Home > The Burlington House Review
Updated: August 3, 2020
The Burlington House – A comfortable and colorful boutique B&B away from the hustle and bustle of town.
One of Oxford’s few downsides is that the tiny but picturesque winding streets can generate what seems like a relentless throng of students, tourists, and townspeople, causing major congestion on the sidewalks. Thanks to its suburban location on the edge of genteel Summertown, Burlington House is a great choice to avoid the hubbub and get really refreshed after a hard day’s sightseeing; it also makes zipping around Oxfordshire a breeze for those with their own wheels. It might be quiet outside, but inside, Burlington House is a cheerful riot of patterns, fabrics, and colors. Another unique feature is its Two-Bedroom Apartment – fabulous for those who like being independent.
The Burlington House – Location
- Address: 374 Banbury Road, Oxford.
- Nearest Metro/Subway: There are no underground or around town trains in Oxford.
- Area: The hotel is in well-to-do Summertown, the next neighborhood north of Jericho, which in turn is just north of the city center. Its main draw for Oxford’s citizens is its buzzy main street, along Banbury Road, and side streets (try South Parade for cool restaurants and little boutiques and galleries).
- How to Get There: Driving is easy; Burlington House is a 5-minute drive (0.2 mile) south off the Western Bypass Road. Alternatively, there are buses from the train station and Gloucester Green Bus Station that will take you almost door-to-door.
- Handy to: Summertown shops, everywhere in the City Center via bus.
The Burlington House – The Basics
- Ages: Children are welcome and extra fold-out beds are available, but check with the hotel in advance.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
- Laundry: No laundry service.
- Parking: There are a few spaces available to be shared amongst guests, including one dedicated electric car charging point.
- Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi throughout the property.
- Extras: Particularly well-insulated windows for a peaceful night’s sleep.
- When to Book: The hotel is busiest in summer and quietest in winter, but as there are only 12 rooms and they are all so different from each other, it’s best to book as far in advance as possible to have the greatest selection.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +44 1865 513 513
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: burlington-hotel-oxford.co.uk
The Burlington House – Amenities
- Pool: No pool.
- Spa: No spa.
- Fitness Center: No fitness center.
- For Disabled Guests: One fully accessible room available.
The Burlington House – Food and Drink
- Restaurant/Bar: No restaurant or bar.
- Breakfast: The hotel does an excellent breakfast (included), with fresh juices, home-baked bread, organic eggs, granola, marmalade, homemade yogurt, as well as several types of omelets and field mushrooms. Available 7:30-9:30 am (depending on the day of the week).
- Room Service: No room service.
The Burlington House – Rooms
- Room Types: Single ● Twin/Double ● Queen ● King ● 2-Bedroom Apartment
- Smoking Rooms: Burlington Hotel is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: The 2-Bedroom Apartment sleeps up to 4 guests. It has its own private entrance, leading to an upstairs apartment with one queen and one double bedroom, plus a spacious living/dining/kitchen area and bathroom with a shower. The kitchen boasts high-end Miele appliances, including a particularly good automatic coffee maker, as well as a fridge, microwave, dishwasher, and washer/dryer. This is in addition to the features common in all rooms: hairdryer, toiletries, radio, desk, ironing facility, fan, flat-screen TV, and an alarm clock.
The Burlington House – Local Transport
- Walking: The town center is about a 40-minute walk (2 miles) from the hotel. However, the route, straight down Banbury Road, has several parades of shops to explore if you fancy the walk.
- Tram/Bus: Buses serving most areas in the city stop almost immediately outside the hotel. They run all day until 2 am (3 am on weekends) and get you into the center in about 15 minutes.
- Taxis, Uber, Lyft: Uber is banned in Oxford. London-style black cabs can be hailed from the street, or can be found at taxi ranks dotted around town. There are also many local cab companies that will allow you to pre-book. 001 Taxis (+44 1865 240 000) is one of the most popular, has its own app, and operates 24/7.
The Burlington House – What’s Nearby?
Recommended Nearby Tours
- Uncomfortable Oxford – Aiming to combat the glossy version of Oxford that many tour companies espouse, these guys want to get behind the inequality, colonialism, and other unpleasant aspects of the city’s history. Essential stuff if you want to really understand modern Britain. Various starting points.
- Cycle Tours by Bainton Bikes – This bike shop in Jericho offers some of the best cycle tours of the city. It’s a great way to get out of the city center and see more of the gorgeous green spaces and waterways. 17 minutes by bus (1.5 miles).
