Despite all the beauty of Oxford and the uniqueness of your experiences here, you will still need to address some practical concerns. While you wait for formal inductions from the College and your Faculty, we have prepared a list of useful information to help you adjust to Oxford.
- Buying the Essentials
- Getting Around: Transport
- General Information
Buying the Essentials
There are four standard groceries shops in town where you can find most things.
- Sainsbury’s, in Westgate Mall, entrance on Queen Street
- Tesco, 1 Magdalen St.
- Marks and Spencers, Queen Street
For a small fee Tesco and Sainsbury’s offer delivery services to your home which allows you to purchase goods online on an as needed basis. Abel & Cole provides the same service and features local, organic goods which can be purchased exclusively online.
The closest small convenience store is located on North Parade a 5 min walk from NSE
Covered Market (Off the High Street)
The covered market, although often more expensive than standard grocery stores, has various kiosks selling fruits and vegetables, a butchers, cheese shops, cafes, cobblers, and artisanal clothing and accessory shops.
Farmers’ Market (Gloucester Green)
On Wednesday mornings there is a farmers’ market in Gloucester Green where you can find reasonably priced (mostly) local produce. There are frequently French markets in the same location which are periodically advertised signs posted along Cornmarket Street on the day of the market.
- Boswells, Southeast corner of Broad St & Cornmarket Street
- Argos, New Inn Hall Street
- Primark, Westgate mall
- Debenhams, Northeast corner of Broad St & Cornmarket
At Boswell’s, Primark, Argos and Debenham’s you can find most of the household goods that you will need, ranging from cutlery and crockery to clothes hangers, towels, and pillowcases.
- Boots Pharmacy, 6-8 Cornmarket Street, 151a Cowley Road, 221 Banbury Road
- Superdrug, 11 Market Street (across from the Boots on Cornmarket)
Most mobile phone providers can be found on Cornmarket Street and offer either pay-as-you-go top up services or monthly contracts. International students might find the Skype phone provided by The Carphone Warehouse useful as it allows you to send and receive international calls free using Skype, while also affording you all the local texts and calls. Commonly used networks in the UK are: Orange, T-Mobile, O2, Vodafone, and 3.
Shopping for Academic Supplies
Office and Academic Supplies
- Ryman, 6 High Street (* here make sure to show your Oxford University card as you will always get 10% off)
- Staples, 14-16 Park End Street
- Honest Stationery, 151 Cowley
- WHSmith, Cornmarket
- Blackwells, 48-51 Broad Street (good for textbooks)
- Waterstones, Broad Street & Cornmarket Street
- Oxfam Books, 56 St Giles Street as well as Turl Street across from Lincoln
Getting Around: Transport
Bicycles are a hot commodity for students and thieves. Therefore, be sure to buy a good lock and take a photo of your bike and write down its serial number.
New bicycles can be bought from:
- The Cycle Center, 38 Walton St
- Summertown Cycles, 200 Banbury Rd
- Cyclo Analyst, 150 Cowley Road
- Walton Street Bikes, 78 Walton Street
- Beeline Bicycles, 59 – 65 Cowley Road
Second hand bikes can be found at:
For repairs, the Bike Doctor of the Oxford Cycle Workshop does free repairs Wednesday,10am-4pm at the University Club on Mansfield Rd & Friday at the Old Rd Campus. They arrive at 10am; be there at 9:45am.
- Radio Taxis 01865 242 424
- 001 Taxis 01865 240 000
- Royal Taxis 01865 777 333
- City Taxis 01865 201201
The Safety Bus
The Safety Bus runs throughout term from 9pm-3am, to ensure student safety at night. If you’re out and you fancy a lift home, ring 07714445050. It’ll pick you up and take you to anywhere inside the ring-road, all for just a £1 donation. Put the number in your mobile just in case. If anyone wants to volunteer to drive or navigate the Safety Bus, or has any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you’re going to be using the train a lot, get a Young Person’s Railcard (£25 for a year) at the rail station or online and get 1/3 off trips anywhere in the UK. More information on their website.
- Trains to London take ~1 hr direct and can be cheaper than the bus with the Railcard, especially if you book an ‘advance’ ticket more than a week ahead (www.nationalrail.co.uk).
- Oxford has two local companies, Oxford Bus Company (www.oxfordbus.co.uk) and Stagecoach (www.stagecoachbus.com/oxfordshire)
- Oxford Express (X90) and Oxford Tube buses to London leave every 15 min from Gloucester Green, High St at Queens Lane, and St Clement’s. The trip takes 1.5-2 hrs (around £10 rtn after 3pm, £13 otherwise. £60 12-trip passes are available online).
