Temporary housing in Oxford, England
February 21, 2005 8:59 AM   Subscribe

My boyfriend will be spending 4 months in Oxford, England as a visiting researcher. He needs to find a place to stay

He's looking for a sub-let, or a room in a boarding house -something like that. It needs to be near the city center (he'll be working at John Radcliffe Hospital), with access to public transport. More specifically, as he will have to travel with his laptop and expensive photographic equipment, it needs to be somewhere safe (i.e. not the Y, unless I have an inaccurate image of the Y). What resources exist for searching for sub-lets etc, and what are the areas should he be looking at?
posted by darsh to Travel & Transportation around Oxford, England (16 answers total)
typically student accomodation in the uk is either run by the university (halls of residence - kind of like a hostel), houses divided up into several rooms with shared kitchen/bathroom (owned either by the uni or a private landlord), or a bedroom in a house owned by someone else (in which case you might get to use the kitchen, or may get meals provided).
there should be some kind of support provided by the university/institution to help with finding suitable accomodation. however, if oxford is anything like cambridge, you may find that if you're not associated with a college then you can be left pretty much on your own.
so if the position is associated with a college, he should contact the accomodation officer at the college. otherwise, he should try the hospital or see if the university has special support for postgrads - you might try to find out via the student union. he might also contact people he will be working with to see if they have recommendations, or to get them to check notice boards where anouncements might be pinned up etc.
if the photo equipt is very expensive then security might be an issue. can it be left at work? if not, then a room in someone's house, providing the people there are decent, is probably safest. that's almost more likely to be clean than a shared house, but with less privacy.
frankly, at least when i was one, being a postgrad in the uk can suck pretty severely.
i doubt there's anywhere in oxford particularly "unsafe" for travelling in, if that was part of what you were asking.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:38 AM on February 21, 2005

Best answer: The JR hospital definitely has housing for grads and visiting researchers - one of my friends used it for about three or four months recently and he found it fine. Their housing is about five minutes walk from the hospital and the same from a bus that goes straight into town.

Alternatively, places like dailyinfo.co.uk have information about shared housing.
posted by adrianhon at 9:45 AM on February 21, 2005

Best answer: The Victorian Research Web has many links devoted to accomodations in Britain.
posted by thomas j wise at 10:09 AM on February 21, 2005

Best answer: I live in Oxford, 15 minutes from the centre (that's walking time, not car time), and depending on his visit times, I may be able to rent him a room (or help him find one). Email in my profile.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:41 AM on February 21, 2005

Though - on preview - adrianhon's lead may be more convenient. Hi Adrian!
posted by dash_slot- at 10:42 AM on February 21, 2005

There is a wonderful little square that used to hold food and clothing markets on Wednesdays and Thursdays (IIRC). I believe it's near the main bus station -- there's a Donner Kabob in the square as well as a couple of shops. I highly recommend taking a look to see if there are any apartments to let, as a friend of mine lived in one for two of his three years and absolutely loved it. Not cheap, but not terribly expensive. Nothing in Oxford is really "cheap".
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:50 AM on February 21, 2005

Response by poster: Dash - sent you an email, thanks. The people he'll be working with at the college haven't been terribly helpful about housing, as they're new to the hospital themselves. We'll check out the links - thanks all
posted by darsh at 11:23 AM on February 21, 2005

Response by poster: (although please don't stop posting - any and all resources or advice would be great)
posted by darsh at 11:26 AM on February 21, 2005

Best answer: Try Assertahome and Fish4.

Both contain listings for rooms as well as flats/houses.
posted by Mwongozi at 11:56 AM on February 21, 2005

The John Radcliffe is near Brookes University, so the best thing to do is look for places offering accomodation for students. There are a load of rental agents on Cowley Road, and the university accomodation office runs a noticeboard in the student union building. If you haven't arranged somewhere in advance I'm sure these places will be able to find you something the day you arrive.

The unsafe part of Oxford is Blackbird Leys, which is miles away. Everywhere else is just boring middle-class/student terraced housing and as safe as anywhere else.
posted by cillit bang at 12:45 PM on February 21, 2005

Best answer: The other area I'd steer clear of is Barton, which is a bit closer to the JR.

The Oxford Times has a houseshare section in the classified ads - which has come in useful in the past when both looking for a room in a shared house, or trying to sublet a room.

I'm sure dash_slot and myself (plus other local MeFi members) would be happy to meet up for a drink once he arrives..

Civil_Disobedient: You're thinking of Gloucester Green, which is a pretty nice area, but not the first place I'd look for a houseshare.
posted by salmacis at 1:43 PM on February 21, 2005

Time we did that Pub Quiz again, guys!

Darsh - check your email.
posted by dash_slot- at 2:22 PM on February 21, 2005

You're thinking of Gloucester Green

That's the place!

which is a pretty nice area, but not the first place I'd look for a houseshare.

You would know better than I -- I just liked the central location (I believe it's just a few hundred meters from the central bus stop).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:37 PM on February 21, 2005

Oxford Brookes uni accomodation office may be able to find him something. They're on +44 (0)1865 484660.

Make sure he lives with postgrads though.

No idea that there were this many of us living in Oxford!
posted by dmt at 5:08 AM on February 22, 2005

No idea that there were this many of us living in Oxford!

That's because you didn't turn up to the last meet-up, you bastard! (I keed, I keed...)
posted by salmacis at 10:07 AM on February 22, 2005

In my defence it was the first day of the law school term! Will be there with bells on for the next one...
posted by dmt at 8:02 AM on February 25, 2005

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