Best for

Wine enthusiasts


Bus and cycle routes into city centre


Arty and affluent


Art weeks

This popular area lies to the north of the City Centre and comprises Victorian and Edwardian homes with several new apartment blocks. Summertown is still very easy for visitors needing to reach the centre and is serviced very well with buses to the centre and beyond. Local shops, bars and restaurants abound and many of Oxford’s private boarding and language schools are situated nearby.

The focal part of Summertown is a busy area of shops on both sides of Banbury Road. There is also a smaller street of shops and resturants, South Parade, that links Banbury Road and Woodstock Road.

Summertown is home to much of Oxford’s broadcast media. BBC Radio Oxford and the BBC Television’s Oxford studios are on Banbury Road. The studios for JACK FM (FM107.9) and Six TV Oxford are on Woodstock Road. Oxfam has its headquarters in Banbury Road. Norwich Union has an office block on Banbury Road.

Summertown was built in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century as suburban Oxford expanded northwards, with large houses being built on farmland either side of Banbury Road and Woodstock Road. Much of the land belonged to St John’s College, Oxford and the houses were originally sold leasehold. St John’s has since sold the freehold on most of these properties.

In 1898 the City of Oxford Tramways Company extended its Banbury Road horse tram route to a new terminus at Summertown. In 1913 the company replaced its horse trams with motor ‘buses.Today Banbury Road is one of Oxford’s busiest ‘bus routes.

Useful links