- Oxford Official Walking Tours – The Oxfordshire tourist board puts on excellent walking tours covering not only the city and university, but also Harry Potter, Inspector Morse, and Philip Pullman tours. The meeting point is at the main office and shop in Broad Street. 22 minutes by bus (2 miles).
Best Nearby Restaurants and Bars
- New Dancing Dragon – Bar at the front and a bright modern restaurant serving a huge menu of authentic Chinese food, including dim sum, in the back. $-$$. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile).
- Mamma Mia – Great neighborhood Italian pizzeria (with another outpost in Jericho) serving generous portions of fresh food and authentic thin pizzas. $. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Joe’s – Better-than-average neighborhood bar-restaurant serving breakfast, burgers, pasta, and steaks. Pleasant any time of the day. Kids’ menu available. $-$$. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Dewdrop Inn – This restored 19th-century inn, a favorite of Colin Dexter of Inspector Morse fame, prides itself on its excellent seasonal food and good beer selection. Kid’s menu available. $-$$. 7-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Xi’an – This local favorite has been here since the 1960s, serving good-value pan-Chinese food. 9-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Spice Lounge – Great range of food with some unusual dishes not found in your average Indian restaurant, including Bangladeshi specialties. $. 9-minute walk (0.5 mile).
- Lamb & Flag – One of the only pubs owned by a college, the Lamb plows its profits back into its students by funding scholarships – who said drinking was detrimental? 13 minutes by bus (2 miles).
- Eagle & Child – 17th-century pub with flagstone floors and cozy snugs. Nicknamed “The Bird and Baby” by former patrons J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. 13 minutes by bus (2 miles).
Best Nearby Cafes
- Colombia Coffee Roasters – Using coffee from a few select family and co-op-run farms, this place makes your caffeine habit feel good. 5-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Unique Creations – Quirky craft café where you can paint your own ceramics or decoupage while sipping a coffee. Great fun for kids. Also sells craft supplies and gifts. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- LB’s Lebanese Cuisine – Open for breakfast and lunch, this deli does excellent Middle Eastern food like falafel, salad boxes, and flavor-filled flatbread wraps. Closed Sunday. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile)
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- Cara – Shoe brand whose Summertown store has burgeoned into a chic boutique for the well-heeled. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Helen & Douglas House – One of the joys of shopping in Summertown is its selection of “charity shops”. This is one of the biggest and best, supporting children’s hospice care. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile).
- Majestic – This outpost of Majestic vintners does great events and carries a superb variety of wine. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile).
- Summertown Cycles – Enormous range of bikes to buy and hire, including long-term loans. 10-minute walk (0.5 mile).
To get into the city center, catch any bus going south from Burlington House and get off at the Keble Road stop (1.5 miles, 11 minutes) for the Ashmolean, Pitt Rivers, or Natural History Museum, or at the Magdalen Street East stop (2 miles, 14 minutes), from where everything in the city center is less than a 15-minute walk.
- Port Meadow – Wander among free-range horses, cows, and sheep on this 440-acre plain along the River Thames. A big draw is that you can start or end a walk at The Trout or The Perch: historic inns with heavenly riverside terraces. 19-minute walk (1 mile) to The Plough pub in Wolvercote, from where there’s a footpath leading to a bridge over to Port Meadow.
- History of Science Museum – Next door to the Sheldonian is this remarkable museum which features many beautiful antiquities as well as more modern curios like a blackboard used by Einstein when he gave a lecture at the University, and the original penicillin culture specimen. 3-minute walk (0.1 mile) from Magdalen Street East bus stop.
- University Parks & the River Cherwell – University Parks, northeast of the city center, is one of the city’s most pleasant green spaces. The University turned it into a landscaped park in the 19th century with the aim of creating a space for “town” as well as “gown” – locals and students alike. There are lots of different areas to explore, but one of the loveliest is the riverside walkway alongside the River Cherwell (pronounced “Charwell”), one of the largest tributaries to the River Thames. The river goes south through Magdalen College’s gorgeous grounds and Christ Church meadow. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile) to University Parks from the Keble Road bus stop.
- Sheldonian Theatre – The University’s graduation ceremonies are held in this striking building wedged between the Old Bodleian Library and the Weston on Broad Street. The main attractions of touring the 17th-century building include Christopher Wren’s ingenious engineering, the enormous ceiling mural, and the panoramic city views from the Cupola. 5-minute walk (0.2 mile) from Magdalen Street East bus stop.
- Museum of Oxford – Run by the local government, this is a great showcase of people’s history of the city and proves there’s much more to the town than just the University. 5-minute walk (0.3 mile) from Magdalen Street East bus stop.
