Despite its location on the western outskirts of Oxford, Botley hasn’t always been the sought-after suburb it is today. For much of its history – which can be traced back to the Saxon era – this village was little more than an agricultural area. Due to poor transportation links, it was often bypassed by visitors in favour of other nearby villages such as Binsey.
Thankfully that’s since changed, with nearby A roads linking to both the M40 and M4 corridor, as well as Oxford city centre. Residents can now enjoy the convenience of the city’s attractions while living among the splendour of Oxfordshire countryside.
Although Botley remains a largely residential area, local shopping facilities can be found at Elms Parade, which is home to a selection of high street retailers sat alongside local businesses. While this provides all your everyday necessities, nearby Oxford is only a stone’s throw away. This picturesque city offers it all, from historic sights to family-friendly activities and world-class dining.
Given the ongoing housing developments coupled with the area’s outstanding schools, Botley is continuing to attract both families, the young professionals and retirees.
Transportation in Botley
Botley is situated only seven minutes’ drive from Oxford railway station. Mainline services include frequent trains to London Paddington, as well as the CrossCountry route to Manchester Piccadilly and Newcastle via Birmingham.
Alternatively, the recently developed Oxford Parkway railway station offers state-of-the-art facilities with a fast train service to London Marylebone. This takes a little over one hour, with services running twice per hour during peak times.
For the commuter travelling by car, the nearby M40 provides access to the north and south. The M4 corridor is also within easy reach, linking to Bristol and the west. Finally, travel to Heathrow Airport takes as little as 53 minutes via the M40.
Primary and secondary schools in Botley
As well as the local schools, many of which are judged ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, Botley enjoys convenient access to the esteemed schools of Oxford.
At primary level, Botley School offers excellent facilities catering for children aged three to 11. Oxford’s secondary schools are among the most sought-after in the country. They include the famed St Edward’s – an independent day and boarding school. Abingdon School is also located nearby and often ranks as one of the best schools in Oxfordshire. It regularly tops league tables based on GCSE and A level results.
For those undertaking postgraduate and undergraduate studies, the City of Oxford College offers a huge array of courses alongside industry apprenticeships. The 150-year-old Oxford Brookes University is another great option, not to mention the University of Oxford for those fortunate enough to be accepted.
History of Botley
Remains of a settlement which dates back to the Iron Age have been found in and around Botley. Although little is known of this period, it’s thought that Botley was one of several Saxon settlements in the area. Clearly its proximity to the Thames floodplain was seen as an advantage, which continued into the medieval ages as it prospered as an agricultural area.
Botley may be close to Oxford, but for much of its history this suburb remained cut-off from the city centre. Although the building of a causeway in 1530 connected through to Oxford, it wasn’t until the Botley Road redevelopment of 1924 that convenient access was opened up between the two locations.
Before this time, Botley was a remote agricultural village, although it was known for its abundance of public houses. As such, it became a popular drinking spot where local farmers showcased their home-brewed beer.
As Oxford began to expand in the 20th century, so did Botley and many of the surrounding villages. Major projects established new housing and despite Old Botley retaining its village charm, facilities brought modern convenience to a newly pedestrianised area.
Things to do in Botley
With a prime location next to one of the UK’s most historic cities, Botley is close to all the major attractions of Oxford. Some of the highlights in both Botley and Oxford city centre include:
West Way Shopping Centre
Museum of Oxford
Hinksey Outdoor Pool
Brookes Sport Botley
ODEON Cinema Oxford
How to get to Botley
By road: For those travelling from the north, Botley can be reached from Junction 9 of the M40. Continue onto the A34 and follow signs for the A420, and then Botley town centre. Alternatively, leave the M4 at Junction 15, following signs for the A419 and then A420.
By rail: The nearby train stations of Oxford and Oxford Parkway offer frequent services to London and all major cities across the UK.
Below, you’ll find a selection of links to organisations and businesses serving the local area.
Our Botley office opened in 1984 and can be found in West Way Shopping Centre, in the heart of the historic village. With ample free parking available next to the shopping centre, it is perfectly located for buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants looking to find out more about property values in Botley.
Our Botley team is on hand six days a week – including late evenings from Monday to Friday – to answer any questions on the local property market.
The wide range of sales and letting services available at our Botley branch include free, no-obligation market appraisals, an extensive portfolio of residential and commercial properties, land and new homes, property management support, student lettings, and expert investment and market advice.
As well as Botley, we also cover the villages of Cumnor, Kennington, Appleton, Eynsham and Farmoor.