Bicester is a historic town in northern Oxfordshire. It’s one of the country’s new garden cities and it’s now one of the fastest-growing towns in the country.
Bicester has a large amount of investment from the government, bringing 13,000 new homes to the area. The town centre has gone through a £70 million redevelopment, which included a new Sainsbury’s supermarket, a seven-screen cinema, shops and restaurants, and further redevelopment is planned.
Being situated only 12 miles from Oxford, and halfway between London and Birmingham, Bicester is ideal for commuters. It boasts two mainline railway stations, which provide direct and regular services to both Oxford and London (as well as other locations) so travelling for work or pleasure is easy. The M40 runs close to Bicester making it easy for locals to drive south to London, or north to places such as Banbury or Birmingham. The A34 is also close by, which connects Bicester with Oxford.
Bicester has a great selection of primary schools that have all received a good Ofsted rating, including King’s Meadow and Five Acres Primary Schools. Local secondary schools include The Bicester School and The Cooper School, both of which have also achieved a good Ofsted rating. New schools are planned to be built as part of the town’s redevelopment.
Bicester Village is a large luxury shopping village just outside of the town centre and has its own train station. There are over 160 boutique fashion and lifestyle brands found within the shopping village, including Alexander McQueen, L’Occitane en Provence, Pandora and Vivienne Westwood. Shoppers enjoy loads of places to eat and drink too, with options to suit all tastes; enjoy a cooling treat at Oliphant’s Ice Cream or something locally sourced and seasonal from the Farmshop Restaurant & Cafe.
If you’re after a different shopping experience, head to Sheep Street in central Bicester, which has national high street brands like New Look and Argos. The town also has weekly markets, some farmers market, and even a French market.
For a bite to eat, Nash’s Bakery is a popular destination on Sheep Street. Open since 1930, it sells award-winning bread, cakes and pies. For a hearty meal, head to the stone-clad Copper Kitchen, or to Arzoo Indian Restaurant. There are also well-known chains such as Nando’s, Prezzo and Wildwood in the town centre. Bicester has a good selection of pubs too, including The Angel and The Bell.
The town has good amenities with a hospital, GP practices and pharmacies. There’s also a Post Office and a local library.
Set on the edge of the Cotswolds, Bicester is surrounded by gorgeous open countryside, and there are many interesting and beautiful places to explore nearby. For day’s out, there’s Blenheim Palace, Stowe Landscaped Gardens and Waddesdon Manor. When wanting to visit larger towns, then Aylesbury, Buckingham or Banbury are within easy reach.