Guidance

Bullingdon Prison

Bullingdon is a men’s prison near Bicester in Oxfordshire.

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Book and plan your visit to Bullingdon

Bullingdon is now offering visits for family, friends and significant others, in line with stage 2 of the National Framework for Prisons.

Find out more about visiting someone in prison during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also follow @HMPPS on Twitter and read a rolling update page.

We are now allowing physical contact at social visits following a negative rapid test. Find out more here.

There are a number of other ways to contact someone in prison if you are unable to visit them.

You can also contact the Prisoners’ Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003. You will not be able to book a visit using this number.

To visit someone in Bullingdon you must:

  • be on that person’s visitor list
  • book your visit at least a day in advance
  • have the required ID with you when you go

At least one visitor must be 18 or older at every visit.

There may be a limit to the number of visits a person can have. You can check this with Bullingdon.

Contact Bullingdon if you have any questions about visiting.

Help with the cost of your visit

If you get certain benefits or have an NHS health certificate, you might be able to get help with the costs of your visit, including:

  • travel to Bullingdon
  • somewhere to stay overnight
  • meals

How to book family and friends visits

Bullingdon is running a limited visits schedule. Visits are also happening differently than normal, observing strict guidelines, which must be followed.

You can book your visit by telephone. There is no online booking service available.

Email: socialvisits.bullingdon@justice.gov.uk
Telephone: 01869 353 176
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4pm
Find out about call charges

To cancel a visit, call 01869 353 176 or email socialvisits.bullingdon@justice.gov.uk

Visiting times:

  • Every day except Friday: 1.45pm to 4pm

There are currently no legal visits taking place.

Getting to Bullingdon

Find Bullingdon on a map

Bullingdon is about 5 miles from Bicester Village station and about 6 miles from Bicester North station. A regular bus runs from both stations to the prison.

To plan your journey by public transport:

There is a visitors car park, including space for Blue Badge holders.

Entering Bullingdon

All visitors, aged 16 or older must prove their identity before entering the prison. Read the list of acceptable forms of ID when visiting a prison.

All visitors will need to be given a pat-down search, including children. You may also be sniffed by security dogs.

Bullingdon has a family-friendly dress code policy which means visitors should dress appropriately. You may be turned away if you are wearing see-through or revealing clothing like vests, low-cut tops, high-cut shorts or dresses or ripped jeans. Additionally, you cannot wear hoodies or anything with offensive patterns or slogans. You will be asked to remove jackets, gloves, scarves and headwear other than that worn for religious reasons.

Each adult visitor is allowed to take in a maximum of £10 in coins (notes are not allowed). The money can be used to buy food and drink from the vending machine in the visiting hall.

There are strict controls on what you can take into Bullingdon. You will have to leave most of the things you have with you in a locker or with security. This includes pushchairs and car seats.

You will be told the rules by an officer at the start of your visit. If you break the rules, your visit could be cancelled and you could be banned from visiting again.

Visiting facilities

There is a visitors centre run by the Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT) charity.

There will be no refreshments or children’s play area available during your visit.

Family days

There are currently no family days being run.

Keep in touch with someone at Bullingdon

There are several ways you can keep in touch with a prisoner during their time at Bullingdon.

Secure video calls

Secure video calling is available at this prison. Family and friends need to download the purple visits app, create an account, register all visitors, and add the prisoner to their contact list.

Read more about how secure video calls work

Phone calls

Prisoners have phones in their rooms but these do not accept incoming calls. They are able to make calls every day between 7:30am and 11pm. They have to buy phone credits to do this.

They can phone anyone named on their list of friends and family. This list is checked by security when they first arrive so it may take a few days before they are able to call.

You can also exchange voicemails using the Prison Voicemail service.

Officers may listen to phone calls as a way of preventing crime and helping keep people safe.

Email

You can send emails to someone in Bullingdon using the Email a Prisoner service.

You might also be able to attach photos and receive replies from the prisoner, depending on the rules at Bullingdon.

Letters

You can write at any time.

Include the person’s name and prisoner number on the envelope.

If you do not know their prisoner number, contact Bullingdon.

