|Cowley Road and the streets around it are where the highest concentration of the Oxford student population is based. It’s a vibrant, multicultural area where there’s always something going on – and whatever you get up to, the other residents won’t turn a hair.
Temple Cowley is at the top of Cowley Road, and is a quieter area with some good local shops and a 24hr Tesco within walking distance.
Most of the houses here are Victorian, and many have undergone fantastic interior upgrades and now offer some of the best accommodation in Oxford.
The Tesco Metro on the Cowley Road is the best place to stock up on food and household stuff. The Sainsbury across the road is smaller and pricier but – crucially – is open until 11pm on Sunday evenings. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a chef, look out for specialist foods at the Italian delicatessen Il Principe, Uhuru Wholefoods (where you can even buy organic mead), or the Eastern and Continental Store.
There are restaurants from every conceivable country and region on the Cowley Road. If you like Indian, take your pick from Aziz, The First Floor, Majliss, Rajasthan, etc. Dil Duna allows you to bring your own alcohol and does not charge corkage. You could also try the 'Godzilla Challenge' at Atomic Burger or Atomic Pizza.
For Chinese and Thai, look at Lwan Kwai Fong on the corner of Jeune Street, The Rice Box, and Wok to Go. There’s also Italian (Mario’s), Nepalese (Yeti), Greek (Santorini) and, in fact, too many more to list.
The Indian and other restaurants all do takeaways. There’s also a KFC and a Subway if your hunger really needs satisfying quickly, and the Kebab Kid Turkish takeaway or Bodrum Kebab House for, well, kebabs.
Pubs and clubs
The City Arms has to be the best sports pub in Oxford, with a big screen, two small screens, two pool tables, and a large screen TV in the heated and covered garden/smoking area.
If you’re into music, the 02 Academy hosts most of the big name bands and DJs, but it’s also worth checking out The Regal which is a centre for gigs as well as comedians, dance classes, and theme nights. The Bullingdon Arms holds its ‘famous Monday blues’ as well as a range of other gigs in its large back room.
The James Street Tavern in – you guessed it – James Street, has just been refurbished and looks great, with six cask ales and a wide selection of malt whiskies. It holds a blues night on Wednesdays.
The Hobgoblin is a favourite with students, and has a huge covered patio/smoking area at the back. It has loads of student nights, and occasional live music and DJs.
Cashpoints with free withdrawals
One outside the Sainsbury, three outside Tesco, and further cashpoints at the NatWest, Lloyds, and in the Coop at the corner of Divinity Road.
The Post Office is at 120 Cowley Road - near the corner with Marston Street.
Frequent buses go into town, directly to the train station, and to the John Radcliffe Hospital.
Look out for
Reign, a vintage clothing shop with an extensive and ever-changing stock; and expert advice, reasonably priced bikes and lots of good student deals from Cycle King. Musicians will enjoy salivating over instruments and having a knowledgeable chinwag with the staff at Professional Music Technology and The Music Box