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Digital Map Data Collins Bartholomew Ltd 2008

Beneath Oxford's dreamy spires

Oxford has an international reputation for academia. You could, therefore, be forgiven for thinking that more or less everyone living there inhabited an ivory tower. However, nothing could be further from the truth, as a tour round Oxfordshire's charming county town quickly reveals.

Property in Oxford is incredibly varied, with modern houses, flats and offices juxtaposed beside magnificent, ornate Oxfordian university buildings of the ilk of Christchurch and Magdalen College.

In addition to the numerous visually stunning Colleges, historic properties include the world-renowned Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Camera and the Ashmolean Museum.

Meanwhile, residents or visitors who prefer to spend their leisure time in shopping centres rather than in museums will find plenty to divert them in Oxford's bustling city centre. High street names rub shoulders with fashionable boutiques, while a cornucopia of cafes and restaurants cater for the cosmopolitan city's wide-ranging culinary tastes.

Around 165,000 people live in the city, and its two Universities (Oxford and Oxford Brookes), plus Ruskin College, are major employers. Local primary and secondary education is excellent, with a choice of first-class state and private schooling available.

With several thriving theatres, two cinemas, numerous fully equipped sports grounds - one of them, Iffley Road, where the first sub-four-minute mile was run - and an ice rink, Oxford is extremely well provided for as regards leisure facilities.

The city lies some 60 miles northwest of London - around 60 minutes by train and 100 minutes by bus, with regular coach services running to Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton airports. It is also well situated for access to the main arteries of the M40, A40, A34, and A420.

Steeped in history and with a unique prevailing ambiance of academic endeavour that draws thousands of visitors every year, Oxford also boasts all the facilities and services essential to modern-day living, making it an ideal base for an exceptional family home within striking distance of the capital.

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