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Topic - Moving to Oxford

BethanWhite on 08 Sep 2012
I've just accepted a 2-year job in Oxford, to start around the beginning of November, and I'd like to ask the collective wisdom of UKC for some help! Other threads on this topic seem to be quite old.

I'm moving from Leeds, where I've been for the last few years while doing my PhD. I realise that Oxford climbing (indoor and out) won't be as good or as accessible as it is up here (hope I've not stepped on any toes by assuming that!). Does anyone have any tips on:
- how to find partners at the Brookes wall
- any other walls in the area that are worth a visit
- closest outdoor crags
- realistic driving times to the Peak / Snowdonia / Lake Disctrict
- any other valuable climbing information for a newcomer to the area!

Secondly, I need to decide where to live and find out if I can avoid paying through the nose! Current Leeds rentals are about 300 pcm in a decent houseshare. I know I have no chance of this in Oxford, and I'd like to find a reasonably nice house (unfurnished, ideally) not a grotty student rental! I'd be looking to share with another person - maybe find the house first, then a housemate (a climber would be nice!).
- are there any useful local forums for this kind of thing?
- are there any particular estate agents you would recommend / warn against?

Area-wise: Considering (a) prices and (b) proximity to the climbing wall / swimming pool, my initial thoughts are to look in the Iffley/Cowley area. I've lived in a "dodgy" bit of Leeds (Harehills) for 5 years and spent 3 years in St Pauls in Bristol before that. I would guess that the dodgy bits of Oxford are nothing like the dodgy bits of Leeds, but I could be wrong...

Any other useful tips and information anyone has to offer will all be gratefully accepted!

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