Bicester

Bicester is well located geographically, sitting at an important crossroads where the London/Birmingham transport axis of the M40 crosses the Oxford/Cambridge ‘Knowledge Highway’.

Bicester is a Historic Market Town in the Cherwell District of the county of Oxfordshire, situated approximately 12 miles North-East of Oxford. Bicester has a traceable history of over a thousand years and was recorded in the Domesday Book.

Bicester goes back to Saxon times – In 1182 an Augustinian priory was founded here and existed until its dissolution in 1538 – however today Bicester is probably best known for its modern “Bicester Village” shopping outlet with up to 100 stores selling international and British luxury goods such as Mulberry, Dunhill, Wedgwood, and Hugo Boss, and “Garth Park” which hosts a programme of outdoor events throughout the summer including a Proms Night and Jazz Festival.

Places of historic interest include the Market Square surrounded by a number of 16th Century buildings and St Edburg’s Parish Church. Bicester’s Market Square – which is actually a triangle – forms part of the town’s historic town trail and is available from the Visitor Centre. Guided walks of the town are available during the summer (June – August).

Bicester is part of the North Oxfordshire countryside with distinctive honey coloured stone building villages and picturesque scenery, making it ideal for walking, cycling or exploring by car. Ideal base for exploring Banbury, Oxford, The Cotswolds, Stratford Upon Avon, Milton Keynes, Warwick and Leamington Spa – all within an hours drive.

The shopping offered at Bicester is probably best known for the designer outlet at Bicester Village, attracting over 4m visitors a year from all over the world. Bicester Village is amongst the top tourist attractions in the UK.

The town centre will be redeveloped during 2012 – 2013, adding even more variety to the retail experience, increasing the evening economy with a multi screen cinema, and bar and café culture around pedestrianised plazas. Monthly Farmers Markets, a weekly general market and frequent continental and other specialist markets add even more texture to the shopping experience in Bicester.

The town of Bicester is currently expanding with the Kingsmere development having been approved and started that will incorporate 1,585 homes, schools, health centre, hotel and public open spaces.

Transport

Time to Oxford / Distance Season Ticket Time to London / Distance Season Ticket
Rail – Bicester North 48 minutes £3,780
Rail – Bicester Centre 26 minutes £672
Car 13.4 miles 65.6 miles

Rent Guide

Property Type Price
One Bed Flat  £550 to £650
Two Bed Flat £725 to £760
Three Bed Semi £775 to £895
Four Bed Detached House £995 to £1,500

Aylesbury

Aylesbury was originally built on a low limestone hill, surrounded by the flood plain of the river Thame, and close to the chalk hills of the Chilterns. Aylesbury is at the heart of a road network which radiates from the town in all directions, the primary of these being the A41, which was formerly the major Roman road Akeman Street, which connected Bath to St Albans.

Aylesbury was founded in Saxon times and then in 1529 was declared the county town of Buckinghamshire by Henry VIII. At this time Aylesbury Manor was owned by Ann Boleyn’s father Thomas.

The town expanded dramatically during the 1960’s and early 1970’s to accommodate the overspill from London.

The most picturesque part of the town is in the mostly Georgian area around the church, which includes the splendidly refurbished County Museum and Art Gallery, and the new Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery.

The main shopping centres are in Friars Square, Hale Leys and the High Street. Dominating the centre of the town is the 12-storey tower of the County Council offices, built in the 1960s and admired by some for its imaginative use of concrete.

The town centre is the Market Square, with its County Hall of 1740 and, hidden behind shops, the magnificent frontage of the King’s Head Hotel. Dating from about 1450, its windows include stained-glass commemorating the marriage of Henry VI to Margaret of Anjou in 1445, who are said to have stayed there on their honeymoon.

The Market Square also contains statues of Benjamin Disraeli and John Hampden. Near to the church is Prebendal House, once the home of the radical John Wilkes, MP for Aylesbury from 1757-1760.

Aylesbury is undergoing substantial improvements with the new Aylesbury Vale Parkway Station having opened in 2009. New houses are being constructed on the 187 hectare Berryfields site which will accommodate a total of 3,000 homes. The Waterside Theatre, the first new theatre to open in Britain for a decade, opened last year. The theatre was the first part of the Waterside scheme, which will include a Debenham’s department store and a further 30 shops. In addition, a 30,900 sq ft Waitrose foodstore will be located nearby.

Transport

Time to London / Distance Season Ticket
Rail – Aylesbury Town  54 minutes  £3,340
Rail – Aylesbury Vale Parkway 59 minutes £3,600
Car 43 miles

Rent Guide

Property Type Price
One Bed Flat £500 to £650
Two Bed Flat £600 to £800
Three Bed Semi £750 to £995
Four Bed Detached House £900 to £1,750

the property experts