Bicester Village is a popular outlet mall in Oxfordshire among tourists to get their branded goods at a great reduced outlet price. It’s so popular among Asian tourists that you hardly see any local English there. As I was staying in Oxford and Bicester Village was just 15 minutes away by Chiltern Railways train, I joined in the stereotype to explore what the village is about.
Heading into Oxford Railway Station to get my ticket.
Tickets can be purchased on the right side of the station from ticket machines or physical counters.
I headed to the ticket machines.
The welcome screen of the ticket machine.
Purchasing an Off-Peak Day Return ticket to Bicester Village from the machine. Regular tickets cost £3.30, while a 26-30 Railcard would give me a discount of 34%.
Hey, what’s this? I’m supposed to pay £2.20, not £12. I could go to London with that.
To sort out this strange arrangement, I went to the staffed counter to buy my ticket instead, and to inform to staff about this error the machine is giving me.
It turns out that as I am clicking on the machine to buy the ticket before 10am, the system is still giving me the peak fare with the Railcard. However, as he was a human being who knows that the next train out is after 10am, he could sell the off peak fare on his side despite me buying my ticket before 10am.
So pro-tip here: If you’re buying a discounted ticket during peak times for an off-peak journey, head to the staffed ticket counters.
To show you how Asian this area is, here’s a snack kiosk at Oxford.
Not sure if this is Oxford or Guangzhou. Either way, it wasn’t to my taste to eat Chinese food on this trip.
My return tickets to Bicester Village at the right £2.20 Railcard fare.
What a terrible day on the Cotswold Line. Glad I’m not going to London yet.
Heading to the platform.
Inserting my ticket through the ticket gate.
Picking up my ticket for the gate to open.
A freight train passing through Oxford.
My Chiltern Railways 10:10 train to Bicester Village was departing from Platform 2.
My Chiltern Railways 10:10 train to Bicester Village.
This Chiltern Railways train is bound for London Marlyebone. Those holding fixed GWR tickets to London Paddington could also board this Chiltern Railways train due to the GWR delay.
The British Rail Class 172/1 Turbostar standing by at the platform. This train is made up of 2 sets of 2-car trains, forming a 4-car service.
Chiltern Railways’ logo on the side of the Class 172/1 Turbostar.
Heading into the train.
Push the button to open doors.
The interior of Chiltern Railways’ Class 172/1 Turbostar in a 2+2 configuration..
The route map of Chiltern Railways.
The short sector to Bicester Village I’m riding on this time.
The route of this train.
A cup holder mounted by the window for a facing bay of seats.
The typical seat on the Chiltern Railways Class 172/1 Turbostar.
Departing from Oxford.
Passing by a Class 800 IET stabling at Oxford.
Heading towards Oxford Parkway.
Making a brief stop at Oxford Parkway to pick up more passengers for London.
Continuing on the Oxford-Bicester Line.
Arrived at Bicester Village on time. In-train announcements were made in English, Arabic and Mandarin when approaching the station – guess which nationalities I’ll be seeing at the village.
As I was unprepared, I didn’t have a recording of it, but here’s a YouTube video with the multilingual announcement:
The main station building of Bicester Village Railway Station. However, this is not the exit for Bicester Village Shopping Complex.
Continuing down the platform for Bicester Village Shopping Complex.
Ramps re on standby at the platform to cater for passengers in wheelchair.
Following the signs to Bicester Village Shopping Complex.
The coupled Chiltern Railways Class 172/1 Turbostar 2 sets of 2-car trains.
The grand-looking Bicester Village Railway Station for Bicester Village Shopping Complex.
Exiting via the ticket gates.
Bicester Village Railway Station is touted as “award-winning” on Bicester Village’s website. I was skeptical at first, but wow, this was not what I was expecting.
The departure screen of Bicester Village Railway Station.
The waiting hall before the ticket gates of Bicester Village Railway Station.
Train departure information can also be found on iPads on the long tables.
Charging ports are also available while waiting for the train.
A Bicester Village guest services counter is also available at Bicester Village Railway Station.
If tables and stools aren’t your thing, there are plenty of sofas to lounge on too.
Once that mini exploration is done, it’s time to go shopping.
The linkway to Bicester Village through the Bicester Village Railway Station car park.
Heading down the path to Bicester Village.
Crossing the bridge over to Bicester Village.
Bicester Village houses plenty of international premium brands, but not all of them are affordable for me, though I have to say that the deals for premium brands here are actually better than Johor Premium Outlets or Genting Highlands Premium Outlets.
As I got there at 10.30am, the village was still pretty empty, but this was about to change in another half an hour’s time with the crowd coming from London.
Overall, a quick and convenient journey with Chiltern Railways from Oxford to Bicester Village for some expensive shopping.