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Trains to Oxford

Catch Oxford’s honey-coloured buildings in the soft light of a summer evening and it seems like the most beautiful town in the world. Much of the time it is less pretty, but it still attracts large crowds of visitors. With a growing range of small boutique hotels, Oxford is a good choice for a short break away from London. Frequent trains dash from the capital to Oxford in about an hour, so it is very easy to visit Oxford on a day trip from London.

The principal sights are packed into a very walkable area in the heart of the city. Top choices are of course the colleges, many of which are open to the public for at least part of each day. Don’t miss Christ Church where the remarkable college chapel doubles as the Anglican cathedral for the Diocese of Oxford. Punting on the river is a favourite summer diversion. The city has some excellent museums including the recently refurbished Ashmolean and the endlessly quirky Pitt Rivers. For a fine panorama over the colleges and city, climb the tower of the University Church (located at the south end of Radcliffe Square on The High).

The main railway station, simply called Oxford, is a ten-minute walk west of the city centre. It is served by fast trains to Reading and London Paddington, and also by cross-country services which run north to Birmingham, York, Newcastle and Manchester. There are also hourly services to Worcester and Southampton.

Since late 2016, Chiltern Railways has operated a new twice-hourly direct service from Oxford to London Marylebone, so bringing in some competition to the Great Western Railway's long-standing services from Oxford to Paddington. That new service from Oxford to London Marylebone takes a particularly pretty route through the Chiltern Hills. The traditional route to Paddington sticks to the Thames Valley and also has some scenic stretches.

Oxford has a second railway station about 5 km north of the city centre. It is called Oxford Parkway. If you are bound for the centre of town book to Oxford rather than Oxford Parkway.

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Train tickets in the UK

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Child and youth passengers

The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.