Oxford Bristol Train
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Oxford is a city and county town of Oxfordshire and is roughly 25 miles to the north west of Reading and 50 miles to the north west of London. The city lies on the River Thames and River Cherwell which both run through the city centre.
Oxford is perhaps most famous for being home of Oxford University which is the oldest university in the English speaking world. The University was first mentioned in 12th century records with the oldest colleges being University College (1249), Balliol (1263) and Merton (1264).
The architecture of Oxford demonstrates examples of many different architectural styles since the arrival of the Saxons which includes the mid 18th century Radcliffe Camera. Oxford is also known as the "city of dreaming spires" which is a term coined by the poet Matthew Arnold.
Oxford's city centre is quite small and its centre is Carfax which is a cross roads which forms the junction of Cornmarket Street, Queen Street, St Aldate's and The High. This area has many retail outlets, national chains and smaller independent stores, local government buildings and the police station. Oxford also has two small shopping centres: The Clarendon Centre and The Westgate Centre.
The city of Bristol, which borders the counties of Gloucestershire and Somerset, has always prospered due to its ties to the sea. The city's commercial Port of Bristol was originally located on the heart of the city but was moved to Avonmouth on the Severn Estuary. Royal Portbury Dock lies to the west of the city. Additionally, Bristol has a long history as a centre of culture and as such is the largest cultural centre in the region. In recent years the city's economy has increasingly depended on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industry. The site of the former docks in the city centre have been regenerated as a centre of heritage and culture. The city's principal theatre company, the Bristol Old Vic, was founded in 1946 as an offshoot of The Old Vic company in London. Its premises on King Street consist of the 1766 Theatre Royal which has 607 seats, a modern studio theatre called the New Vic which has 150 seats, and foyer and bar areas in the adjacent Coopers' Hall (built 1743).
Bristol is located in an area of limestone which runs from the Mendip Hill to the south to the Cotswolds to the north east. The River Avon flows from nearby Bath and created a gorge, the Avon Gorge, which helped to protect Bristol Harbour.