Located in the Cherwell district of northeastern Oxfordshire, Bicester is a historic civil parish market town in England. This 16th-century market town is just an hour drive or train journey away from London and is one of the fastest-growing cities of Oxfordshire. Bicester is a planned garden city and has plenty of gorgeous greenery around the town. Bicester Village is extremely popular. People from all around the world come to Bicester to shop at Bicester Village. However, Bicester offers much more than just retail therapy. The picturesque town showcases the stunning beauty of the North Oxfordshire countryside. Bicester also has a magnificent architecture for you to swoon over. This historic town is perfect for you to experience the authentic English culture while shopping your heart out. Here are the 15 best things to do in Bicester.
Retail Therapy at Bicester Village
Located on the outskirts of Bicester, Bicester Village is an outlet shopping centre. The world's most exclusive shopping street was opened in 1995 and has been a very renowned spot for shopping for locals as well as tourists. People from all over the world come to Bicester Village to shop at more than 160 boutiques of leading brands. Bicester Village houses luxurious international brands like Alexander McQueen, BOSS, Mulberry, Yves Saint Laurent, MCM and Polo Ralph Lauren. The outlets offer up to 60 per cent discount on all the leading brands all year round. Bicester Village. The shopping destination also offers VIP services such as hands-free shopping and luxury chauffeur services to make your shopping experience more satisfying and pleasant. Not only shopping outlets, but Bicester Village also has restaurants, cafes, pop-ups, and art exhibitions where you can refresh yourself after shopping your heart out.
Shop At Bicester Avenue
Bicester Avenue is a shopping centre in Bicester. It was opened in 2007 and is famous for its home and garden products. It is located just a walking distance away from Bicester Village. Blue Diamond garden centre and World of Water tropical fish shop are the most famous shops in the outlet. Bicester Avenue also has a play area for children to ensure hassle-free shopping.
Stop At The Magnificent St Edburg's Church
Located in Bicester's medieval centre in Church Street, St Edburg's is a Grade I listed church dating back to 850 AD. The church was drastically remade in the 12th century by Normans. It is a very busy and well-attended church. The church has a tranquil environment coupled with stunning architecture and beautiful stained glass windows. Holy Communion at 8 am 9:30 am and 11 am on Sunday, and mid-week Holy Communion at 10 am every Wednesday. St Edburg's is a haven where you can appreciate peace and tranquillity and engage in quiet contemplation.
Explore The Market Square
Market Square has been Bicester's commercial heart since 1239. This picturesque site of market houses 16th and 17th-century buildings built by the wealthy residents of Bicester. The most impressive building of the Market Square is the quoined tower that was built in the 17th century. The charming Market Square has hotels, restaurants, and bars for you to explore.
Visit The Stunning Waddesdon Manor
Just a 25 minutes drive away, Waddesdon Manor is a country house in Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire. The estate has the architecture of the Neo-Renaissance style of a French Château and was built circa the 19th century. The last owner of the manor, James de Rothschild, left the manor to the National Trust. This manor is one of the most visited properties of the National Trust and has won the award for the 'Large Visitor Attraction',. The manor has incredible gardens and eye-catching parterres along with rococo style Aviary. You can also explore the trails around the garden and buy wines, gifts, and collectables from the Manor Shop. The premises also has a restaurant where you can eat cakes and other treats to satisfy your hunger.
Picnicking At Rousham House
Located in Rousham in Oxfordshire, Rousham House is a country house and was first built in 1635 and then remodelled in the 18th century by William Kent. The country house is an excellent example of free Gothic style architecture. The house is open only by appointment; however, you can visit the renowned gardens of the house that are open to the public every day. The environment of the house is very calm and peaceful with greenery surrounding you. You can also notice a lot of historical details in the estate such as statues, the seven-arched Praenest, Venus's Vale, and the Temple of the Mill. It is a perfect place to visit with your friends or family and enjoy a picnic on a beautiful sunny day amidst the beautiful garden and parterres.
Treat Your Eyes At The Lovely Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is just 14 miles away from Bicester. It is a magnificent country house in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. It was named after the 1704 Battle of Blenheim. The palace was built between 1705 and 1722 is one of the largest country houses in England. The palace is renowned as the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill. The palace has stunning English Baroque Architecture and a beautiful romantic park landscaped by Lancelot "Capability" Brown. The expansive landscape and the formal gardens of the Blenheim Palace are Grade I listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens and a treat to eyes. The palace is breathtakingly beautiful to look at and is a perfect example of an 18th-century prince's residence. This bewitching palace is a must for you to see the old English charm and architecture with glorious views of the gardens.
Pay A Visit To Boarstall Tower
Boarstall Tower is a moated gatehouse built in circa 14th century by John de Haudlo. The tower is listed Grade I. The surrounding gardens are beautiful. It is opened only on Wednesdays. The site has volunteer guides who tell the history spanning over a thousand years behind the Boarstall Tower. It is perfect for walking around in greenery and for appreciating the stunning architecture of the gatehouse.
