City Centre

Best for

Shopping and socialising


Access to London and nationwide destinations by car, bus, coach or train


The Bodleian Library


Oxford city centre has a unique atmosphere, with modern shops and amenities nestled among historic and famous buildings, most notably those owned by the university such as the Radcliffe Camera (one of the many libraries dotted around the city centre).

There is plenty to see for town, gown and short-term visitors. The main shopping district spreads out from Carfax tower, the imposing remainder of a 12th century church at the intersection of St Aldate’s (south), Cornmarket Street (north), Queen Street (west) and the High Street (east). Many modern shop fronts can be found amid the university colleges.

The historic Castle Quarter is the redeveloped site of a Norman castle; most of the castle was destroyed during the English Civil War and by the 18th century the unaffected fortifications had come to serve as Oxford’s local prison. A new prison complex was built on the site from 1785 onwards and expanded in 1876. The prison (thankfully) closed in 1996 and the site was promptly developed to house an array of trendy bars and eateries.

Although built with horse and cart traffic in mind, the city nowadays offers transport links via the rail and bus stations and good access roads out to major routes. There are also 24 hour coach services originating from Gloucester Green which operate convenient routes between central London and Oxford for those wishing to commute in comfort or visit London for leisure.