Oxford, England

Have you been? Or are you thinking of going? What is not to love, there is so much history to explore by walking the city! Just looking at the beautiful buildings and architecture is mesmerising.

Oxford is mainly known for it’s Oxford University, Harry Potter fans will recognise some of the locations as the beautiful architecture featured in the films. These include; Bodleian, New College and Christ Church Colleges. Many period dramas have been filmed here also.

Oxford is walkable and when you are walking there is so much to see and take in.

Oxford is located 56 miles from London and is easily accessible by coach and train as well as car. There is a good service from Central London from Victoria Coach Station to Oxford’s Gloucester Green Coach Station. You can get direct trains from London Marylebone train station to Oxford . You can also get the 24 hour Oxford Tube bus which will take you to Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport. However, I would recommend not travelling in rush hour, as it took me 5 hours to get there from London.

You can go for a day trip and use one of the park and ride facilities whereby you park your car for a fee and get a bus into the city centre. There are lots of airbnbs, self catering places and hotels for you to stay and you can stay in some of the colleges as well offer bed and breakfast when there are no students. I’d definitely recommend that. Look at the colleges individual websites for more information.

I’ve been to Oxford many times, each time I go, I discover something new. It is wonderful visiting in the spring when you see all the daffodils and the cherry blossoms decorating the beautiful and historical buildings.

I visited the Church of St Mary The Virgin which is located on the high street which has impressive gothic architecture. Have a look inside.

There is a buzz to the city, perhaps with the university students and tourists milling about. There are some lovely independent shops as well and plenty of cafes and pubs and bars to rest your weary bones after a day of walking.

Whilst in Oxford, you should visit the historical colleges, you pay a fee and can wander around or have a guided tour. I explored Magadelen College which was lovely:

Here are some photos:

Does this remind you of Harry Potter?

Across from Magdalen College you’ll notice Magdalen Bridge Boathouse, you will notice you can hire some boats to punt : Home – Magdalen Bridge Boathouse (oxfordpunting.co.uk) You can have bespoke packages, check them out. It’s a fun way to sit with your family and friends and have a chauffeured boat. The punting takes you along the River Cherwell. You can also row the boat yourself or take a pedalo which is so much fun.

Whilst in Oxford, you should visit some of the historical colleges. Here are a list of the Colleges you can visit and the fees are all reasonably priced almost the price of a tea or coffee! At the moment due to COVID, the colleges are not open but when they do open, please see the below website:

Visiting the colleges | University of Oxford

There are walking tours around Oxford which you can go book to go on but I have wandered the city and explored the medieval streets which I found fun. You can also sample tours on a bike too.

I thoroughly recommend visiting The Radcliffe Camera, it’s an extraordinary building which is at Oxford University. It was designed in the 17th Century by James Gibb and named after a Royal doctor to William III and Mary II. It’s a prime example of the English Palladian style architecture. Known as the Rad Cam, this is is a library housing the Radcliffe Science Library. The exterior is wonderful and worthy of some photographs! You can visit the interior of the Camera on a guided tour.

Located by All Souls College is the Bridge of Sighs, I’m sure you’ll recognise this from many films and programmes.

The Bridge of Sighs is located at Hertford College, you’ll recognise it’s similarity to the Bridge of Sighs located in Venice, Italy.

I visited The Ashmolean Museum too, it’s free to goto, there are some wonderful exhibitions to be seen. I did pay to see the Andy Warhol exhibition which was disappointing though! Again, it’s has palladian architecture which is exquisite.

Wandering through the city, we walked past Christ’s College and into Christ’s Meadow which is lovely to wander around. It’s so peaceful. You wouldn’t think you were in the middle of a city! You will notice people punting along the river, the houseboats and the cows!

Here’s the website: What’s included | Christ Church, Oxford University

You can visit the Oxford Botanic Garden too. Check out this link: Home | Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum. There is so much history!

If you like shopping, there are plenty of shops to visit also and boutiques. You can also get a train to Bicester North train station to visit the famous Bicester Designer Outlet village with plenty of shops to tempt you Bicester Village • The Bicester Village Shopping Collection

Oxford has varied restaurants for every taste. There are plenty of restaurants and pubs to eat, one of my favourite places in the city is The Folly.

The Folly is located by Folly Bridge, it’s a wonderful and unique restaurant, just further down from Christ Church College, The menu is varied, there are lovely snugs by the bay windows with views of the river and boats. The food is amazing as are the cocktails. I thoroughly recommend visiting it. There are cruise and dine options, afternoon teas for groups and weddings too!

The Folly Restaurant (no1-folly-bridge.co.uk)

I thoroughly recommend visiting Oxford, there’s a lovely feel to it, the history and lots to see and do.

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