Visitors paying a big price to stay among dreaming spires

Oxford Visitor Information Centre customer services assistant manager Kamil Paneque gives advice to Laurent Meste from France. Picture: OX69460 Marc West

Oxford Visitor Information Centre customer services assistant manager Kamil Paneque gives advice to Laurent Meste from France. Picture: OX69460 Marc West Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Rose Hill, Iffley and Littlemore. Please call me on (01865) 425422

OXFORD is the fourth most expensive British city for a weekend away, according to a recent survey. But it is still possible to bag a bargain.

The findings, by travel website TripAdvisor, claimed only London, Cambridge and Edinburgh would cost a couple more than the £256 they would pay on a visit to Oxford.

But the Oxford Mail discovered it is possible to stay in a four-star hotel and enjoy a cocktail, meal out and short taxi ride for just £166 – only £12 more than the survey’s cheapest city, Sheffield.

According to Visit Britain, 629,000 domestic tourists stayed at least one night in Oxford between 2011 and 2013.

Visit Oxfordshire marketing manager Ulrike Werner said there were plenty of ways for them to cut costs.

She said: “There are some free attractions in Oxford, for example the Ashmolean Museum, which we recommend, and we would definitely recommend to visit one or two of the colleges.

“Punting is something which people really enjoy as well, and you don’t need to hire a chauffeur, you can do it by yourselves to save money.”

Laurent Meste, 28, visited Oxford from France last week to see where his literary hero, JRR Tolkien, lived and worked.

He said: “Generally it wasn’t expensive, and it’s a beautiful and clean city.

“It was a shame that you couldn’t go into the towers for free, so I only went to St Michael at the North Gate, but I loved visiting all of the places to do with Tolkien.”

The Randolph Hotel’s duty manager George Schwalm said being flexible was a good way to keep costs down.

He said: “Booking at the right time and booking far in advance can get you good deals at cheaper rates. It really depends on the star you are looking for, generally Oxford doesn’t have enough hotels to cope with demand, which is why hotels are more expensive.

“In the first quarter of the year rooms are rather cheap but graduation events, for example, take up most of the rooms during June and July so rooms will be more expensive then.”

But Mr Schwalm said Oxford was worth the money.

He said: “Generally people say Oxford is expensive, but it’s such a beautiful destination and is worth viewing, it stands out from most other cities with the historical buildings.”

The manager of Remont Oxford Hotel, Yousaf Malik said: “We have a mix of visitors from the UK and abroad depending on the time of year, it changes every year as well. Oxford has a name, people want to come because of that.”

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Comments (1)

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9:52pm Tue 26 Aug 14

EMBOX2 says...

That French man is saying, you are having a giraffe at the cost of living in this city...
That French man is saying, you are having a giraffe at the cost of living in this city... EMBOX2
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