Travelling to the 8th Experimental Archaeology UK Conference

Anyone concerned with how reports of flooding will affect their journey, please see our update here. Please rest assured that at this time (Wednesday 17:00) we do not believe that the conference will be disrupted by any floods.

The 8th Experimental Archaeology UK Conference is being jointly held between Merton College, University of Oxford, and the Research Laboratory. Registration is now closed. The final schedule can be found here.

Flying to the UK

Whilst Oxford does have an Airport, it does not receive commercial scheduled European flights. However there are many airports serving the region, the closest being the London airports and Birmingham airport.

The closest airport to Oxford geographically is London Heathrow, followed by London Gatwick. However it may be easier to travel from Birmingham Airport to Oxford if you are using public transport.

Train connections

All UK airports have rail stations directly accessible from the airports, although you may have to change trains to reach Oxford. Train times, maps, tickets and journey planning facilities are available on the National Rail Enquiries website.

Heathrow is also situated on the London Underground, the large metro system that covers Greater London. The London Underground is an easy, direct and cheap way to travel to London train stations to connect to railway services to Oxford, however it can be slow.

From Birmingham International it is possible to catch a direct train to Oxford.

Coach connections

The Oxford Bus Company operate a coach service from Heathrow and Gatwick to Oxford 24hrs a day.

National Express offer connections between all of the airports and Oxford, although you may need to take multiple coaches.

Coach tickets are not transferable between companies.

Taking the train to Oxford

Direct train services to Oxford from London (Paddington) and Birmingham New Street (via Banbury and Coventry) are available, and integrated tickets are available from all other UK rail stations to Oxford, though you may have to change trains a number of times.

Things to know about the UK train service:

  • Always buy a ticket before you board a train in the UK. Almost all train stations will have ticket barriers preventing access to the platform without a ticket, but if you do board a train without a valid ticket you will be subject to a fine and you will have to buy a full price ticket.
  • Please be aware that travelling at ‘peak times’ i.e. during morning and evening rush-hours can be much more expensive than travelling during the middle of the day or in the evening.
  • Buying a ticket days in advance of travel specifying the train time and date of travel is a much cheaper way of travelling. You can order and pay for your ticket online, and then pick up your advance ticket from automated ticket machines at most railway stations on the day of travel. However if you miss your specified train, you will have to buy a new ticket.
  • Although there are a number of private companies operating in the UK, the ticket system is integrated and (excluding specific exceptions which should be clearly marked) you will not need separate tickets for different trains.

To plan your journey, and to view ticket prices, please visit the National Rail Enquiries website. There are a number of rail companies serving the UK, and each of them have their own planning and ticket websites, but National Rail Enquiries offers integrated services for all of them and is the best portal to access rail services in the UK. They also offer a phone app providing real time train service arrivals, departures and

Taking the coach to Oxford

Oxford is well connected to London by coach services. The Oxford Bus Company operate the X90 service connecting London Victoria (which has a railway station) to Oxford, as well as a number of other services.

National Express offer a network of coach services across the UK, connecting to their European Coach service Eurolines.

Megabus offer a small network of coaches and buses connecting Oxford and other towns and cities in the UK. Although they must be booked in advance, their tickets are often cheaper than National Express.

Driving to Oxford

Driving in the UK is rarely worth it if you are travelling alone or without equipment. Traffic on major motorways is often heavy and slow, and parking is very difficult to find inside cities as it is heavily restricted. Within Oxford many of the central streets are now restricted or closed to cars, and there are extensive one-way systems and fines for driving incorrectly. There are a small number of car parks, but these can cost up to £30 a day.

The University of Oxford encourages visitors to use the Park and Ride bus services. These are low cost car parks situated outside the city which are connected to the city centre by regular, quick bus services. It is recommended that attendees avoid Thornhill Park and Ride, as this is often full. There is no parking available for attendees at the conference sites.

Local travel in Oxford

Oxford is a very compact town, making it easy to walk between destinations. However it is also frequented by cyclists, and we advise all attendees to be cautious when leaving the pavement to cross the road. Whilst pedestrians have right of way when on the road, so you will not be fined for jaywalking, if you step out in front of a cyclist without looking you may get shouted at!

Local bus services are run by the Oxford Bus Company. Oxford has both metered taxis which can be flagged down on the street and minicabs which must be booked in advance, usually by calling a taxi company, a list of which can be found on the Tourist Information Website. Never get in a taxi in the UK which does not have a licence. The licence of the taxi driver should always be visible.

Important locations for the conference within Oxford can be seen on the below map:

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