Considering a move to Oxford? Explore the advantages and disadvantages, housing costs, rental prices, and various neighbourhoods in the city.

Living in Oxford: Pros and Cons


Oxford is one of the closest cities to London in the southeastern part of England and serves as the county town of Oxfordshire. The city is celebrated for hosting the University of Oxford — one of the world's oldest and most prestigious universities.
Oxford is very rich with lots of world-famous landmarks such as Christ Church College, Radcliffe Camera, The Sheldonian Theatre, Magdalen College, Carfax Tower, Ashmolean Museum. These landmarks collectively contribute to Oxford's unique charm and historical significance, making it a captivating destination for visitors and residents alike.
For the above reasons, Oxford can attract a diverse range of individuals. If you find yourself among one of them, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons of living in this historic city. Here's a breakdown to help you make an informed decision:
Moving to Oxford: What benefits does it offer?

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What advantages come with moving to Oxford?

  • Academic Prestige:
    Oxford is home to the University of Oxford, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities globally. If you're a student or academic professional, being part of this academic hub provides unparalleled opportunities for learning, research, and intellectual growth.
  • Rich Cultural Heritage:
    Oxford boasts a wealth of historic architecture, museums, and cultural institutions. From the iconic Radcliffe Camera to the Ashmolean Museum, the city is a treasure trove for those who appreciate art, history, and culture.
  • Diverse Neighborhoods:
    Each neighbourhood in Oxford has its unique charm, catering to various preferences. Whether you seek the bustling energy of the city centre or the quieter suburbs, Oxford offers diverse living options.
  • Green Spaces:
    Despite its urban setting, Oxford is surrounded by picturesque countryside. You can enjoy the tranquillity of parks, gardens, and meadows, providing a refreshing escape from city life.
  • Quality of Education:
    Beyond the university, Oxford has excellent primary and secondary schools, making it an appealing location for families with children.
  • Job Opportunities:
    With a thriving economy and a mix of industries, including education, technology, and healthcare, Oxford offers a range of job opportunities. It has a reputation as a centre for innovation and research.
  • Transportation Networks:
    Oxford's strategic location makes it well-connected to major cities. The transportation infrastructure, including buses and trains, facilitates easy travel within the city and to nearby areas.
  • Culinary Delights:
    The city boasts a diverse culinary scene, with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and pubs offering everything from traditional English fare to international cuisine.
  • Community Atmosphere:
    Despite its academic prominence, Oxford maintains a welcoming and inclusive community atmosphere. The blend of students, academics, and residents contributes to a vibrant and diverse social environment.
  • Historic Charm:
    The city's historic streets, ancient colleges, and cobblestone pathways create a unique and charming atmosphere. Walking through Oxford feels like stepping back in time, with architectural marvels at every turn.
  • Healthcare Services:
    Oxford has excellent healthcare facilities, ensuring residents can access quality medical care.

While each individual's experience may vary, these advantages collectively contribute to Oxford's reputation as a desirable and fulfilling place to live.

What are the disadvantages of moving to Oxford?

Oxford bus

While Oxford is a fantastic city with numerous advantages, it's essential to consider potential drawbacks that individuals may encounter when moving to this historic destination:
  • Cost of Living:
    Oxford is known for its relatively high cost of living. Housing, in particular, can be expensive, which may pose a challenge for individuals on a tight budget.
  • Limited Housing Availability:
    The demand for housing, especially in certain desirable neighbourhoods, often exceeds the supply. This can result in a competitive housing market and limited choices for prospective residents.
  • Traffic Congestion:
    Oxford experiences traffic congestion, especially in the city centre. Narrow streets and a high volume of pedestrians and cyclists can contribute to challenging driving conditions.
  • Parking Challenges:
    Finding convenient and affordable parking in Oxford can be difficult. Limited parking spaces and strict regulations may pose challenges for those who rely on personal vehicles.
  • Competitive Job Market:
    While there are job opportunities in Oxford, the competitive nature of the city's economy, particularly in fields related to academia and research, may make it challenging for some individuals to secure employment.
  • Tourist Crowds:
    Oxford is a popular tourist destination, and certain areas, especially during peak seasons, can become crowded. This may impact the daily life and ease of navigation for residents.
  • Weather:
    Like much of the United Kingdom, Oxford experiences unpredictable weather with frequent rain. Adapting to the weather conditions might be a consideration for those accustomed to sunnier climates.
  • Noise Levels:
    The city centre can be lively, and noise levels may be higher in certain areas, especially during weekends and holidays. Those seeking a quieter living environment might need to choose their neighbourhood carefully.
  • Pressure and Expectations:
    The academic environment at Oxford, while intellectually stimulating, can be demanding. Students and academics may feel a heightened level of academic pressure and expectations.

