Dating back to the Saxon era, Oxford was first noted for the St. Frideswide’s nunnery that was built in the 8th century. The University of Oxford was established a few centuries later, the 12th to be exact, when collegiate students began translating Greek literature to English. Many people began to read and preach the Greek literature. This set up a long, sometimes violent history between the locals and the student population due to opposing viewpoints. In 1355, almost 100 people died, during the St Scholastica Day Riot between townsfolk and students. Later in 1546, the Christ Church Cathedral was found however, ten years later the Oxford Martyrs were tried and burned at the stake on what is now Broad Street for their beliefs. During the 19th century, the Oxford Movement in the Anglican Church stirred controversy yet again for their theological thoughts.
By the time the 20th century rolled around, the religious hubbub was put on hold when the Oxford began to grow in size very swiftly. Industries, particularly printing and publishing, flourished as did the population. Once cars became a way of life, the Morris Motor Company employed countless locals up through the 1970s. After the Leyland decline in the 1990s’s, the area began producing for BMW on a much smaller scale.
Today, much accounts for the very metro area of this small city – the car plants, waves of Asian immigration, and student population. It is a very diverse culture and intellectually rich place to explore and much more liberal than it used to be.
Oxford is subject to a temperate maritime climate like the rest of England. Temperature averages are about 6.8C (44F) in January and about 21.7C (71F) in July. Precipitation is steady throughout the year.
Spring is typically the best time for a stay in Oxford if you want to experience the nightlife that the students bring to the city. If you want a more peaceful stay, opt for summer when much of that population has gone home but the weather is still beautiful.
By Air: Oxford does have its own airport that is used for private and charter flights only. The nearest airport with commercial flights is London Heathrow which provides road access or bus routes regularly to Oxford.
By Road: Oxford is about an hour from London in drive time. It is linked to the world by the M40 motorway. There are also Park and Rides located around the outskirts since many of the streets in the city are very narrow and tight.
By Train: The Oxford Station on the west end have direct routes to many major destinations like Manchester, London, Southampton, Brighton, Reading, Warwick, and Slough regularly. Off peak times are significantly cheaper than peak hours; sometimes nearly half the rate.
By Bus: The Gloucester Green Coach station in Oxford runs normally to London’s Victoria and then on into the city. There are also stops at Thornhill Park and Ride, Headington, Brookes University, St. Clements, High Street (Queens Lane), and Gloucester Green.
By Tube: The Oxford Tube and Oxford Express cost the same amount and run many different and frequent routs to London and the Heathrow and Gatwick airports.
Walk: Oxford’s ancient streets are very small so they lend themselves to pedestrians. The City Council is also vying to make Oxford a pleasant place for walkers and cyclists in the near future since everything is within easy walking distance.
Drive: Driving is not the best option due to many insufficient bridges and the state of the streets. The Magdalen Bridge is the only way in and the City Council is trying hard to make Oxford mainly pedestrian and cyclists with limited car access.