Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Go to Market in Bicester, Oxfordshire

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If you want to see a fantastic market town in South East England, then go to market in Bicester, Oxfordshire. Easily accessible via motorway from not only London, but also Birmingham and Banbury, it also benefits from excellent rail service to points all over the map, including Oxford, home of the University of Oxford, the oldest institution of its kind in the English-speaking world.

Bicester has an ancient history, going back to the Saxon inhabitants of the 6th century. Its present name has been in use since the mid-17th century, and there are Roman ruins not 2 miles to the southwest of the town. Also, the ruins of an Augustinian priory, built in 1180, can still be viewed in the town's center.

Interesting architecture abounds in and around Bicester. There is a notable medieval church (St. Edburg) and other religious buildings which were standing as far back as 1500. Bicester also has a long and proud military heritage and association, beginning with its use as a Roman fort or outpost. In the Civil War of 1642-1649, it served as the headquarters of the defenders of the British Parliament. Today's British Army also maintains its largest ordnance depot on the outskirts of the town.

The town also has a historic shopping district, which boasts a wide variety of shops and stores, both local and national. Of course, there are many fine pubs, cafes and restaurants to tempt the thirsty and hungry sightseer. Bicester also has a vigorous farmers market.

Oxfordshire County has a large tourism industry to supplement its fame as the home of the world-famous University of Oxford. It has a population of around 635, 000 people and is also known as a welcoming place for biotechnology, motorsports companies, and the Oxford Press publishing house. If you get a chance to tour through Bicester, and Oxford make sure not to pass it up.

For accommodation in Bicester check this list of Bicester hotels.

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