Frequently Asked Questions

English Faith & Culture From Reformation to Catholic Revival

After reading the other pages on this site, you may still have a few questions. See if you can find them below—if not, please email us (secondspringltd{at} or note the enquiry on your application form.

“What is the best way to get to Oxford at the beginning and end of the programme?”

There are buses to Oxford from most of the major airports and cities, and the central bus station is right around the corner from our student accommodation and lecture rooms. The Oxford bus station is called Gloucester (“Glos-ter”) Green. There is also a vast network of trains, if you prefer to travel that way—the Oxford train station is a 10-minute walk further out of the city centre but has many taxis outside.

Each airport will have information on its website about onward travel, but we are happy to provide personalised information to you as well. We recommend flying into Heathrow if you can, as it is the closest to Oxford and has the best links. Second choice would be Gatwick.

Some useful websites from travel planning:

  • The Airline Bus (This is the cheapest and easiest way to get to Oxford from Heathrow or Gatwick. You can pay on board in cash, and you don’t need to book in advance. They do take euros or US dollars but be warned, the exchange rate is shockingly bad, so we strongly recommend you arrive with some £sterling in hand [there are Exchanges at the airport, though the ones in Oxford give you a better rate so don’t change all your cash at the airport]. If you are travelling back to same airport from Oxford later, make sure you buy a period return – it will be significantly cheaper than two single fares.)
  • National Rail Enquiries
  • National Express Coaches

“When should I plan to arrive and depart at the beginning and end of the programme?”

You should aim to be in Oxford by 5pm on the starting day, 1st August, for welcome and orientation. We will also be having Welcome Dinner that evening. If you’ve arrived from a different time zone, we recommend you arrive in time to rest and recuperate in the afternoon (N.B. check-in at our student accommodation will be from 9am, but please bear in my if you’re staying elsewhere many hotels don’t allow check-in before 2pm or so).

On the final day, 15th August, we will not be having any classes or activities, so you can depart when you need to. If you’re staying at the student accommodation, we ask that you vacate your room by 10am and arrange luggage storage with us in advance if needed.

I want to extend my time in Oxford. Can I book a longer stay at the same accommodation?

That may be a possibility, yes. We would put you in touch with Blackfriars directly to make your own arrangements with them.

If I want to see more of England before or after the programme, what would be your top recommendations?

If you rent a car in Oxford for your onward journey, the possibilities are endless! You will, however, need to be brave enough to negotiate the little roads of England – not the mention driving on the left if that’s not your usual.

The following wonderful sites are accessible by train or bus:

  • Bath, with its Roman foundations, glorious Abbey (now Anglican church), Jane Austen links, and beautiful neo-classical architecture. The historically rich Glastonbury is accessible from there too.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon, home of William Shakespeare.
  • London, of course (we will only spend one day there as a group).
  • The Lake District, with a wild beauty that has inspired generations of artists and writers.

How much free time will we have, and how many of the group activities are optional?

You will have a few free hours most days to pursue your own interests, as well as free evenings on 10 out of the 14 nights. You are welcome to duck out of any of the group activities if you need to (as long as you forewarn us not to wait for you), but we’ll make it clear which ones you pre-paid for: some of the activities in the schedule will be suggestions to encourage camaraderie. We will send you a general schedule ahead of time so that you can plan your time.

“Can you cater for my allergies and dietary needs?”

Concerning refreshments, we do our best to work around anything you warn us about in the Information Form we ask you to fill out before you attend. For the group dinners, we eat at local restaurants with a variety of menu choices, to enable you to choose what you like and need. If you have specific concerns, please note them on your application form.

Apply Now for 1-15th August 2019