Whether you’re planning a move to Bicester, or you’ve lived here for a while and are still finding your way around, our handy guide to living in Bicester will help you make the most of this lovely town. Read on to discover where to eat in Bicester, where to shop, what to do, and how to get around by train or car. There’s a host of events and activities to enjoy as well as plenty of amenities that make it easy to feel at home.
Where Exactly is Bicester?
First things first, where is Bicester? It’s in a very convenient location. Part of the Cherwell District of North East Oxfordshire Bicester sits in the southern-central part of England. It’s well located, in easy reach of major cities like Birmingham and London as well as historical towns like Oxford or Stratford on Avon. The nearest airports are Birmingham International and London Heathrow.
What to Do in Bicester
Whatever your interests you’ll find something to do in Bicester. History fans will love the town trail, which takes you to the oldest house, a 17th-century Dovecote and the Market Square, which has been a hub of the community since mediaeval times. There are great leisure facilities including golf, sports halls, swimming pools and indoor bowling as well as a summer adventure camp for youngsters.
The countryside around Bicester is home to a number of historic houses, the most famous being Blenheim Palace, seat of the Dukes of Marlborough and famous for its baroque architecture. Whilst you’re exploring the pretty Oxfordshire countryside, you can visit RSPB Otmoor, where you’ll see Teal, Whinchats and Widgeon.
If all this seems too sedate, you might want to pay a visit to Silverstone – it’s under half an hour’s drive and home to an excellent museum as well as numerous motorsports events.
What Shops are in Bicester?
Bicester is famous for Bicester Village, an outlet centre just on the edge of the town. Here you’ll find top fashion brands including Paul Smith, Oscar de la Renta, and Marni, all at discounted prices.
The main town is home to familiar high-street brands, as well as more unusual shops. There are bookshops, butchers, bakers and a craft emporium as well as services like hairdressers, barbers and nail bars.
Where to Eat
Food is a big part of Bicester’s social scene and if you’re wondering where to eat in Bicester you’ll find there are plenty of choices. There are numerous independent restaurants covering all types of cuisine. As well as traditional staples like fish and chips, pizza, and curry, there are Thai restaurants and several bistros with interesting menus and lively bars. Chain restaurants have been introduced too, with the new Pioneer Square development offering all the usual names within easy reach of each other. Bicester Village outlet has several cafes too, so you can take a break while bargain hunting.
How to Get to Bicester By Train?
Bicester is a stop on the Chiltern Main Line. This line connects you to Birmingham, which has connections to North Wales, Manchester, Edinburgh, Nottingham, and the rest of the Midlands. In the opposite direction, you can take the train directly to London Marylebone and from there connect to the underground to give access to the southeast of England and Eurostar. Local journeys from Bicester include Oxford and Stratford Upon Avon.
How Far is Bicester from London?
Bicester is 1 hour fifteen minutes by train and 1 hour 33 minutes by car. The train journey is straightforward and means you reduce the risk of having to pay the congestion charge.
Moving to Bicester Tips
If Bicester sounds like the kind of place you could call home, here are our top tips for moving to Bicester.
1. Utilise Storage Facilities
When you’re relocating it can take time to find the perfect property. Perhaps you want to take yourself out of a chain situation to improve your chances of snapping up your dream Bicester home, or maybe you just need to declutter before getting on with the move. Choosing a reliable storage company makes moving home a great deal easier and reduces a lot of the stresses and strains of relocating – to find out more about storage in Bicester, click here.
When you’re choosing a storage company, these are useful points to bear in mind:
- Is it easy to get to? You may need to collect things from storage, or just check everything is in order.
- Do the access times suit you? Does the company offer extended access times if not?
- Is there good security?
- Are the units big enough to meet your needs?
2. Research Local Events
To help yourself settle in it’s worth getting to grips with local events. This will help you get to know like-minded people and gather a circle of friends to enjoy your new hometown with. There are lots of events in Bicester including Wilderness Festival, The Big Vegan Camp Out, performing arts events, and numerous community initiatives, so there’s bound to be something you will enjoy.
3. Familiarise Yourself with the Area
As well as checking out all the fun stuff like what shops are in Bicester it’s important to understand the more basic aspects of your new town. To find out about things like council tax and refuse collection, head to the Cherwell District Council website.
For more local aspects of daily life, the Bicester Town Council website is a really useful resource. You’ll find information about services like Garth Park as well as details of community events. The town council site has information about the history of Bicester, and its status as a Garden Town. Local libraries are also really useful information hubs (as well as being great places to read).
4. Finding Accommodation In Bicester
Bicester is a thriving town full of opportunities for its residents. As such, it’s no surprise that accommodation options are plentiful and wide-ranging. Whether you’re looking for a family house or something more cosy like a studio flat, there’s something for everyone here.
The housing market in Bicester is fairly buoyant and prices tend to be reasonable when compared to London prices. If you’re not sure about an area it may be worth renting first before committing to buying.
Good luck with your move! We hope you have a great time exploring Bicester and making it your new