Best Travel Options When Attending an Oxford Summer School

19 Dec, 2023Blog Articles, Get the Edge

You’ve booked an Oxford Summer School course, and you’re looking forward to the most memorable summer of your life. Now it’s just a matter of travelling to Oxford, where you’ll get the chance to experience a city of great culture, architecture and history.

But what are your best travel options for an international student wanting to visit Oxford University in the summer? Where are the nearest airports to Oxford University? What happens if you’re travelling alone to Oxford? Read on to find out about the best travel options to Oxford University and its surroundings.


What is the nearest airport to Oxford?

The nearest airports to Oxford are London Heathrow (LHR) and London Gatwick (LGW) airport, both of which are popular choices for international students. Oxford is situated approximately 60 miles (around 96 kilometers) from London, and these airports are about 60-90 minutes away. Given its proximity to Oxford University, we recommend flying through London Heathrow.

Alternatively, you can also travel to Oxford via Birmingham (BHX), Luton (LTN) or London Stansted (STN) airports. These options provide convenient transport links to Oxford as well.

If you’re attending one of Oxford Scholastica’s Oxford Summer Courses and arriving at Heathrow airport, you’ll be greeted by Oxford Scholastica staff. We offer direct transfers to the summer school for a fee of £150. 


What is the best way to travel from London to Oxford?


To travel from London to Oxford, you can choose between taking a train or a bus. For train journeys, the Great Western Railway (GWR) and Chiltern Railways offer services between London Paddington and London Marylebone stations, respectively, and Oxford. The train journey usually takes approximately one hour on the faster services and is 30-40 minutes faster than the bus.

If you prefer taking a bus, the Oxford Tube and X90 services provide frequent connections between central London and Oxford. The bus trip can last up to four hours if multiple stops are involved. Once you arrive in Oxford, both the railway and bus stations are conveniently located close to each other and just a short distance from Oxford’s city center. There are two train stations – Oxford Station and Oxford Parkway Station. From Oxford Station, it’s only a ten-minute walk to the city center and about a 20-minute walk to the heart of Oxford University.

Oxford Summer School students travelling to Oxford University

6 Tips for Students Travelling Alone to Oxford Summer School


Travelling to Oxford alone? Here are some tips for parents, teens or kids that are feeling a little daunted by the journey to Oxford.


1. It’s best to arrive at London Heathrow airport

This is the easiest airport from which to get to Oxford. Oxford Scholastica’s friendly staff members will be present on arrival day at Heathrow. They can give you contact numbers should you need them. 

2. We’ll send detailed instructions on how to find your meeting point at Heathrow Airport

If you’re catching the Oxford Scholastica minibus transfer from Heathrow Airport, you will receive extremely detailed instructions (with lots of photos) on how to find your meeting point at Heathrow Airport. You’ll head to Oxford with a group of new summer school friends!

3. We can help you book a taxi from any airport

Oxford Scholastica can also provide a link for you to book a taxi from any airport or arrival destination. Their driver will have your name on a board and will meet you in the arrivals part of the airport. They will then chauffeur you directly to the campus.

4. Ask us for details for the direct bus service which will take you to Oxford

Oxford Scholastica can also provide the details of the direct bus service, accessible from Heathrow and Gatwick airports, which will take you to Oxford. The campus is only a couple of minutes from the bus station.

5. Our staff will be at Heathrow Airport on Arrival and Departure day

For ultimate peace of mind, Oxford Scholastica has members of staff at every terminal at Heathrow airport on arrival and departure day to help students find their way to their preferred method of transport and to support them in case they have any issues.

6. You can use our unaccompanied minor service or Airport Angels

Oxford Scholastica also offers an ‘unaccompanied minor service’ for flights arriving within the times our staff are at the airport.  Alternatively, a service called Airport Angels is recommended. 

Teenagers walking around Oxford

How can students get around Oxford? 


Although Oxford revolves around its prestigious university, there are so many things to do in this ancient and culturally-rich city. What’s more, you can do many of them for free! You could visit the Ashmolean Museum, housed in a classical building inspired by Greek architecture, or walk around Christ Church Meadow, a popular spot for picnics.

Oxford Scholastica Academy students tend to walk around Oxford. They walk to their classes, activities, talks, and dinners. Excursions, which could include a Windsor Castle trip or visiting Blenheim Palace, are likely to be via coach. 


If students want to leave Oxford to visit London or somewhere else, what advice do you give them?


The summer school schedule at Oxford Scholastica tends to be packed full of classes, activities and social time. Therefore, we don’t encourage sightseeing or visiting family during the programme, because students are likely to miss out on something important! Students need to complete a minimum number of hours of academic work too, otherwise they are not allowed to graduate.

However, we do understand that some students may want to make the most of their time in the UK, especially if they haven’t visited before. So we can and will help them to facilitate independent trips outside of the city. If students are 15 years or older, they can leave the summer school unaccompanied, with express permission from a parent or guardian. Students aged between 11 and 14 must be accompanied by either a family member or verified friend should they wish to take a break from the summer school.  

To conclude, a summer abroad at Oxford, one of the most fascinating cities in the world, will leave you with lasting memories. We are here to help, to make your travelling experience as easy and stress-free as possible!


Next Steps for summer school students


Ready to head to Oxford?

This summer, enrol on a fascinating, career-oriented course under the guidance of the best tutors at Oxford Scholastica Academy.