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Social Outcomes Conference 2024
Information for in-person participants

Overview

Secure your opportunity to join us in-person this September at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford, through buying your ticket! This is a great opportunity to connect with others in the field and meet some of our fantastic speakers. On this page, you'll find information on travelling to Oxford, accommodation and other useful tips.

For delegates traveling to the UK, we suggest arriving on Wednesday, 4 September and departing on Saturday 7 September. Please note:

  • Registration to receive your delegate badge opens on Thursday 8:15am at the Blavatnik School of Government. We offer the optional activity on Wednesday evening of our annual Pub Quiz, a great opportunity to network and meet/re-connect with our team and fellow delegates.

  • We encourage you to remain in Oxford through Friday evening, September 6 to participate in the Friday night festivities. The Closing Remarks are at 17:30 which will then flow into our Closing Celebration Gala.

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

By Air

If you are flying into the UK, the most convenient airports are the London airports and Birmingham airport.

The nearest international airport to Oxford is London Heathrow (LHR) and is approximately a 90 minute ride. Gatwick Airport (LGW) is approximately a 2–2.5 hour ride.

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, you can take the Stansted Express train service to London Liverpool Street and then take the underground to either Paddington or Marylebone for direct trains to Oxford. Alternatively, there is a National Express 737 coach service.

From Birmingham airport, you can get a direct 1-hour train to Oxford.

By Train

From London, the train is the most efficient mode of transportation. A typical one-way ticket is approximately £30 and takes about 60 minutes. The Oxford Railway Station is a 5-10 minute walk from the centre of Oxford and 14 minute walk from the Blavatnik School of Government, based in Jericho.

Direct services run from London Paddington and London Marylebone. Other services operate from the north via Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International; from the south via Reading; and from the west via Didcot or Reading. You can book your train on Trainline.

By Bus 

Directs coaches also run from most main cities in the south and north of the UK. We recommend using National Express to book your coach. There is also a 24-hour coach that runs very frequently between Oxford and London called the Oxford Tube.

By Taxi

Uber does not run in Oxford so we recommend using these local taxi services:

The fare for a taxi from Heathrow Airport (LHR) is approximately £160. Cars booked in advance or Uber fares are approximately £70-£120 and take about 60 minutes.

By Hired Car

Parking

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

If you wish to park in the centre, you can try one of these Oxford car parks.

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Address: Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford, Walton Street, Oxford OX2 6AH

The building is opposite the Oxford University Press.

View the Blavatnik School of Government in a larger map.

Participants may find it challenging to book affordable accommodation in Oxford for this year’s Social Outcomes Conference if left too late. We encourage you to book as early as possible as lodging in Oxford quickly fills up.

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

Please note there is no official Conference hotel.

Five star hotels 

  • The Old Bank Hotel is located on the High Street, close to Christ Church Meadows and the Radcliffe Camera.
  • The Randolph Hotel is located on Beaumont Street, just a five minute-walk from the Blavatnik School of Government and opposite the Ashmolean Museum.
  • The Old Parsonage is located on Banbury Road, just five minutes away from the Blavatnik School of Government and just around the corner from the University Parks.

Other hotels

  • St Margarets Hotel is a stylish Victorian hotel situated in leafy north Oxford, just a 15 minute-walk away from the Blavatnik School Of Government.
  • The Cotswold Lodge Hotel is a 4-star family run hotel in Victorian building 15-minute walk away from the Blavatnik School of Government.

University accomodation

Lower cost accommodations may be available at local colleges. Please note some of the college dorm room options include an ensuite bathroom and Wi-Fi while others do not. Rooms at the colleges typically become available 2-3 months in advance. Refer to their websites for more information and booking instructions.

Bed and Breakfasts

  • Holywell Street Bed and Breakfast is located in the gorgeous historic Holywell Street, facing New College and a five minute walk from most historic spots in Oxford. It takes roughly 15 minutes to walk to the Blavatnik School of Government.

Useful booking sites

Hotels:

Home/Apartment:

Accessible accommodations (e.g. wheelchair access):

The city centre has many restaurants, cafés and traditional pubs. You can find many in the historic centre of Oxford, as well as down Walton Street (where the Blavatnik School of Government is located), and East Oxford down Cowley Road.

Traditional pubs

  • Just around the corner from the School are The Royal Oak, The Bookbinders and The Victoria Arms.
  • More centrally, you can also have a drink or try traditional English food at the Turf Tavern, The Bear Inn, The Kings Arms, The White Horse and The Chequers.
  • The White Rabbit does great pizza and the Old Tom offers Thai food.
  • If it's a lovely sunny day, we'd recommend The Perch, which is located across Port Meadow, a gorgeous meadow ten minutes away from the School.

Independent Cafés and coffee shops

  • Close to the School is Common Ground, Gails, Opera Café and many more.
  • More into the centre are The Handle Bar (upstairs floor of a converted bike shop), The Missing Bean (located between some of the oldest Oxford college), Society (along with Missing Bean, this is the place for coffee-lovers), and Vaults and Garden (based inside the historic University Church of St Mary).
  • You can also explore the Covered Market, which houses a range of local traders and cafés.

Oxford Colleges

With beautiful Oxford colleges situated all in and around the city centre, it is well worth visiting a few of them. While some colleges are closed to the public, quite a few of them are open to visitors either for free or for a small fee. You can find updated information on opening times and prices of each of the colleges here.

The most popular colleges to visit are Magdalen College (includes a deer park), New College (part of the old Oxford city wall and location for Harry Potter filming), Exeter College (fantastic garden view of Radcliffe square and impressive chapel), Balliol College, and Christ Church College.

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 (usually Tuesday-Sunday) and are free to enter. 

Art lovers will also enjoy Modern Art Oxford, a gallery that displays modern and contemporary visual art, and book lovers will certainly enjoy the Weston Library, which hosts incredible exhibitions of some of the greatest works in history.