Bicester is a market town located in the north-east of the English county of Oxfordshire, some miles north of the university town of Oxford. It has become a popular destination on account of its being the location of Bicester Village, a large factory / designer outlet shopping village (see below, Buy).
Bicester has a traceable history of over a thousand years and was recorded in the Domesday Book. Like Banbury further North, it is experiencing growth and prosperity from its proximity to the M40 motorway linking London with Birmingham via Oxford.
The English writer Flora Thompson based her popular Lark Rise to Candleford trilogy on the area north-east of Bicester, encompassing the nearby villages of Juniper Hill, Cottisford, Fringford and Hethe.
Bicester is only a one hour car or train journey from the cities of London and Birmingham. If you're taking the car, exit at Junction 9 of the M40 Motorway. Another medium-distance option is the Cambridge to Oxford Bus service (X5).
For fastest access, take the M40 Motorway to Junction 9. Follow the A41 for 2 miles towards Bicester. If you've come for the Outlet centre, follow the signs to 'Bicester Village Outlet Centre'. A sign will advice you if the car park next to the shops is full, in which case you should use the P+R facility at the entrance into town. The locals would very much appreciate if you do not try and go part at the Bicester Village Outlet should the on-site parking lots be full.
Also, don't miss the Bicester Avenue garden, home and leisure shopping outlet.
Bicester can be reached from Oxford by following the A34 northwards out of the city (12 miles).
Chiltern Railways runs daily service to Bicester North and Bicester Village Stations from London Marylebone (every 30 minutes) and Birmingham Moor Street to Bicester North Station (every hour). There is a regular bus service to and from Bicester North Station which costs £1 each way. Please call +44 1869 323 535 for more information. For information on train times and fares, call Chiltern Railways on +44 845 600 5165.
Chiltern Railways also run a direct train service from Oxford to Bicester Village (nee Town) station, which then continues on to London Marylebone. Bicester Village station is, rather obviously, the closest station to Bicester Village, being only a few minutes walk away.
Stagecoach runs a regular and reliable bus service from Oxford to Bicester up to every 20 minutes with service number S5. The trip takes about 35 minutes from Oxford city centre and stops near Bicester Village (though not as near as one might expect) and in Bure Place bus station. Stagecoachs's X5 cross-county coach service from Oxford to Cambridge also stops in Bicester. It's slightly faster, normally taking 25 minutes but can only be picked up at Gloucester Green in Oxford and costs an extra pound.
Bicester village shopping Coach Service: (From London to Bicester village).
Bicester Avenue shopping centre [ http://www.bicesteravenue.info/]
Bicester Avenue [ http://www.bicesteravenue.info/] opening hours - (mon, tue, wed, fri, sat - 9AM - 6PM), (thurs 9AM - 8PM), (sunday 10:30 - 4:30) a fantastic 102,000 sq ft home, garden and leisure shopping centre built around one of the biggest garden centres in the UK. Wyevale, Antler, Cotswold outdoor, laura ashley, moshulu, julian graves, pets corner, cotton trader, craft central, world of water, lakeland, marshalls, hobbycraft, greeen & pleasant and newitts butchers.
Bicester Avenue has a fantastic restaurant that provides everything from light lunches and freshly baked Italian pizza to full carveries every day. There is also a smaller coffee shop that is great for a coffee and cake.
If it's posh restaurants or gastropubs you want then Bicester isn't the place for you. If you like pub food, greasy fry ups and kebabs you're in luck. Next to Bicester Village is The Acorn, a Hungry Horse pub. There are a couple of greasy spoons, such as Jenny's Restaurant in Market Square. There is also the Penny Black, a Wetherspoons pub with cheap meals and old men. There are couple of Indian and Chinese restaurants but if none of this tickles your fancy then there's always the hotdog van in Sheep Street.
If you're planning an upmarket meal, Pizza Express in Market Square is as close as it gets.
Those looking for a night out, the top venues are Yates in Sheep Street and G's Wine Lodge(which has a stripper in the week). There are a variety of pubs both on the estates and in the town centre. If you're lucky you might catch a meat raffle in one of them.