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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.
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.
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.
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.
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: