Oxford is one of the UKs most beautiful and historic cities. With a population of 162,000 it is clear many people around the UK choose Oxford as their home. Here are 5 pros and cons of living in Oxford.
Pros To Living In Oxford
1. Stunning Architecture
Although relatively small, Oxford has a stunning collection of world famous buildings and architecture. Those wishing to pursue a career in architecture are in the right place. Many of the building’s origins can date back to the Anglo-Saxon period and many of the street patterns have not been changed since then. Oxford University itself is one of the best preserved mediaeval buildings in the UK. With so many buildings to explore and see it can be hard to decide which to see first. Oxford City Council have put together a Discover Oxford’s Architecture Guide to help you navigate through.
2. Plenty of Green Spaces
Oxford is spattered with green spaces everywhere you go. From small quaint parks such as Bury Knowle Park to Nature Reserves. Shotover is just a short walk away from the city centre and is home to a large country park that spans for miles. This makes for a perfect walk or picnic area as well as a great opportunity to spot frogs and native birds at certain times of the year. University Oxford Botanic Gardens are another beautiful place to visit whilst living in Oxford. Founded in 1621 the garden houses a large collection of trees, plants and tropical plants. Wherever you are in Oxford you are not far from a green space.
3. Artistic Hub
Oxford can be seen as the home of the artists. With theatres, museums and galleries galore your budding artist or art collector can come alive. OxOnArts is a fantastic website to view what artistic events are happening in and around Oxford. From festivals to workshops to art weeks, Oxford has something for everyone.
4. Historical HotSpot
With Oxford dating back to the Saxon period, originally known in Old English as Oxnaford, the city is riddled with rich history. There are many historical sites and tourist attractions as well as tours to go on to understand Historical Oxford from the buildings, to the wars to the tourism boom.
5. Craft Drinks on Your Doorstep
Home to many distilleries, Oxford is a hub for craft gins, beers and ales. Each year Oxford hosts a beer festival which is home to a variety of craft beers every year, with the beers changing each year. The Oxford Artisan Distillery also remains a top attraction for those seeking exclusive gins.
Cons To Living In Oxford
1. Expenses & Prices
With Oxford sitting at the number 2 spot of top most expensive places to live in 2023, according to You Magazine and The Mirror, pricing may influence the decision to make the move. House prices are at a record high across the UK and with prices still increasing this may mean that those of the younger generation may find it more difficult to be able to buy a house in Oxford in 2023. However, although house prices are skyrocketing, rent prices have stayed relatively constant, meaning those wishing to live in Oxford may find renting to be a more affordable option.
2. Student Central
The University of Oxford is at the heart and soul of Oxford City. Many may love the vibrant buzz of a student led city with students encouraging independent restaurants and shops as well as helping to diversify the culture of a city. However, those looking for a leisurely, quiet lifestyle may wish to avoid the City Centre and look to the outskirts where student life does not impact the area as much.
3. Tourist Hub
Tourism has helped to shape and grow Oxford with the city well known across the Globe. Tourism helps to increase the footfall to shops, restaurants and bars as well as increasing the job market. Diversifying the city has been greatly shaped by tourism and has enriched the city. However, in peak seasons tourists can overwhelm the relatively small city and can cause some to avoid the city at these times. For those that enjoy the hustle and bustle of a vibrant busy city then Oxford would be perfect for you.
4. Cars < Public Transport
Sustainability and the city’s environmental impact has been a big topic of discussion for Oxford’s Councils. As a result, cars are restricted at certain times and parking can be somewhat of an issue for those who are used to driving everywhere. However, Oxford has one of the best public transport initiatives, with multiple bus links, VOI scooters at every corner, public bikes and extended pathways, getting around Oxford without a car is very easy. When looking for a green, sustainable city to live in Oxford is one of the best.
5. Night Life
The University of Oxford are renowned for their lavish night life, parties and events, meaning those part of the University are spoilt for choice. However, as these events are usually for Oxford University students only, the night life in Oxford can be a tad lacking. With three clubs and a handful of bars, there are definitely places to go for a fantastic night out, however, the city can be slightly quieter than other student cities and the prices slightly higher.
And there you have it! Those are the top 5 pros and cons of living in Oxford. Overall Oxford is a fantastic city to live in, with plenty to do and see, sustainability at its heart and a diverse culture, there is something for everyone. For more information on what Oxford is doing for sustainability have a look at our article, Celebrate Green and Wild Oxford on World Wildlife Day 2023.