All post, apart from legal letters, will be opened and checked by officers.

Send money and gifts

You can use the free and fast online service to send money to someone in prison.

You can no longer send money by bank transfer, cheque, postal order or send cash by post.

If you cannot use the online service, you may be able to apply for an exemption - for example if you:

  • are unable to use a computer, a smart phone or the internet
  • do not have a debit card

This will allow you to send money by post.

Gifts and parcels

People in Bullingdon can apply for permission for visitors to hand in items during a visit.

All property will be opened and checked by officers. Make sure to include the person’s name and prisoner number on the parcel.

Friends and families of prisoners are permitted to send books directly to their loved ones, or can order books from approved retailers, which can source and send the books on to prisoners.

For the full list of approved retailers, you can read the HMPPS Incentives Policy, Annex F.

Contact Bullingdon for more information on what’s allowed.

Life at Bullingdon

Bullingdon is committed to providing a safe and educational environment where men can learn new skills to help them on release.

Security and safeguarding

Every person at Bullingdon has a right to feel safe. The staff are responsible for their safeguarding and welfare at all times.

All safeguarding processes are overseen by the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board.

Arrival and first night

When a prisoner first arrives at Bullingdon, they will be able to contact a family member by phone. This could be quite late in the evening, depending on the time they arrive.

They will get to speak to someone who will check how they’re feeling and ask about any immediate health and wellbeing needs.

Induction

Each person who arrives at Bullingdon gets an induction that lasts about a week. They will meet professionals who will help them with:

  • health and wellbeing, including mental and sexual health
  • any substance misuse issues, including drugs and alcohol
  • personal development in custody and on release, including skills, education and training
  • other support (sometimes called ‘interventions’), such as managing difficult emotions

Everyone also finds out about the rules, fire safety, and how things like calls and visits work.

Accommodation

Around 1100 men live at Bullingdon across 6 houseblocks (A to F). Most men share rooms.

Education and work

Prisoners have access to a broad programme of learning opportunities provided by Milton Keynes College. These range from basic skills, such as English and maths, to distance learning with the Open University.

The programme includes training in a variety of trades and professions, including:

  • printing
  • industrial cleaning
  • construction
  • information and communications technology (ICT)
  • barbering
  • music
  • cookery
  • hospitality
  • health and wellbeing
  • nutrition and healthy eating
  • business

Work is available throughout the prison in areas such as the laundry and the farms and gardens. Prisoners can earn qualifications while working.

Bullingdon also runs a number of accredited offending behaviour programme courses.

Support for family and friends

Find out about advice and helplines for family and friends.

Support at Bullingdon

PACT’s family services team can provide information, guidance and support to families and friends of prisoners. Ask in the visitors centre to learn more.

Telephone: 08088 082 003

Problems and complaints

If you have a problem contact Bullingdon. If you cannot resolve the problem directly, you can make a complaint to HM Prison and Probation Service.

HM Prison and Probation Service publishes action plans for Bullingdon in response to independent inspections.

Contact Bullingdon

Governor: Laura Sapwell

Telephone: 01869 353 100
Fax: 01869 353 101
Find out about call charges

Address

HMP Bullingdon
PO Box 50
Bicester
OXON
OX25 1PZ

See map

Safer custody hotline

If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a man in Bullingdon, call the safer custody hotline.

Telephone: 01869 356893
Find out about call charges

In an emergency, call the main switchboard and ask for the orderly officer or duty governor.

Help us to improve this page. Give us your feedback in this 2-minute survey.

Published 7 April 2020
Last updated 26 August 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated rules for sending in money and gifts.

  2. Updated physical contact guidance

  3. New visiting times and booking information added.

  4. Prison moved into National Stage 3 framework and is now preparing to open visits for family, friends and significant others. We will update this page with specific visiting information as soon as possible.

  5. Updated visits information in line with national tier restrictions

  6. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  7. Updated visiting information in line with new local restriction tiers.

  8. Updated visiting information in line with new national restrictions in England.

  9. Updated visiting information in line with coronavirus restrictions.

  10. Updated header

  11. Added survey link

  12. Updated tel no's

  13. First published.