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Social Outcomes Conference 2021
Information for in-person participants


In addition to streaming all of our sessions online, this year we offered small number of in-person places to those wishing to attend the conference at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford. After a year of restrictions, this was an opportunity to finally reconvene, catch up with old colleagues, and form new networks. 

We took great precautionary measures to ensure that this event was covid-free, following the government’s sector level guidance.

To ensure that both online and offline audiences were able to enjoy meaningful engagement, each session included an in-person and online room caption who helped manage the discussion and answer any queries.

Tickets were subject to UK COVID-19 restrictions and were fully refundable. In this page, you'll find information on COVID-19 considerations, travel to Oxford, accommodation in Oxford and other useful advice. 

In-person attendance will be subject to UK Government restrictions. We are taking steps to mitigate the risk of transmission in line with the government’s sector level guidance.

Participants attending SOC21 will be expected to adhere to the following guidance: 

  • Provide proof of Covid status, which can be shown through one of the following:
  1. Proof of full/ double Covid-19 vaccination
  2. Registration of a negative Lateral Flow Device test (LFD test) taken in the last 48 hours
  3. Proof of natural immunity via a positive PCR test taken within 180 days of the event, but following the 10-day isolation period
  • Maintain social distancing – assume 1 metre within University buildings 
  • Wear a face covering (As of 6 September, face coverings will no longer be mandatory but as part of our ongoing health measures to help keep our staff, students, visitors and the wider community safe – and in consideration of each other – we encourage the wearing of face coverings inside University buildings)
  • Regularly wash your hands 
  • If you develop COVID-19 symptoms during the conference, please self-isolate and notify the NHS track & trace app.

Participants joining from abroad 

We strongly encourage international participants traveling to the UK to attend the conference to monitor the travel requirements of the UK Government and of the country you will travel back to.  

We will make every effort to update this page as requirements evolve, but please do not hesitate to contact if you have any questions.  

Last updated 26 August 2021 

Oxford is approximately 60 miles (90 km) northwest of London and has excellent road and national rail links. There are regular coach services to the London airports, and direct train services to major UK cities including London and Birmingham. 

Many streets in central Oxford are closed to traffic and parking is severely limited. If considering arriving by car, visitors are encouraged to use the Park and Ride bus services which operate between the city centre and parking areas on the outskirts of the city. For more detailed information, please see the University of Oxford website page on how to get to Oxford University

Airports in the UK  

If you will be flying to the UK from abroad, the most convenient airports for getting to Oxford are London Heathrow and Gatwick. 

Heathrow terminal maps can be found by visiting here.   

Gatwick terminal maps can be found by visiting here.


There are many ways in which you travel to/from Oxford & the airport. 

From London Heathrow and Gatwick airports, you can take the Airline coach service, which runs 24 hours a day. You can also get to Oxford by train from Heathrow via London, and from Gatwick via Reading. 

From London Stansted airport, take the Stansted Express train service to Liverpool Street and then take the tube to either Paddington or Marylebone for direct trains to Oxford.  

Taxi service 

Royal Cars 

CCB Cars 

The Airline Bus   

The Airline Bus is an economical and quick way to travel directly to Oxford, if arriving at Heathrow or Gatwick Airports. 

  • The bus departs every 30 minutes during peak daytime hours and once an hour at off-peak times. The bus has charging points for your phone/laptop, toilets, and free WiFi internet access.  

The journey time to Oxford is approximately 1 hour 40 minutes (Heathrow) and 2 hours (Gatwick). The cost of a ticket is £30 return (from Heathrow) and £37 return (from Gatwick) and you can pay in cash (£, €, US $) on the bus. 

Heathrow-specific instructions to find the bus: 

Arriving at Terminal 1, 2 or 3: follow the signs in the arrival hall to the Central Bus Station, then take the lift up to the bus station and you will arrive in the ticket hall.  

Arriving at Terminal 4: follow the signs in the arrival hall to ‘the trains’ and take the free Heathrow Express train service to ‘Heathrow Central’; a three-minute train journey. Follow the signs to the Central Bus Station, take the lift up to the bus station and you will arrive in the ticket hall. 

Arriving at Terminal 5: the bus service to Oxford also departs from Terminal 5 next to the arrival area (stop 10), so you do not need to go to the Central Bus Station.   

