This post covers day trips to Oxford from London, including how to get here by bus, train as well as taking an organized guided tour.
Disclosure: While our recommendations are always unbiased, we may receive a small share of sales through some of the links below at no cost to you. See the full text.
WHY VISIT OXFORD?
Known throughout the world as one of the most historic and beautiful sites on earth, Oxford is an easy day-trip away from London.
With monuments, colleges, parks, and museums for any taste, a visit to Oxford is fun for everyone – no matter what their interests!
There are several different things to see and do in the area, including some of the following attractions:
- Oxford University
- Oxford Castle
- Carfax Tower
- Harry Potter Filming Locations
- Downton Abbey Filming Locations
- Influential Architecture
- The Ultimate Picture Palace
- Museum of Natural History
- Museum of Modern Art
- Ashmolean Museum
- And more!
If you’re looking for additional information about these locations and many others in the area, make sure to read our post about 12 reasons to visit Oxford.
GPS-Led Audio Tour
We are happy to provide you with an excellent guided tour that you could take any time you wish. This tour starts from the main train station, so it's perfect for day-trippers coming to Oxford by train.
The app is free to download and the tour costs just £2.
Here is how it works:
- Purchase your tour online.
- Get a confirmation email with .mp3, .pdf and embeddable Google Map.
- Enjoy the tour(s).
Here's a sample.
Located 97 km northwest of London, Oxford is roughly 53 miles (85 km) from London. There are several different ways to get there which won’t take much time.
For most visitors from London, the train is the optimal way to go, as it's inexpensive, reliable, and usually the quickest form of transportation.
Alternatively, you can go by bus (or drive). This usually takes between 80-120 minutes.
Even if you run into traffic, you should still be able to reach your destination in 2 hours at most.
If you don’t feel like driving to Oxford, there are a few very good bus services you may want to consider instead.
Each service runs quite frequently, so it’s pretty easy to use throughout the day.
We list the 3 top companies below, but you can do a quick search here (NOTE: The default setting is set to train. Switch to bus).
Prices range from £5-£10 for a one-way ticket and £11-£15 for a return ticket.
On average, the bus will take about 1 ½ hours to reach Oxford, with a total travel time of 3 hours to and from the city.
Travelers who use a bus/coach to visit Oxford indicate that each of these services is fairly reliable.
For the most part, there are very few complaints about the prices or the amount of time it takes to get there.
That being said, some customers suggest that you should prepare for a slightly longer trip depending on how far into Oxford you plan to travel.
If you’re planning to get off at the last stop, chances are it will take more time than the 1 ½ - 2 hours listed by each major company.
Also known as the X90, this line is a bit more affordable than some of the other services.
They offer departures every 30 minutes throughout the entire day.
There are 5 stops where you can get on and the journey will take anywhere from 1 ½ - 2 hours depending on traffic.
- Adult Prices: £14/One Way | £17/Return
- Senior Prices: £11/One Way | £13/Return
- Youth Prices: £11/One Way | £13/Return
- Child Prices: £11/One Way | £13/Return
- Purchase tickets here.
This is one of the most popular services, but it’s also the most expensive.
They offer a bus to Oxford once every 10-15 minutes, 24 hours a day.
There are a total of 5 designated stops in London and the trip will take about 100 minutes to complete.
- Adult Prices: £11/One Way | £17/Return
- Student Prices: £10/One Way | £15/Return
- Youth Prices: £10/One Way | £15/Return
- Under 16 Prices: £4/One Way | £6.50/Return
- Over 60 Prices: £10/One Way | £15/Return
This company offers some of the cheapest tickets to Oxford, but their prices are based on when you choose to go.
If you purchase your ticket at least a few days ahead of time, you should be able to get the best prices.
Megabus offers up to 296 trips per day and the fastest bus will get you to Oxford in as little as an hour.
Ticket prices aren’t based on age, so all you have to do is plan ahead to get tickets for as little as £5 per person. Search for tickets.
If you’re not interested in taking the bus, there are trains that will take you to Oxford.
These trains depart from Paddington Station in London throughout the day, and the journey only takes about an hour on average.
Prices vary depending on dates and times, but you can expect tickets to range from £25 – £35 on average for an adult return ticket.
Depending on when you decide to leave for Oxford, you can expect trains to leave once every 10-15 minutes during busy hours and every 15-30 minutes at quieter times.
This service runs from about 7 am - 11 pm each day.
The best way to save money on tickets is to purchase them well ahead of time.
You should also plan on traveling during times that aren’t as busy because tickets are usually much cheaper when they have trouble filling the train.
Many visitors feel that the train to Oxford is much better than the bus. The biggest advantage of taking the train is that it's quicker.
That being said, some customers prefer paying less for the bus service.
Another advantage of taking the coach is that there are several bus stops in Oxford, but only one train stop.
There are many organized tours of Oxford that begin and end from London. Below are 2 options that we go into detail on.
However, there are many more that focus on or include Oxford, in fact, too many to list here. Click here to see the full list of options..
Many of these options will also include places like Cambridge, Warwick Castle, Stratford, Stonehenge, Windsor, the Cotswolds, and other places.
And of course, you could just visit on your own. There are numerous guided and self-guided tours that start in Oxford.
New Europe’s Oxford Day Tour
If you’re looking for a day trip that includes a full guided tour of Oxford, this is one of the best and most affordable options.
In addition to offering quick and efficient transportation by train (tickets included in the price), they also provide a tour of the city which includes famous sites such as the Bridge of Sighs, Beaumont Palace, Trinity College, Christ Church, Oxford Town Hall, Carfax Tower, Martyr’s Memorial, Radcliffe Square and more.
- Tickets: £40/General Admission | £37/Students
- English Tour Availability: Tuesday & Saturday
- Spanish Tour Availability: Tuesday, Friday & Saturday
- Duration: 5 hours (2 hours for travel)
- Purchase or learn more.
- Not Currently Available as of October 2021.
With an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars, it’s safe to say that this is a very reliable and popular Oxford day tour.
Many customers suggest that their guides are very helpful and informative, providing a lot of interesting details about all of the historic sites they visit.
Harry Potter Oxford Day Tour
If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter series, this may be one of the best tour options in London.
In addition to a studio tour which includes a lot of great sets from the movies, you will also have the opportunity to go on a day trip to Oxford and enjoy a tour of several major filming locations that Warner Bros used for the Harry Potter movies.
- Tickets: £109/Adults | £105/Children
- Availability: Saturday - Wednesday at 8 am
- Duration: One Day
- Food and drink not included
- Purchase or learn more.
This day tour has an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars (read reviews here).
Some guests feel that the experience is brilliant from start to finish, indicating that their tour guide is very knowledgeable about Oxford and the Harry Potter films.
Most customers are impressed with the amount of information they learn about the movies and the opportunity to see where it was made.