- Bodleian Libraries – The Bodleian Libraries, comprised of the Old Bodleian Library and the modern Weston Library, are the second largest in Britain after the British Library. The Old Bodleian Library is made up of many smaller parts: most famously, the striking circular Radcliffe Camera, but also the intriguingly named Divinity School and the 15th-century Duke Humfrey’s Library, both of which featured in the Harry Potter films. You have to take a tour to see inside. Meanwhile, at the Weston Library on Broad Street, there’s an exhibition dedicated to the Bodleian’s most famous books and some of the scholars who have studied at the library. 5-minute walk (0.3 mile) from Magdalen Street East bus stop.
- Ashmolean Museum – If you only visit one museum in Oxford, it should be the Ashmolean, just north of the city center. It carries the weight of being Britain’s first public museum with ease, thanks to its awesome collection of world treasures from Ancient Egypt, China, Japan, and the Middle East, as well as awe-inspiring art from Goya, Manet, Michelangelo, Raphael, Turner, and many more. Don’t miss its classy rooftop restaurant. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile) from the Keble Road bus stop.
- Pitt Rivers Museum & Museum of Natural History – Two of the city’s best museums, great for kids and adults alike, are wrapped up in one cool building in the University’s Science Area. The Pitt Rivers Museum is undoubtedly one of the best museums, not only in the UK but also in the world. Established by a Victorian collector, it is a fascinating romp through human psychology via displays that group together objects from different time periods and cultures by use, such as drug paraphernalia, farming tools, warrior clothes, or body modification equipment. Next door, the Museum of Natural History boasts a ‘skeleton parade’ of mammals throughout the ages, as well as the world’s best surviving dodo remains, dinosaur bones found in Oxfordshire, fossils, stuffed animals, gemstones, and more. There’s also a café overlooking the awesome atrium. 6-minute walk (0.3 mile) from the Keble Road bus stop.
- University Church of St Mary the Virgin – The University’s main church, just opposite the hotel and next to the Radcliffe Camera, offers the highest view over Oxford from its spire. It has a great cafe, too. 7-minute walk (0.3 mile) from Magdalen Street East bus stop.
- Oxford Castle Quarter – The main attraction of the so-called Castle Quarter is, unsurprisingly, the castle, as well as the next-door prison, which is now a plush hotel. The Oxford Castle & Prison museum/experience spans several significant historic sites: the Saxon-era St. George’s Tower, a 900-year-old crypt, an 18th-century prison, an 11th-century Motte-and-Bailey castle, and lots of folklore and gruesome local history along the way. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile) from Magdalen Street East bus stop.
- Christ Church College – Of all the colleges, the crown jewel for tourists is Christ Church. It is the most open to the public and features an art gallery, a cathedral, a meadow, and the bit most people are here for (even if they don’t admit it), the Great Hall, otherwise known as Hogwarts’ dining room. If you’re into Renaissance painting, the Picture Gallery boasts works by Tintoretto and Michelangelo, among others. 8-minute walk (0.4 mile) from Magdalen Street East bus stop.
- High Street – The hotel is on the graceful curving High Street, packed with University colleges, including Brasenose, St Edmund Hall, All-Souls, Queen’s, and the confusingly named University College. The top pick for most will be the beautiful 15th-century Magdalen College (pronounced Maud-lin), whose gorgeous grounds, which include a deer park, should be taken advantage of in good weather. Opposite the college is the University’s lush Botanic Garden & Arboretum; it’s the oldest in the UK and features over 6,000 different plants across 130 acres. Don’t miss the cluster of fairytale cobbled streets just south of the High Street, with names like Magpie Lane and Logic Lane. They lead to Merton College, one of the original three colleges that made up the University (along with Balliol and University colleges) in the 13th century. Features to look out for include its quaint Mob Quad, the chapel, and the gargoyles adorning some of the buildings. It’s a 4-minute walk (0.2 mile) from Magdalen Street East bus stop to the corner of St Aldate’s and High Street, and a further 9-minute walk (0.5 mile) east to Magdalen.
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Tesco Express & Sainsbury’s Local – Two local mini supermarkets sit side-by-side on Banbury Road. Both open early-late. 6-minute walk.
- Covered Market – Foodies should not under any circumstances miss the Souvlaki Brothers, The Oxford Cheese Co., the coffee at Colombia Coffee Roasters, or the gelateria at iScream. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile) from Magdalen Street East bus stop.
- Gloucester Green – A modern square behind the bus station that hosts lively markets Wednesday-Saturday, each day offering something slightly different, from produce to street food and crafts. 4-minute walk (0.2 mile) from Magdalen Street East bus stop.
The Burlington House – The Hotel
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