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Location and travel

Information about where the Oxford Literary Festival is taking place and how you can get there.

The festival principally takes place in Christ Church, at the Bodleian Library and the Sheldonian Theatre and at Corpus Christi College. The festival’s address is Christ Church, St Aldate’s, Oxford OX1 1DP.


By train

Oxford is well served from all areas of the country, and the station is a 20-minute walk or five-minute taxi-drive from the festival. There is a taxi rank at the station.

By coach

There are two fast and frequent coach services to Oxford from London (the X90 and the Oxford Tube), with departures up to every 15 minutes. In Oxford, festival-goers can alight at High Street stops which are within a few minutes’ walk of festival venues. The coach station at Gloucester Green is a 15-minute walk from the festival. Detailed information about both services may be found at www.oxfordtube.com

By car

High StreetStreet parking is extremely limited. The closest public car park is the Westgate Car Park, a five-to-10-minute walk from festival venues. Oxford is well served with a park-and-ride bus service at several points at the city perimeter. Details may be found at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/public-site/park-and-ride

Blue badge parking

For events at Christ Church, disabled badge holder designated parking is available in Oriel Square (close to Corpus Christi College, and to Christ Church’s Canterbury Gate), and in St Aldate’s (immediately to the south of Christ Church’s Tom Gate).  For events at the Bodleian Library and the Sheldonian Theatre, disabled badge holder designated parking is available in Broad Street.

Safety and general accessibility

Entrances, quads and gardens: access to festival events in Christ Church is via Tom Gate, the college’s principal entrance on St Aldate’s. You may be asked to show your festival event ticket. There is level-going access at this point and good, permanent ramped and stepped access immediately inside Tom Gate.

Christ Church has introduced many measures to support visitors with disabilities and further improvements are actively planned and programmed. Further detailed information is available on the Christ Church website at www.chch.ox.ac.uk where an Access to Christ Church guide may be downloaded. You are also welcome to contact the Porters’ Lodge on (01865) 276150 for further assistance.

Accessible toilets at Christ Church: wheelchair user unisex accessible toilets are provided in Tom Quad (beneath the Hall) and at the Blue Boar Lecture Theatre. Please ask a festival volunteer or college custodian for directions.

Induction loops for the hard of hearing: induction loops for hearing aid users are provided in Christ Church’s Blue Boar Lecture Theatre, the Cathedral and Festival Room 2, Corpus Christi College’s MBI Al Jaber Building, and the main auditorium of the Sheldonian Theatre.

Assistance dogs: assistance dogs are welcome. Other dogs are not permitted.

Paths and lighting: although many of the buildings and amenities which host the festival are maintained to high standards, they are set in a historic built environment that has grown over several centuries and not always in line with contemporary building norms. Level walking surfaces may not be encountered everywhere and lighting levels are maintained as appropriate for the environment. Festival-goers are asked to take special care at all times.

Comments and suggestions: in accordance with recommended good practice Christ Church and other festival venues operate a disability equality scheme. This is kept under review, taking into account the views of visitors and others. Comments and suggestions are therefore welcome and may be directed to the Steward of Christ Church by letter, telephone (01865 286580) or e-mail (steward@chch.ox.ac.uk) or to the disability librarian at the Bodleian Library (for the Divinity Schools and Convocation House) and the custodian at the Sheldonian Theatre.  For other college venues please contact the domestic bursar.

Fire safety evacuation: to ensure the safe evacuation of wheelchair users in case of emergency, it may occasionally be necessary to limit the number of wheelchair users at a given event. Evac-chairs are provided and duty volunteers trained to assist. A safety briefing for all festival-goers is provided at the start of each event.


Venue Accessibility

Christ Church Hall and the McKenna Room: these are reached via a flight of 25 stone steps, with a stone balustrade to each side and a large landing. From the top of the main steps there is a further step into the McKenna room and a further two steps into the Ante Hall and Hall. A wheelchair user platform lift is located beneath the Hall stairs and provides direct access to Christ Church Hall. This lift accommodates one wheelchair user and a carer or companion. Detailed operating instructions are provided and the duty custodian will be glad to assist. Small portable ramps provide access from the lift to the McKenna Room. Access to the Hall is across level going.

Festival Room 1: this is on the first floor and not wheelchair user accessible. It is reached up a flight of 28 steps with handrail to one side and a half landing.

Festival Room 2: this is on the ground floor and ramped access is provided.

Music Room and Junior Common Room: although located at ground-floor level, there is stepped access to these rooms. Wheelchair users booking events are asked to provide advance notification so that a temporary ramp may be provided.

The Lee Building, including the Freind Room: this is approached across a cobbled quadrangle and accessed up a flight of 10 steps. Rooms at upper levels within the Lee Building are not accessible to wheelchair users; stair climber access to the Freind Room will gladly be provided: advance notice is requested so that arrangements can be made.

The Cathedral: there is ramped access from Tom Quad into the Cathedral and level going throughout the building. An induction loop is provided for hearing aid users.

Bodleian Library (Divinity Schools and Convocation House): there is level-going wheelchair user access to both venues.

Sheldonian Theatre
The Sheldonian Theatre: this is accessible to wheelchair users from Broad Street and then through door E to the main hall. Wheelchair users are normally offered places within the central ‘D’ at ground level. A wheelchair user accessible toilet is provided at ground level close to the entrance. An induction loop system is provided in the main auditorium for hearing aid users.

The MBI Al Jaber Building in Corpus Christi College: there is level-going access for wheelchair users via the college’s principal entrance in Merton Street. Directional signage is provided within the college precincts. The auditorium has an induction loop.

Ashmolean Museum: fully accessible. The entrance is on Beaumont Street. There is a handrail up the main steps leading onto the forecourt. There are ramps with handrails on either side of the main steps.

Oxford Martin School: fully accessible. There is a platform lift inside the entrance to the seminar room and a lift to the lecture theatre on the first floor. For full details click here.

Further information, including more detailed access arrangements to festival venues, are provided on the institutions’ websites or are available by contacting the porters’ lodge or reception.