Gatwick-specific instructions to find the bus: 

Arriving at Gatwick North Terminal: the bus leaves from Lower Forecourt stands 4 and 5. 

Arriving at Gatwick South Terminal: the bus leaves from Lower Forecourt stands 1 and 2. 

For more information, please visit the airline website.


There are direct trains to Oxford, at least every hour, from London Paddington train station.  If you arrive at St Pancras on the Eurostar, you will need to get a tube train (the underground) to Paddington or you can also hail a taxi. It is about a 20-minute journey on the underground.  

To book a ticket from Paddington to Oxford, or if you need train timetables, visit the national rail website and check out the London underground’s website here.

There are also direct trains to Oxford from London Marylebone train station. Trains leave London Marylebone twice an hour, with journey times from just over an hour. 

Participants may find it challenging to book affordable accommodation in Oxford for this year’s Social Outcomes Conference. We encourage you to book as early as possible, and please do review booking cancelation policies.   

There is a wide range of accommodation options available in Oxford. A comprehensive list of places to stay in Oxford can be accessed here

Hotels in Oxford  

Please see below a list of some of the hotels available in Oxford. All of them are located within walking distance to the Blavatnik School of Government. 

Five star hotels 

The Old Bank Hotel 

Conveniently located on the High Street, close to Christ Church Meadows and the Radcliffe Camera. For more information or to book a room, please click here.

Four star hotels 

The Old Parsonage 

The Old Parsonage is located five minutes away from the Blavatnik School of Government. For more information or to book a room, please click here.

Mercure Oxford Eastgate 

Recently refurbished, this hotel is conveniently located on the High Street. For more information or to book a room, please click here.

The Buttery Hotel 

The Buttery is situated in the heart of Oxford on historic Broad Street. For more information or to book a room, please click here.

Boutique hotels 

Vanbrugh House Hotel 

This boutique hotel is situated in the city centre of Oxford, within walking distance to the Blavatnik School of Government. For more information or to book a room, please click here.

Colleges in Oxford 

Alternatively, you may wish to stay in one of the Oxford colleges. The colleges listed below are within close proximity to the Blavatnik School of Government: 

Worcester College 

Offering clean and comfortable accommodation in the heart of the city, and situated near the coach and train station. For more information or to book a room, please click here.

Sommerville College 

Somerville College offers well-appointed double & single en-suite accommodation as well as standard accommodation with shared facilities to suit most budgets. All bedrooms are provided with bed linen, towels, toiletries and hospitality trays and provide a clean and comfortable place to stay. For more information or to book a room, please click here.

St Antony’s College 

19th century St Antony's College is located in north Oxford, just 10 minutes from the Blavatnik School of Government. For more information or to book a room, please click here.

St Hugh’s College 

St Hugh’s College offers bed and breakfast accommodation amid listed buildings and beautiful gardens. For more information or to book a room, please click here.

St Anne’s College 

Clean, comfortable accommodation in this 20th century Oxford College, close to the city centre. For more information or to book a room, please click here.

Restaurant, bars and cafés

The city centre has many restaurants but two other areas of particular note are Walton Street in Jericho (where the Blavatnik School of Government is located), and the Cowley Road in East Oxford. Pubs and bars can also be found throughout the city centre. 

Reviews of many of Oxford’s restaurants can be found on the TripAdvisor website

Museums and galleries

Oxford University museums offer world-class collections. The recently extended Ashmolean Museum houses art and archaeology collections spanning four millennia. There is also a rooftop restaurant with lovely views over the city. 

The Oxford University Museum of Natural History has an extensive collection of zoological and geological specimens and the Pitt Rivers Museum, accessed through the Museum of Natural History, contains cultural artefacts from all over the world. These and many of Oxford’s other museums are open daily (Tuesday-Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays) and are free to enter. 

Art lovers will also enjoy Modern Art Oxford, a gallery that displays modern and contemporary visual art. Exhibitions are constantly changing so see its website for up-to-date information. 

Other useful information 

To access further practical information about Oxford, you can download the Oxford University’s Official Guide app. This provides up to date information about public transport in Oxford, events and exhibitions in Oxford, local news and weather, nearby places of interest, walking tours of Oxford and much more.

Our address

Blavatnik School of Government

120 Walton St



Emergency contact information

Leigh Crowley 


Office Telephone: +44 1865 614330