice for families seeking top-notch schooling. From educational outings to thrilling adventures, the city offers a lively array of activities for all ages. As proud residents of Oxford, Isis Removals is excited to share why this city is an ideal place to live and work.

Contents

  • Optimal Oxford Living Near London: A Viable Commute
  • Exploring Oxford’s Varied Cities, Towns, and Villages
  • Abundant Activities and Amenities in Oxfordshire
  • A Hub of Educational Excellence for Young Families
  • Selecting a Trusted Moving Partner for Your Oxford Relocation

Optimal Oxford Living Near London: A Viable Commute

Benefits of Living Near London in Oxford:

Proximity to London

Oxford is approximately 51 miles from London, allowing easy access to the capital for anyone travelling for work.

Lower Cost of Living

Oxfordshire offers a more affordable cost of living than London, with significantly lower housing prices. That means you can upgrade from an apartment to a detached house and save a few quid. It’s possible to reduce most, if not all, of your outgoings by moving away from London.

Quality of Life

For many Londoners, the hustle and bustle of the big city lose its allure, and the eye-watering property prices make it challenging to settle down. However, you can upgrade your overall quality of life by relocating to Oxford.

Transportation Benefits

Oxfordshire provides excellent transportation links to London, including efficient train connections, making it convenient for commuters to travel between Oxford and London for work or leisure.

Short Commute: Oxford’s Strategic Location

The fastest way to travel from London to Oxford is by train, with departures from Paddington or Marylebone stations in London reaching Oxford Station in under an hour. It’s a convenient way to travel, with up to 42 daily trips between London and Oxford, making regular travel feasible.

You can also consider using the bus if you’re happy to extend the journey by roughly 1 hour and 40 minutes. – While driving is an option, it may be less preferable due to traffic congestion and parking challenges in both cities.

Affordable Living: Oxford vs. Central London

Even before the cost-of-living crises, London was always an expensive slog. Luckily, Oxford compares favourably across every price point except for groceries. Let’s look at some figures provided by Numbeo:

  • Consumer Prices in Oxford are 10.7% lower than in London (excluding rent), with rent prices being 36.4% lower.
  • Consumer Prices, including rent, are 22.2% lower in Oxford compared to London.
  • Restaurant prices in Oxford are 19.6% lower than in London, and grocery prices are 4.4% higher.
  • Despite slightly higher grocery prices, Oxford offers a lower cost of living overall, with a local purchasing power 2.1% lower than in London.

This should make for interesting reading if you relocate to lower your outgoings. We suggest further costs specific to your situation to ensure you save enough by moving to Oxford.

Exploring Oxford’s Varied Cities, Towns, and Villages

Next, we will provide an overview of Oxfordshire’s popular property destinations. This is a good starting point for research and property scouting. Still, we suggest visiting any that take your fancy in person.

Oxford: City of Dreaming Spires

Known as the cultural capital of Oxfordshire, Oxford is home to the historic University of Oxford, the oldest English-speaking university globally. Oxford thrives in industries like motor manufacturing, education, publishing, and science – and is quite a sight to behold.

Banbury: A Historical Gem

Located north of Oxfordshire, Banbury is steeped in medieval prosperity linked to the wool trade. It’s known for the iconic Banbury Cross and is nestled in the lush Cherwell Valley. Banbury offers a blend of history and charm, which grants further investigation for prospective residents.

Woodstock: Market Town Majesty

North of Oxford, Woodstock is famed for its local produce markets and the grand Blenheim Palace. The town showcases rich history and art amidst stunning gardens.

Burford: Picturesque Market Town

Widely regarded as one of Oxfordshire’s most scenic towns, Burford features charming honey-hued houses and a bustling farmer’s market. Burford offers historic architecture, local markets, and access to beautiful countryside for leisurely walks.

Henley-on-Thames: Riverside Charmer

Henley-on-Thames is known for narrow lanes, independent shops, and vibrant markets. It provides a picturesque setting for leisurely strolls and is renowned for its market days and scenic riverside ambience.

Charlbury: Quaint Cotswolds Retreat

Charlbury exudes quaint charm with a traditional green, an old cottage and a historic church; it offers a glimpse into Oxfordshire’s past and a peaceful rural atmosphere.

Abundant Activities and Amenities in Oxfordshire

Oxford and the county of Oxfordshire have a lot going on. You’ll find activities to suit everyone’s taste, which you should experience firsthand.

Family-Friendly Fun: Museums and Educational Spots

Oxford University Museum of Natural History

This child-friendly, interactive exhibition includes a collection of dinosaur skeletons and interactive displays. Additionally, engaging workshops and activities are offered during weekends and school holidays.

Ashmolean Museum

You’ll enjoy themed trails and storytelling events, which include a treasure hunt experience for families exploring the museum.

Pitt Rivers Museum

This museum offers a fascinating collection of objects worldwide, with handling sessions and trail challenges. It’s a unique and educational experience for children of all ages (including adults).

The Story Museum

You can immerse yourself in interactive exhibits inspired by popular books like Alice in Wonderland and The Chronicles of Narnia. There are themed areas and storytelling events, including the annual Alice’s Day celebration.

Active Pursuits: Golf, Hiking, and Biking:

Golf in Oxfordshire

Is golf your thing? Then we have good news for all enthusiasts—Oxfordshire has many pristine courses to improve your handicap, boasting greens like Tadmarton Heath, Frilforth Heath, Huntercombe, and Oxford Golf Club.

Hiking

For some people, the great outdoors is for exploring and a healthy dose of physical endurance. It’s safe to say hiking meets both standards, and you’ll find opportunities with picturesque countryside, rolling hills, and scenic trails. This includes exploration of the Cotswolds, Chiltern Hills, and other natural areas around Oxford.

Biking

It’s time to put on your helmet and hit one of Oxfordshire’s numerous cycling routes, catering to all levels of cyclists. You’ll find everything from leisurely bike rides along the Thames Path and Oxford Canal to challenging biking experiences in the countryside.

Shopping and Dining Favourites in Oxford:

Finally, we’re here to point those dedicated followers of fashion and shoppers to the best consumer hotspots.

Shopping Favourites

  • Westgate Oxford is a popular shopping destination with numerous positive reviews, offering a variety of shops.
  • The Covered Market provides a more historic market with various shops and stalls for visitors to explore.
  • Oxford Cheese Company is the best place for high-quality artisan cheese, food, and drink supplies, attracting cheese enthusiasts.
  • Cardews of Oxford serves the finest tea and freshly roasted coffee and has been serving visitors since 1965.
  • The Garden of Oxford is full of English-grown flowers, attracting locals and visitors with beautiful floral selections.
  • The Hat Box specialises in hats of various styles and colours, providing a range of headwear options.

Dining Favourites

For any foodies, you’re spoilt for choice, with some of the UK’s best eateries and places to enjoy a drink on offer. Here’s our pick of the top ones, but we suggest checking them and others out for yourself.

  • George Street Social provides a diverse menu and a cosy atmosphere, which visitors enjoy.
  • Vaults & Garden is a highly-rated restaurant for its quality food and ambience. It meets the need for good grub and a matching setting.
  • The Olive Branch Café & Restaurant is another top-of-the-league eatery where the cuisine goes above and beyond, hence the excellent reviews.
  • Victors Oxford is a vibrant place to eat after a hard day shopping at Westgate Shopping Mall.
  • Comptoir Libanais Oxford is the place for Lebanese wonders for those looking for something tasty.

A Hub of Educational Excellence for Young Families

Oxford’s Educational Prestige

We could wax lyrical about the University of Oxford – its reputation speaks for itself, but it’s worth reiterating its significance. It is in a class of its own, with a permanent spot in the global education elite. You’ll find tomorrow’s leaders and top thinkers here, and the city warmly embraces the student population.

However, there’s much more to Oxfordshire than this prestigious institution. After all, tomorrow’s university graduates must begin their learning somewhere. More importantly, people with young families should know that Oxford also has some of the best early-life education options.

Outstanding Schools in Oxford

Here’s an overview of the highest-rated schools in Oxford:

  • St Andrew’s Church of England Primary School
  • Longworth Primary School
  • Trinity Church of England Primary School
  • Appleton Church of England (A) Primary School
  • Oxfordshire Hospital School
  • The Cherwell School
  • The Iffley Academy
  • Windmill Primary School

Remember, school places are hard to secure, so start planning now. You can also refer to our blog, which delves into the details of moving to Oxford and finding schools. Another tip is to visit the council’s website and check each school’s Ofsted report.

Higher Education and University in Oxford

The University of Oxford is renowned globally for its academic excellence and historic significance. It offers undergraduate teaching through the tutorial method, where students engage with academics in small groups to discuss their work.

Research degrees at the master’s and doctoral levels are conferred across various subjects studied at the graduate level. The University of Oxford also offers specialised programs and research opportunities across diverse fields, attracting students worldwide.

Some other points of higher education are:

  • Duke in Oxford Program: This is a 6-week summer program that allows students to study at the University of Oxford, engage with Oxford faculty, and earn double credit for a single class.
  • MSc in Education (Higher Education): Equips students with knowledge and skills for leadership roles in the higher education sector.
  • City of Oxford College: Provides undergraduate learning options, including HNCs, HNDs, Foundation Degrees, and top-ups for BA and BSc Degrees.

Adult Education in Oxford

Learning is a lifetime pursuit, and there are plenty of adult education facilities at Oxford.

The University of Oxford’s Department for Continuing Education offers part-time undergraduate and postgraduate programs, online courses, professional development courses, weekly classes, and summer schools.

City of Oxford College provides a variety of courses, including part-time undergraduate and postgraduate programs, online courses, professional development courses, weekly classes, and summer schools.

Abingdon & Witney College offers part-time courses in various locations across the county, allowing adults to improve their skills or explore new subjects.

Selecting a Trusted Moving Partner for Your Oxford Relocation

When you’re ready to move to Oxford, choosing the right moving company is important. While this might sound daunting, it’s easier than you might expect. Google is a great place to start – look for movers with a 4.5 or higher average rating. Also, read some reviews, which are a wise way to gauge service delivery expectations.

BAR (British Association of Removers) is the standard accreditation and/or a robust quality policy that provides high standards and protocols for dealing with issues. Isis Removals meets every point, but getting three independent quotes from prospective companies is worth it.

Finally, try the tried and tested option of contacting each moving company – it’s a surefire way to review their professionalism.

Isis Removals: Premier Removals and Storage in Oxford

As an Oxford resident company, we may be biased when we describe our home city. That said, there’s enough in this blog to suggest more than a second look if you’re considering a move.

Isis Removals relocates hundreds of households and businesses throughout Oxfordshire every year. Similarly, we cover every type and size of move, with the flexibility to tailor our core services to meet the needs of our customers.

Click here to ask for a free assessment and quote – we’ll provide you with a no-obligation outline of the most suitable service.