1. The chance to explore miles of open countryside on foot, by bike or by car.
2. A wealth of history on the doorstep with National Trust properties, historic estates, and gorgeous gardens to visit.
3. Being able to visit or live in some of the country’s most picturesque towns and villages – each with interesting, independent shops, a great sense of community with lots of local clubs and societies catering for everything from art, dance and music to specialist interests along with branches of the U3A Oxfordshire and the Women’s Institute, Oxfordshire.
4. Being in close proximity to Oxford and everything that the city has to offer.
5. The opportunity to enjoy a rich cultural life with theatres, museums, galleries and festivals and events from music and literature to film, food, and drink.
6. Fantastic sporting and leisure opportunities – horse-riding, golf, shooting, water sports, all set against a backdrop of beautiful countryside.
7. Excellent road and rail links making it easy to travel around the country.
8. The opportunity to buy a beautiful retirement home, including newly built homes constructed of mellow Cotswold stone and appearing to have been in place for centuries.
Living in one of the retirement villages in Oxfordshire, you’ll have some wonderful countryside on your doorstep, including several Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to explore on foot, by bike or by car. And, if you choose a new retirement home in Oxfordshire, you’ll have time to make the most of the county.
The North Wessex Downs on the southern and south-western edges of Oxfordshire are bursting with wildlife. The grasslands and woodlands, chalk streams and chalk downland make this area a haven for birds, butterflies, and wildflowers. Quiet roads pass through pretty villages and there’s an abundance of bridleways which make this a delightful area for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
In West Oxfordshire, the Oxfordshire Cotswolds are exceptionally beautiful, steeped in history with countless heritage sites. Follow the lanes and footpaths through beech woodlands and discover centuries old villages built of honey-coloured stone. Set within this lovely landscape are the picturesque towns of Burford, Chipping Norton and Charlbury.
The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty stretches from the River Thames in southern Oxfordshire to Hitchin in Hertfordshire. There is a fantastic waymarked cycle route running through the Chilterns that passes historic villages, country pubs and National Trust properties along the way. You can hire electric bikes in Ivinghoe, near Ashridge Estate if you want to enjoy the scenery without too much hard work. There are plenty of walks, ranging from easy access trails to all day hikes, along Oxfordshire’s two national trails: The Ridgeway and The Thames Path.
One of our favourite walks is to be found at Watlington Hill with its fine views north and west over the Oxfordshire Plain and to the south over the beech and ash woodland. Watlington Hill is a nationally important wildlife site with wild flowers, butterflies and birds – including the Red Kite. And what's more, it is only a stone's throw from our Castle Gardens Development.
The Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens near Burford is worth a visit – and something visiting family and friends will enjoy. Over 260 different species of animals live in the 160-acre park including from penguins to giraffes and lions as well as birds of prey. There’s a walled garden, a woodland walk, a restaurant, and an adventure playground.
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There’s nothing nicer than spending a day exploring an historic house or wandering around a beautiful garden – and there’s plenty of opportunity in Oxfordshire. The following list includes a few of our favourites:
There are so many beautiful locations to visit in Oxfordshire – we have selected the following because they offer great shopping and plenty of activities for residents and visitors alike.
Retire near Oxford and you’ll have all the theatres, museums and galleries you could wish for. Oxford has an atmosphere quite unlike that of any other city. You can tour the university halls, Oxford’s famous Bodleian Library and the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology or visit the collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum or the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. If you prefer to be outdoors, you can go punting on the river, picnic in Christ Church Meadow or just meander along the river bank. Oxford’s retail offering includes Westgate Oxford, a shopping and leisure experience with prestigious brands, a whole range of restaurants, cafes and rooftop bars and a five-screen cinema. Oxford’s covered market is busy – as it has been since 1774 but if you’re looking for a designer bargain, head to the nearby Bicester Village shopping outlet.
Oxfordshire is one of the UK’s most exciting cultural destinations with an abundance of world-renowned museums, libraries, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, internationally celebrated art galleries, theatres and music venues together with festivals and events. From a distillery experience and gin tasting to history festivals and from family archaeology days to live music at Oxford Botanic Garden, Oxfordshire has it all.
Whether strolling around Oxford’s parks and colleges or visiting country villages and market towns, you’ll discover cricket matches everywhere. With picturesque countryside, it isn’t surprising that golf is another popular sport in Oxfordshire with countless courses around the county. The Thames runs through the county and, whilst Henley is known across the world for its famous Royal Regatta, the waterways and reservoirs are used by rowing, sailing, kayaking and canoeing enthusiasts. The Cotswold Water Park at South Cerney on the borders of Oxfordshire, Gloucester and Wiltshire is home to more than 150 lakes, covering 40 square miles. In addition to watersports, there are boat trips, angling opportunities, aerial adventures and cycling on offer.
Oxfordshire is well connected by road and rail to regional hubs and further afield. The nearby M40 makes it easy to travel to London and Birmingham whilst the M4 provides access to London, Swindon, Bristol, and South Wales. The average journey time from Oxford to London by rail is 75 minutes and from Oxford to Reading is 38 minutes. When you’re travelling abroad, Heathrow airport is just off the M4 – and, from Oxford, the journey by car takes just over 50 minutes.
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