A beautiful city of dreaming spires, unique galleries and museums, wonderful public open spaces and of course a world-famous university: Oxford is a fantastic place to spend a few days. Here is our pick of some of the best accessible places to visit.
The Pitt Rivers Museum
No visit to Oxford is complete without a trip to the Pitt Rivers Museum. Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt Rivers was a British Army officer who is world-renowned as one of founders of modern archaeology, and this museum is a celebration of his many discoveries. The fascinating thing that makes this museum so unique is its quirky organisation: artefacts are grouped by type rather than where they are from. It sounds a little chaotic, but it works: the place is a fascinating collection of many thousands of unique objects.
It is also remarkably accessible, with lifts and ramps throughout giving easy access to all areas. There is no parking at the museum, and the team suggest that if you are bringing your car that you park on a nearby street. There are also accessible park and ride services for the city from Headington, Redbridge, Abingdon Road, Pear Tree Roundabout, Water Eaton, Banbury Road, Kidlington and Seacourt at Botley (see below).
We hope you don’t mind us including another museum here, but as Oxford is such a centre of world learning it is no surprise that it also has some truly incredible collections. The Ashmolean is a museum of art and archaeology and has belonged to the University of Oxford since 1683, making it the oldest in the UK. It is absolutely packed with fascinating artefacts, including the Ballyshanon Sun Disc, one of the world’s earliest documented prehistoric objects.
The Ashmolean is fully accessible to everyone, and the team there have done a great job of making sure that everyone, of all levels of mobility, can enjoy the space. There are lifts to all floors, as well as step-free access to the shop, the accessible toilets, the café and the museum restaurant. You’ll find nine dedicated Blue Badge spaces in the museum car park too, three of which are directly outside the entrance.
While it is a little way out of Oxford, it is still well worth making the effort to visit Blenheim Palace. This incredible building is the home of the Duke of Marlborough and was the birth place of Sir Winston Churchill. If that isn’t enough, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a stunning example of Baroque architecture. Much of the palace and grounds are accessible but the best way to start your journey there is to give the team there a call on 0800 849 6500 to discuss your individual requirements. The Palace State Rooms are accessible on your scooter, and you can access them via a lift. There is also Blue Badge parking in the Palace’s main car park close to the Palace Courtyard entrance, and while is a little distance from the house it is a firm surface for your scooter.
Visit a college
Of course, Oxford is most well-known for its world-famous university. The university dominates the town, and so it is relatively easy to get a flavour of the place, but it is definitely worth paying one of its colleges a visit too if you can. Christ Church college for example has been around for around 500 years and it counts author Lewis Carroll as an alumnus. These are all old buildings of course, and so some of the college isn’t accessible, but much of it is. Scooter users can access the main gate (Tom Gate) beneath Tom Tower and explore the north and south sides of Tom Quad and the Cathedral (go in by the West Door). It is also possible to visit the historic Ante Hall.
Enjoy the peace of Christ Church meadow
Staying with Christ Church for a moment, we also recommend you pay a visit to the Christ Church meadow. This beautiful stretch of open land in the heart of the city is accessible to everyone and has a rich history of its own. It was once the scene of conflict in the Civil War, but is now home to a peaceful herd of cows. If you would like to visit the meadow, then you can access it via a ramp in the War Memorial Garden.
Enjoy a bite to eat
As you’d expect from a city that welcomes millions of visitors every year, Oxford is packed with great places to eat: and many of them are fully accessible. For a quick cheap eat we recommend Atomic Burger. It sells exactly what you’d expect, in a fun, quirky and fully accessible environment that the family will love.
For something a little more upmarket then the Cherwell Boathouse is hard to beat. The food is delicious (we recommend the slow braised venison with mash, chestnut purée and gorgeous macerated figs) and the restaurant is accessible, although we suggest giving them a call before you visit to discuss your individual requirements. There is an accessible toilet too. The Cherwell Boathouse also has 80 punts of its own to hire out, so if you’d like to try this traditional Oxford pastime of a leisurely sail yourself, just ask the team! They cost £17 per hour or £85 for a full day.
Getting to Oxford
If you’re flying from within the UK or the rest of the world, then there is a regular, 24-hour coach service from Heathrow and Gatwick. Stansted is a little trickier as you’ll need to get the Stansted Express train service to Liverpool Street and then the tube to either Paddington or Marylebone for direct trains to Oxford. There are also direct train services from Birmingham New Street, as well as routes in via Reading and Didcot.
If you’re coming by car, then we recommend you use one of the five Park and Ride sites on the edge of town as parking in town can be tricky. These are Oxford Parkway (north), Pear Tree (north), Redbridge (south), Thornhill (east) and Seacourt (west). If you want to bring your car into the city centre, it can be expensive, but a good place to plan your journey is Oxford council’s Blue Badge parking site here. To get to Oxford, you’ll need to take the M25 to the M40, before leaving at the A40 to head towards the city.
About Quingo Scooters
The Quingo Scooter range features six models to suit your needs and budget. New models are now available from just £22/week on our new contract hire scheme which includes all servicing and maintenance, Insurance, Roadside Recovery, Call Outs and Consumables including Batteries and Tyres. For more information on this or the latest Quingo Scooter range, please visit our website. Alternatively, if you have any Service questions you can always contact us or call customer services on 01582 430 900.
Keep up to date with the latest mobility scooter advice, tips and interesting places to visit on the Quingo Scooter Users Blog. Connect with Quingo and keep up to date with all our latest news on Facebook and Twitter.
All Quingo Personal Mobility Vehicles are provided by Forever Active, the UK’s exclusive distributor. Forever Active is a trading name of Advantage Marketing Corporation Limited (AMC). AMC Limited is an appointed representative of First Senior Insurance Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. First Senior Insurance Services FSA Register number is 308478.