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Heathrow to Oxford: Taxi or Train?

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Sarnia, Canada
posts: 365
reviews: 17
Heathrow to Oxford: Taxi or Train?

We plan to fly into Heathrow from Canada early on a Friday morning in July and wish to travel from there to Oxford. We should arrive in Heathrow by 6:45. Past experience tells me that it's difficult to predict the time it will take to get through customs at Heathrow; last time it took 1.5 h. I am, therefore, uncertain whether to book a taxi to Oxford in advance or to take the Heathrow Express to Paddington, then the train from Paddington directly to Oxford. The advantages of taking a taxi would be no transfers and lugging of suitcases. However, our time in customs would be difficult to predict and, at that hour, we could get caught in nasty commuter traffic. This might make the train option faster. If we do take the train, do we need to book in advance for the Heathrow Express? If catching a train spur of the moment isn't difficult in the morning, this might be ideal. I know that there are four trains leaving Heathrow for London each hour. Similarly, if we can buy 'anytime' tickets from Paddington to Oxford and not run the risk of advance sell-outs, it would give us added flexibility. I don't know whether we will be flying into Terminal 5. We are favouring British Airways but may decide on Air Canada. Money is not the main consideration in making my decision; I know that the Heathrow Express isn't cheap.

30 replies to this topic
Denver, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Pecs, Budapest
posts: 4,022
reviews: 6
1. Re: Heathrow to Oxford: Taxi or Train?

If it makes any difference, The Heathrow Express trains are flat from platform to train (no steps) and Paddington is an end-on station. You'd encounter steps onto and off the train to Oxford. Trains from London arrive at Platform 1, which would not require any steps there.

Oxford, United...
Destination Expert
for Oxford
posts: 698
reviews: 58
2. Re: Heathrow to Oxford: Taxi or Train?

In my opinion you'd be better off taking the bus - there's a dedicated Oxford /Heathrow service and it will be cheaper (and almost certainly quicker) than the train. It has the advantage of stopping in Oxford City centre whereas Oxford train station is 10/15 mins walk from the city centre. Details here: http://airline.oxfordbus.co.uk/ In addition the timing should mean you'll miss the major part of the rush hour jam into Oxford.

Edited: 8:45 am, January 20, 2014
Dunfermline, United...
posts: 11,779
reviews: 40
3. Re: Heathrow to Oxford: Taxi or Train?

There is a direct bus service from Heathrow to Oxford which would save you having to lash out loads of money on a taxi, and avoiding going via London


posts: 64
reviews: 4
4. Re: Heathrow to Oxford: Taxi or Train?

I definitely agree with the above, the bus would be the most convenient in this situation! A taxi would cost you a small fortune and the bus is just as direct and probably as comfortable! You company you are looking for are the Oxford Bus Company, and there are specific airline coaches, you also don't need to book in advance and they run very frequently, so normally the longest you are waiting is about 30 mins!

Sarnia, Canada
posts: 365
reviews: 17
5. Re: Heathrow to Oxford: Taxi or Train?

It appears that we could get a taxi for about 74 GBP. Since there are two of us, this would only be 37 GBP each. I didn't consider that excessive. We plan to stay at the Royal Oxford Hotel which is, I believe, is near the train station. I'm not sure what's considered downtown. The taxi would drop us off at our hotel, avoiding the need for another taxi when we reach Oxford.

Sarnia, Canada
posts: 365
reviews: 17
6. Re: Heathrow to Oxford: Taxi or Train?

Heathrow to Oxford by bus according to site shown above is 23 GBP each. Add a taxi ride onto this once we reach Oxford (in order to get to our hotel) and it would approach the cost of having our own taxi take us directly from Heathrow to our Oxford hotel. The advantage of the bus though would be not having to book in advance--simply being able to show up once we've freed customs.

Manchester, United...
posts: 1,515
reviews: 70
7. Re: Heathrow to Oxford: Taxi or Train?

The Royal Oxford's website gives directions from the coach station to the hotel:


According to Google it is less than half a mile from the coach station to the hotel.

Sarnia, Canada
posts: 365
reviews: 17
8. Re: Heathrow to Oxford: Taxi or Train?

Thank you for your information. I will give consideration to the bus.

posts: 7,618
9. Re: Heathrow to Oxford: Taxi or Train?

The Royal Oxford Hotel is almost equidistant from the bus station and the train station. About 5 minutes walk from each. Common with most cities in the UK, Oxford doesn't have a "downtown" but it does have a city centre which is back towards the bus station about 10 minutes walk from the hotel.

Destination Expert
for Avebury, Egypt
posts: 4,884
reviews: 86
10. Re: Heathrow to Oxford: Taxi or Train?

Another option: Railair bus from Heathrow to Reading - see www.railair.com for details - then train to Oxford.

nationalrail.co.uk/SME/html/NRE_OXF/plan.html is a plan of Oxford railway station, more about services may be found at www.nationalrail.co.uk

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