Properties for sale in Oxfordshire

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Oxfordshire Area Guide

Oxford University Image courtesy of Flickr user Tejvan Pettinger

Wealthy, diverse, occasionally very beautiful, with a rich history and a thriving education and tourist industry, Oxfordshire is positioned right at the heart of the UK. The county borders London's commuter belt to the south east and reaches up towards Birmingham at its northern corner. From the world-famous colleges and spires of the city of Oxford, to the stunning Vale of the White Horse and the rambling Cotswolds, Oxfordshire offers city, town and village life, as well as more rural and secluded lifestyles.

Oxfordshire is made up of five main regions. To the south-west, the Vale of the White Horse, with its massive, ancient chalk horse etched into a hillside, consists of fertile farmland and tiny villages. The main town is the rather care-worn Abingdon; the next biggest towns are Faringdon and Wantage. As one of the least developed areas of the county, the Vale of the White Horse is also one of the least well connected.

West Oxfordshire's most popular town is Witney, with about 18,000 residents. This is Cotswolds country, made up of green rolling hills spotted with sheep. The Thames runs through West Oxfordshire, bringing some beautiful tributaries and riverside walks, but also threats of flooding to any low lying areas.

The south east region of the county, South Oxfordshire, is home to the wooded ridges of the Chiltern Hills and some of London's wealthiest commuters. Henley on Thames, attractive, affluent and renowned for its Royal Regatta, is just an hour's train journey from London. Other commuter towns include the more affordable Didcot, and the river town of Thame.

To the north, the soft rolling hills of north Cherwell form valleys towards the flatter, southern half of the district. The main towns of Banbury and Bicester both have direct access to London Marlyebone.

Finally the heart of this county,the city of the 'dreaming spires', Oxford. Dominated by the reputation of Oxford University, with its honey-coloured stone colleges, leafy quadrangles and river punts, the city actually has many faces; there is still a strong division between 'town' and 'gown'. Beyond the compact city centre, the main industry is car manufacturing. The train station lies to the west and is about an hour into London. Oxford has a reputation for being overcrowded and expensive, although Headington, Summertown, Florence Park and Kidlington are all popular areas within the city limits.

Demographics

Oxfordshire has a population of about 635,000. More than of half live in the small towns and villages that are spotted around the county. Thanks to its proximity to London, and its association with the science and engineering industries, the workforce here is amongst the most highly qualified in the country.

Education

Schools in Oxfordshire are generally of a high quality, but can be quite oversubscribed. The county has 23 independent schools and 35 state schools. Only eight schools do not have a sixth form, mostly in South Oxfordshire and Cherwell districts. As you might imagine, Oxford's schools are the most desirable and most competitive.

Transport

The M40 and M4 are the main thoroughfares for Oxfordshire. The motorways connect large swathes of the county with London to the south east, Birmingham and beyond to the north and Swindon, Bristol, Cornwall and Devon to the south west. Heathrow is the closest large airport with easy access from Oxford. There are also good railway and bus connections throughout the area.

Amenities and Shopping

Obviously, every district in Oxfordshire has its share of local amenities and shopping. The more rural areas are a joy for outdoor lovers, with plenty of hikes and bike rides up, around and along the ridges and rolling hills of the Chilterns and the Cotswolds. Oxford itself has a reputation for good but fairly predictable shopping, although the Castle Quay centre in Banbury also pulls in the crowds.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.