Country houses for sale

Three marvellous homes in the idyllic city of Oxford

Property writer Arabella Youens is naming her favourite small cities in Britain – under the microscope in this piece is Oxford.

Arabella started off on Thursday looking at York – you can read that article here. Today, she looks at Oxford – a bustling and stimulating city which offers all manner of attractions. Some, such as the university and theatres, are obvious. Others are a little more offbeat: would you believe that some people choose this place in order to make sure that they can get a decent game of Bridge.

‘Of course, bridge doesn’t top the wish list of every downsizing client that we advise,’ says Adam Buxton of Middleton Advisors, which we’d imagine will be a contender for understatement of the year come the end of 2019. But apparently it does happen.

‘We have had occasions when we’ve been instructed to find a property near a competitive club,’ adds Adam. And true enough, type ‘bridge clubs Oxford’ into Google and any doubts about being able to join a regular four will be swiftly assuaged. Country Life’s bridge contributor Andrew Robson has an outpost of his popular school there.

Apart from the cultural opportunities afforded by living within one of the world’s great seats of academia, Oxford also offers what William Kirkland of Knight Frank describes as ‘a gentle transition to city life for those arriving from the countryside’.

The down side? Prices. ‘Oxford’s high property prices are well known throughout the country,’ says Giles Lawton of Strutt & Parker. A budget of £600,000 will buy a two-bedroom flat or small house in north Oxford such as this one for sale via Wallers.

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Anything even a little larger or fancier can cost substantially more. Case in point is this three-bedroom apartment on the top floor of a new-build in north Oxford with off-street parking and communal gardens that comes in at £995,000 via Knight Frank.

For those with the income to support something a little larger — and don’t mind taking on a bit of a project —  this £1.6 million property in the suburb of Headington could be quite incredible, with five bedrooms, an enormous garden and a swimming pool.

And here’s that pool:

How Oxford University’s buildings evolved, and how its ‘chiefest wonder’ came into being

'Where is the University?' is the most common tourist's question in Oxford. The answer is rather complicated.