Five scenic drives near Oxford: Explore Oxfordshire’s idyllic villages with these routes

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Britons are keen to find alternatives to holidays abroad this year thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Walks, drives and staycations have all become popular choices with Britons who don’t fancy taking the risk of going abroad. Oxford is known for its stunning architecture, prestigious university and rich history.

But just outside the city’s glorious walls lies idyllic villages, rolling hills and lush countryside. has rounded up five of the best scenic drives near the city of Oxford.

1. Oxford to Cheltenham

One hour away from Oxford by car lies the stunning little town of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire.

The drive will take you through the urban outskirts of Oxford such as Witney and then onto miles of rich countryside.

The beauty of this 40-mile drive are the villages in the Cotswolds you will encounter on the way.

Some of the best to stop off at are Burford (see below), Upper Windrush and Andoversford.

2. Oxford to Burford

If you don’t fancy a long drive then this is definitely the one for you.

Just 30 minutes and under 20 miles from Oxford centre lies the charming little Cotswold town of Burford.

Burford is a small medieval town on the River Windrush in the rolling Cotswold hills.

The town is known as the “gateway” to the Cotswolds because it showcases some the best of the British countryside.

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3. Oxford to Reading

This would be the perfect drive for a crisp Autumn morning heading for lunch in the edgy city of Reading.

Located just 40 minutes outside of Oxford, this is a trip for the journey not necessarily the destination.

Just outside of Reading lies Henley-on-Thames which, with a quick de-tour, is perfect for a spot of lunch.

Other roads which are perfect for driving enthusiasts include the B481 which runs through some beautiful shaded woodland and the B480 which runs through plenty of picturesque villages.

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4. Oxford to Cambridge

Going from one stunning destination to another, this drive is the longest but is definitely worth the journey.

The drive will take you around two hours, crossing over 80 miles-worth of Britain’s wonderful countryside.

Bicester, Buckingham, Bedford and St Neots are just a handful of the pitstops you could visit on the way.

For those who love shopping, Bicester is home to the shopping outlet Bicester Village which is great for a spot of Christmas shopping.

5. Oxford to Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon is a medieval town that is the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

This quirky and historic town is just an hour from Oxford and is well worth the journey.

There are three possible routes that will take you past plenty of villages along the way.

The most direct route will take you past Banbury while a slightly longer route will take you past Chipping Norton and some of the smaller villages in The Cotswolds.

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