It's important to note that the perceived disadvantages of moving to Oxford can vary based on individual preferences, lifestyle, and priorities. Conducting thorough research and considering personal needs and preferences will help potential residents decide whether Oxford is the right fit for them.

Oxford property and rental prices:

For those who have chosen to relocate to Oxford, it's valuable to be aware of the property and rental prices in the area.
Below, we've broken property prices down by bedroom size, with average sold prices ranging from £330,366 to £1,306,593. See what size property you can get with your budget.

House SizeAverage sold price December 2023
1 bed£330,366
2 beds£378,197
3 beds£515,832
4 beds£748,329
5 beds£1,306,593

Property Rents in Oxford by Number of Bedrooms

House SizeAverage rent (pcm)
1 bed£1,829
2 beds£2,190
3 beds£2,740
4 beds£3,640
5 beds£4,442

Whether you rent or purchase a house, the prices are not considerably lower than those in London. Commuting is a viable alternative if residing directly in Oxford is financially challenging. There are a lot of lovely villages surrounding the city, and you’re on the edge of the Cotswolds. Depending on your preferred distance or available transportation options, you may consider relocating to Bicester, Kidlington, Woodstock, Burford, Long Hanborough, Eynsham, and more.

What areas are the best to move to in Oxford?

Oxford house interior

Choosing the best part of Oxford to move to depends on factors such as your lifestyle, preferences, and priorities. Oxford has diverse neighbourhoods, each offering a unique atmosphere and amenities. Here are some areas in Oxford that are often considered desirable:
  • City Centre:
    Living in the heart of Oxford provides proximity to historic landmarks, cultural institutions, and a vibrant atmosphere. However, it might come with higher living costs and limited space.
  • Jericho:
    Located north of the city centre, Jericho is a trendy and eclectic neighbourhood known for its independent shops, cafes, and proximity to the University of Oxford.
  • Headington:
    Home to the Headington campus of Oxford Brookes University, Headington is a diverse area with a mix of students and families. It offers good local amenities and is well-connected to the city centre.
  • Summertown:
    A residential area to the north of the city, Summertown is known for its leafy streets, upscale shops, and excellent schools. It's a popular choice for families.
  • Cowley:
    East Oxford, particularly the Cowley Road area, is known for its diverse community, vibrant cultural scene, and affordable housing options. It's a lively part of the city with various restaurants and shops.
  • Botley:
    Situated west of the city centre, Botley is a quieter residential area with good access to the city and the A34. It's a suitable option for those seeking a more suburban lifestyle.
  • Iffley:
    This historical area to the southeast of the city centre offers a peaceful residential setting with picturesque streets, the River Thames nearby, and the charming Iffley Village.
  • Wolvercote:
    Located north of Oxford, Wolvercote is a picturesque village with a rural feel. It's an ideal choice if you're looking for a quieter environment while still having easy access to the city.

Before making a decision, consider factors such as your budget, proximity to work or school, local amenities, and the overall vibe of the neighbourhood. Additionally, visiting different areas and exploring their unique characteristics firsthand can help you determine which part of Oxford aligns best with your preferences and lifestyle.
At Gentlevan Removals, we understand that every move is unique, presenting its own set of challenges and requirements. That's why our services are crafted to be flexible and tailored to meet your specific needs. Whether you're downsizing to a cosy cottage in Woodstock or moving to a 6-bed detached house in Oxford, we have the expertise to handle it all.

Make your move a gentle one with Gentlevan! Contact us for more information.