There are so many gorgeous buildings, spanning several centuries, that going the long way around is always to be recommended - at least as a tourist.
Whether Oxford is quite such a joy to navigate on a daily basis is doubtful. The massive park and ride schemes that girdle the city hint at gridlocked rush hour mayhem, and even the simple task of buying a lunchtime sarnie is complicated by the queues of French and American tourists.
There are other problems too - most obviously housing. I spent a few days in Jericho, an inner city grid of streets ten minutes walk from the centre. This was traditionally bohemian bedsitter land - the spriritual home of Radiohead and site of the first Supergrass gig. Now the asking price for a modest terraced house is in the region of £750,000.
Oxford's wealth is reflected in a flourishing restaurant scene, though this being one of the UK's global centres of academic excellence, there's no particular premium on bling - brainpower is as useful as horsepower, and a bike has much cachet as a BMW.
With apologies to the taxi drivers, though, Shanks's Pony is the best way to navigate one of the most beautiful cities in England.
Oxford may be seen as a bastion of privilege, but it's riverside meadows and majestic colleges are free for any oik to enjoy - even me.