Another "where shall I live?" thread(3 Posts)
We are moving to Oxford early next year. I will be based at hospitals around Headington and my wife will be (at least for the first few months - possibly longer) working in London. We will also have a 12 month old DS with us who will (hopefully) attend a nursery somewhere near the Headington area.
This obviously leaves us looking around for somewhere to live. We don't yet know how long we'll be in Oxford (two years for certain but perhaps indefinitely...) and so plan to rent in the first instance. We probably won't make primary school catchment areas a priority for now as that's still a few years away.
My wife would like to live near the train station but I realise that this might leave me struggling to get to Headington. Equally, if we live outside Oxford, she is presumably going to struggle to get into London.
I would be delighted to hear any thoughts as to how we can make this work.
Are there good/early/regular buses to the hospitals from the city centre? Is having a car in the city really as difficult as it sounds? Is there a hidden route from the Headington area into the city for commuters?
Your wife's plan could be good. There are many buses right through the night which you could use to get to the JR or the centre of Headington. They don't go all night to the Churchill or Nuffield but the daytime service is OK, and it's walkable from Headington at night. Try putting various times into the journey planner at www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk/ to get an idea what your bus commute would be like. The main downside is that everybody wants to live near the station, so you may well end up in a small expensive flat without a garden and that wouldn't be ideal with a little one.
You could do it the other way round, giving you access to somewhat cheaper housing in Headington/Marston. But even though your wife's commute would be straightforward, it becomes a long day for her. If it's only for a few months then perhaps she should just suffer through it? If by some chance her workplace in London is near one of the stops for the Oxford-London coaches then that could be an alternative to the train. Those coaches go through Headington. They are slower than the train but departures are very frequent, and she wouldn't have to go into Oxford centre at all. Considerably cheaper than the train too, I think. Two bus companies serve that route.
Having a car in the city is fine for some parts of the town and necessary for many commutes. But you aren't allowed to drive through city centre during the daytime but must go the long way around, and traffic is bad at rush hours anyway. You wouldn't want to be driving from near the rail station to Headington in the daytime, for example. The bus is quicker as it's allowed to drive straight through the centre. And I don't know how you obtain a staff parking permit at the hospitals, but I do know that demand far outstrips supply so ask about that before you plan to commute by car.
Cycling is popular.
One other possibility - the new station at Water Eaton will have a service into Marylebone, and so you could possibly live somewhere with access to that and Headington (parts of Marston perhaps).
I would strongly recommend against trying to drive to the hospitals. At peak times it can take 20min just to leave the hospital grounds the traffic is so bad.
I would say that Headington is more family friendly than the area round the station. If you do buy near the station be really careful about flooding as well. To commute from Headington to London via Oxford station every day would be tiring. The bus is a serious possibility though - lots of people do do that, and it would also save a lot of money. Both bus services run buses every 15 min at peak times and every 20 min the rest of the day.
Join the discussion
Please login first.