There are 4 main supermarkets around Oxford:
- Sainsbury's Local on Magdalen Street, just south of the College
- Tesco in Magdalen Street, just south of the College
- A larger Sainsbury's in the Westgate Centre
- A large Tesco out in Cowley (15 min walk from the Annexe)
- A Co-op in Jericho (more like a convienience store, but it's open later than the others)
There is a market every Wednesday morning and a Farmers' Market on the first Thursday of the month in Gloucester Green. Also, there are plenty of places to get food, especially specialty items, in the Covered Market. If you are interested in finding more local food, check BigBarn.co.uk.
For information about eating out and other suppliers around Oxford, see Daily Info's Food in Oxford section.
For London, there are 2 bus lines into London, the Oxford Tube and the Oxford Express. Between them buses run every 10-15 min through most of the day, and about every half hour at night. Buses generally take about two hours to get from the Oxford Bus Station to London. The buses offer discount bulk student tickets and generally have specials for students at the beginning of the year. Fast trains from Oxford arrive into Paddington Station in London and generally take about 50 min. Depending on the time of day, fast trains run about twice an hour but it is best to check National Rail for an up-to-date schedule.
Buses to and from the airport are pretty regular, the Heathrow bus runs about every half an hour and the Gatwick bus runs every hour. Taking the train to the airport can be difficult with luggage, but it is possible, especially to Gatwick, which is the easiest because you can catch a direct train there.
For all buses make sure you have cash on you, and remember that the drivers don't always have exact change.
For all trains, those leaving after rush hour (about 9.00 am) are cheaper and the earlier that trips are planned, the cheaper tickets that one can purchase.
More info on buses and trains can be found here.
There are 2 Odeon Cinemas in central Oxford, one on George St. and one on Magdalen St. There is also the Phoenix Picture House which is a smaller theatre which shows more foreign films and interesting things you don't often get at the big theatres.
Oxford has some really beautiful parks, and is surrounded by a lot of green space. The University Parks are beautifully kept and delightful for a nice walk or to play sports of any type. Port Meadow to the north of the city is 400+ acres of common land, and if you're willing to take the walk (about an hour each way) you can head up to The Trout for a very nice meal. (If you don't want to do it all in one go, you can always stop in at The Perch halfway for a rest and a pint). Christ Church Meadow is another nice place to visit. You can walk all the way from the head of the river to the Botanic Gardens.
You have several options for joining a gym in Oxford.
The cheapest option is the university club gym. It's a very small gym (2 cycles, 1 treadmill, 1 elliptical, 3 rowing machines and some misc. weights) but only costs £55 for the year. The other nice thing about it is that it's only open to graduate students and staff, so it's pretty quiet and usually not too busy.
The Oxford university sports complex has a much more elaborate gym with 45 machines and a full power lifting room. There is also a wide variety of activities such as a track, pool, and various sporting facilities. Prices vary depending on what you're looking for, but it's still pretty reasonable topping out at £135/year for use of the gym, weight room, and pool. (Also note, this is for the academic year whereas the university club price is for the calendar year)
If you're looking for a commercial gym, there are several around Oxford but LA Fitness is probably your best bet.
Pretty much all of the information on this page and much more can be found on the websites below:
- Daily Info - All sorts of Oxford information. Links to just about everything you need and areas where you can post your own ads. You will also see the paper version posted in a lot of places around town
- Craigslist: Oxford - New, as of 2006, this Craigslist is specifically for the Oxford area.
- The Oxford Guide - A community driven wiki of Oxford info.
- The Oxford Handbook - Run (in a very roundabout way) by the student untion, this site is good for learning what's happening in the social scene (though it's geared towards undergrads).
- Oxford City - Another website for Oxford info.