- www.megabus.com sells coach tickets to London a week in advance for £2.50 return.
- The Airline leaves every half hour to Heathrow (1.5 hrs; £23 rtn) and Gatwick (2 hrs; £36 rtn)
General Information about Life In Oxford & Teddy Hall
Sports and Music Facilities
For those that want to play squash, we share some courts with Queens College. They’re down Iffley road and are free for your use. The courts are about a 10-15 minute walk from college. You need to get a key, which requires a £20 deposit from Queens College (which is next to Teddy Hall). Just ask their incredibly friendly porters who to talk to. You need to book at Queens for when you want to play, but it’s usually fairly available. Please respect their courts so we can carry on using them.
Teddy Hall (as well as the University) offers an array of sports. I highly recommend going to both the University Fair as well as the College Fair they are both during orientation week, and are a great way to get an idea of all that is offered and talk with individuals already doing the sports/activities so as to get a sense of the time commitment and general workings of each.
The Teddy Hall gym is located at Norham Gardens. Even though quite a small facility, it has a selection of free weights and other gym equipment.
Teddy hall has a music practice room available for use. It’s got a drum kit, pianos, and a few amps. You can book it at the porters lodge. It’s next to Wolfson hall down some dark stairs– ask for directions from the porters.
Laundry facilities are available in 17 Norham Gardens. Payment is through the Circuit Laundry app. This can be topped up here.
Formal Hall Booking Information
Formal Hall is a wonderful three course dinner held every Tuesday and Friday night during term time. Formal (as it is referred to) is a great opportunity to enjoy amazing food, socialize with friends, and meet new individuals. Formal costs £11.25 per person and includes wine. Alternatively as a member of the MCR, you can either choose to sit at high table (£13.50 + £4.50 for dessert served in the SCR after dinner) which is a great way to get to know many of the fellows at the college. To book either formal hall or high table, go to http://epos.seh.ox.ac.uk/seh/login.php. This site you will also be able to stipulate any dietary restrictions. I recommend booking as far in advanced as possible as formals often book out quickly. Academic gowns are worn to Formal Hall (see next section). Your account can either be topped up in person at the bursary or by following the link above.
Subfusc ~ What It Is & Where to Get It
When buying subfusc you will receive a gown, as well as a mortarboard and either a white bow tie for men or a black ribbon for women. Full subfusc is worn for matriculation, exams and graduation ceremonies. The full outfit is:
- For Men: Gown, dark suit and socks, black shoes, white shirt and collar, white bow tie.
- For Women: Gown, white blouse, black tie, black skirt or trousers, black stockings or tights and black shoes.
You can buy Subfusc at:
- Shepherd and Woodward, 109-113 High Street
- Walters, 9-11 Turl Street
- Ede & Ravencroft, 119 High Street
Daily Info (www.dailyinfo.co.uk)
Daily Info is the Oxford equivalent to Craigslist and Gumtree (although there is also a Gumtree for Oxford and surrounding areas which you may find productive to look at as well). It is an excellent place to find used goods for a reasonable price. There are also a number of used bicycles advertised on this site. Daily Info’s “What’s On” pages also provide information on films, concerts, plays, gigs, readings and courses in Oxford, and is updated regularly.
Places to Eat, Drink & Be Merry
The MCR committee put together a list of their favourite places to eat, drink and be merry. Below are recommendations from the team for coffee houses, pubs, restaurants, and bars. With these suggestions we hope you go forth and explore all that Oxford has to offer.
Tea & Coffee
- The Vaults and Garden Cafe, University Church, High Street
- The Missing Bean, 14 Turl Street
- The Grand Cafe, 84 High Street
- The Victoria, 90 Walton Street
- The Turf Tavern, 4-5 Bath Place
- The Royal Oak, 42-44 Woodstock Road
- The Eagle and Child, 49 Saint Giles’
Pints – Open Late
- Cape of Good Hope, 1 Iffley Road (The Plain)
- The KA (Kings Arms), 40 Holywell Street
- The Oxford Retreat, 1-2 Hythe Bridge Street
- The Half Moon, 18 St Clement’s Street
- Al Andalus (for Tapas), 10 Little Clarendon Street
- The White Rabbit (for Pizza), 21 Friars Entry
- Red Star, 187 Cowley Road
- Atomic Burger, 96 Cowley Road
- The Gardeners Arms (for vegetarians), 39 Plantation Road
- Duke of Cambridge, 5-6 Little Clarendon Street
- Freud, 119 Walton Street
- Angles, Dartington House, Little Clarendon Street
- Cafe Tarifa, 56-60 Cowley Road
These are just a couple of ideas to get you started, there are many more interesting places to discover not included in this list, so go forth and explore.