Watch Birds At RSPB Otmoor
Located only some distance away in Oxfordshire, RSPB Outmoor is a nature reserve and a haven for wildlife. It was established in 1997 and covers around 1000 acres of area. The reserve restored large areas of marshland that were formerly farmlands. RSPB Outmoor provides house to several wildlife species. The star species of the sanctuary are Lapwing, Redshank, Snipe, Marsh Harrier, and Golden plover. The site also has many rare plant species like dyer's greenweed, fen violet, heath spotted orchid, downy-fruited sedge, and green-winged orchid. RSPB Outmoor is perfect for spending some time in nature and enjoying birdwatching.
Book Yourself A Tee Time At Bicester Golf Club
Bicester Golf Club is an 18 hole golf course in the beautiful countryside and covers an area of 134 acres. The golf club has 11 picturesque lakes and bunkers. You can book your tee time in advance. The golf club is attached to the Bicester Hotel, but you do not need to be a guest or a member to play. You can best enjoy golfing here on a warm and sunny day while appreciating the idyllic scenery of the Bicester Golf Club.
Spot Vintage Cars At Bicester Heritage
UK's first business campus dedicated to historic motoring and aviation, Bicester Heritage houses more than 40 specialist businesses. It was a former WW2 RAF Bomber Training Station. It has also been featured in blockbuster movies like The Imitation Game and Darkest Hour due to its time-warping atmosphere. Bicester Heritage hosts many events, and it is known nationwide for its event Sunday Scramble. It is held in October and attracts hundreds of classic vehicles. You can see cars of luxurious and renowned brands such as Bugatti, Porsche, Astin Martin, Ford, Lancia and Alfa Romeo. You bring you vintage car to add to display as well. You can even fly in a historic aeroplane and catch the view of the site full of classic vehicles from the sky.
Where To Have A Drink In Bicester?
After a long day of exploring and shopping in Bicester, you can quench your thirst at the English pubs that the town is famous for. Some of the famous pubs of Bicester are The Acorn, The Bure Farm, and The Penny Black. You can have incredible drinks and typical comfort pub food at these pubs.
Historic Town Trail
The best way to explore the town of Bicester is by taking a self-guided tour by downloading the Historic Town Trail designed by the enthusiasts from Bicester Local History Society, and it provides lesser known interesting facts about the town. The guide also contains historical information about the city and map of the city with 18 stops around points of interests. The Historic Town Trail lets you discover all the famous cultural and historical places around Bicester.
Where To Eat Delectable Food?
Bicester has a fantastic food scene with numerous amazing restaurants located throughout the town. The town offers an amazingly wide variety of cuisines such as Asian, Turkish, Indian, Italian, and many more along with the quintessential English cuisine. All the delightful and wholesome meals are made from locally sourced ingredients. Some of the renowned eateries in the town are Café Wolseley, Shan Shui, Farmshop Restaurant & Café, Shakil's, Denis, Maitre Choux, and Simply Noodles.
Pay a Visit to Garth House & Garth Park
The former hunting lodge, Garth House, was built in the 1840s and is owned and managed by Bicester Town Council. Today it is set in 9 acres with greenery and gardens all around. Garth Park is an award-winning park and is one of the best parks in all of Bicester. The park's entrance boasts splendid wrought iron gates. The park has beautiful gardens, a fabulous traditional bandstand, skateboard park, children's play area and a fantastic cafe where you enjoy delightful and wholesome treats.
Take A Stroll At Island Pond Wood
Island Pond Wood is a Woodland Trust reserve on Bicester's eastern fringe. It is a small location of about 4 hectares, and it was planted in 1999. It is perfect taking a stroll or walking your pooch in nature. It is beautiful in all seasons and is accessible by wheelchair. The site also has a pond that locals use for fishing.
Where To Stay in Bicester
The accommodation is not going to be the problem when you're in Bicester. The city has a wide range of hotels, from budget abiding hotels to luxurious hotels. Some of the best hotels in the town are The King's Arms Hotel & Restaurant, Bicester Hotel Golf and Spa, Jersey Arms, Magnolia Park Hotel, Golf and Country Club, The Kings Arms Hotel and Restaurant, and Old Parsonage Hotel. These hotels provide several amenities to ensure your comfort and needs are being taken care of during your stay in this beautiful town.
The quaint and lovely town Bicester is full of culture and history. The city has is full of things that you can do and explore. The historic town has it all, be it museums, vintage cars, natural reserves, world-famous shopping outlets, and more such things. The architecture of the city is worth swooning over. The traditional and beautiful town is definitely going to amaze you with its quintessential English life and the beguiling countryside. What are you waiting for? Visit this magnificent picturesque town to experience the classic English lifestyle. Do not forget to tell us your favourite thing from the list and make sure to do all these things when you visit Bicester.