Not far from London and Birmingham, and a short drive from Oxford and Milton Keynes, Bicester is a town with many personalities. To live in Bicester is to enjoy a perfect balance between cosmopolitan and slow life. This fast-growing historic market town ticks many boxes for those moving to the area. Here’s how we make the most of living in this hidden gem of Oxfordshire.
Have a great journey
Bicester is comfortably situated around an hour drive from both London and Birmingham (less than an hour away on the train) and only 20 min. drive from Oxford. It enjoys excellent road and rail transport. Both Bicester North and Bicester Village stations offer fast direct trains to London and Marylebone. Bicester North has connections with Birmingham, and Bicester Village has regular services to Oxford and London Marylebone. So, arriving there on your move to the UK will be a breeze, and if you are planning to commute, Bicester is an excellent base for that!
Make yourself at home
Choosing to live in Bicester saves you money! It’s good to know that in comparison to London, renting in Oxfordshire costs 40 per cent less than in the capital, and buying costs are 43 per cent less on average. But that is not the best part yet!
If you thought having an international environment in a small town is not possible, think again! Look for accommodation in one of the several coliving homes available in Bicester, and you will end up having exciting friends around town from all corners of the globe! It makes for a comsmopolitan vibe to your lifestyle, combined with the pleasures of cosy slow life.
Have a great day (and night) out
The charm of Bicester lies in the number of independent stores, cafés and bars in quirky period properties. Wander through the streets and you’ll find thatched roofed homes, tiny cottages and 16th century buildings, together with a warm and caring community.
Bicester town centre has a market square, which is actually a triangle shape, and pedestrianised Sheep Street, holding a traditional market every Friday. Flowers, clothes, old books, veg, sweets, world cuisine treats, you name it.
On a causal afternoon at Sheep Street you will also enjoy people watching at the outdoor terrace of Torino Lounge. You’ll get amazing coffee and will always be greeted with a smile at FILTR.
Our recommendation for lunch would be Stansfield & Hoole ****- a family-friendly, stone-walled hobbit hole with leather sofas, or the Milk Shed, offering delicious all-day brunch and irresistible ice cream. You’ll also find great food at the famously named Cabbages and Condoms. It’s a branch of a brand founded in Thailand to help raise awareness for sexual health and family planning.
For an evening out check out the casual cocktail lounge FAQ.
Live in Bicester – eat well
Live in Bicester to have all the conditions to eat really well and healthy, also at home. Get a box of fresh organic veg delivered straight to your door from Riverford Organic Farmers. Check out other local organic food producers for an amazing authentic foodie experience, from craft beers and organic honey to local 100% grass fed organic beef, here.
Go on a day trip
Bicester has a status of Garden City and offers abundant opportunities to connect with nature on a daily basis. On a weekend, allow yourself to be further charmed by the beautiful countryside surrounding Bicester, featuring lots of greenery and honey-coloured stone villages, perfect for exploring on foot or on bicycle. If you choose the Cotswolds as your destination, you will find yourself in a truly fascinating fairy tale scenery. Don’t forget to visit the Blenheim Palace – a World Heritage Site that hosts stunning gardens, and the annual christmas lights show.
Bicester’s proximity to Oxford of course also allows for an urban outing. Oxford is not only home to its world-renowned university. This hub for education, business and innovation also offers a vibrant restaurant, music and pub scene.
Enjoy a shopping spree
The local luxury outlet centre Bicester Village is a unique treat. It offers around 200 shops and boutiques, as well as many restaurants, cafes, and pop-up street food eateries. Attracting over six million visitors a year, it happens to be the second-most visited UK attraction among Chinese tourists!
Another unique space, for gardening shopping, is the beautiful Bicester Avenue Garden Centre. It’s cafe area is also a great place to hang out, or for working during the week!
Travel in time
Yes, you can! Bicester Heritage is Britain’s only hub for historic motoring. It hosts a few open days per year. You can bring your own classic car, and add it to the display by parking it on site.
Experience the Motorsport Valley
The really irresistable feature of Bicester is that it’s part of the Motorsport Valley, involved in supplying cutting-edge technology to Formula One, Formula E and many other motorsport sectors. The valley is also home to some of the world’s biggest and most recognised racing teams. If you’re a fan of Formula 1, it’s definitely a place for you! Find out more about living and working in the Motorsport Valley from our blog and brochure.
If that’s not enough adrenaline for your liking, you can… learn to fly! Bicester Airfield is home to flying clubs offering a range of flying lessons in both powered and glider aircraft.
Interested in how it is to live in Bicester? Drop us a line for more recommendations!