To make up for not posting over the past couple of weeks I decided to write up another blogpost! Two blogposts in one week, blimey! Anyways… I recently visited and explored Oxford and I thought I’d tell you about my time there!
Oxford is a small town/city located northwest of London! It’ll take you about a 2 hour journey to get there from London, but on the train you get to see the countryside which is quite different to the views you get from the city, but beautiful nonetheless!
Unfortunately we ended up getting a gloomy day in Oxford but despite that, I’d have to say that it was still quite adorable!
I wanted to visit Oxford for a few different reasons. One, I’d heard a lot about the place, two to see the university, and three because a lot of Harry Potter was inspired by Oxford’s architecture!
We arrived in Oxford around 1 in the afternoon and began exploring right away! As we were walking to St. Aldate’s Church Meadows, we happened to find Oxford Castle! It’s quite a small castle but it holds quite a bit of history! I remember reading that a famous female murderess was hanged there, interesting! (also, why do I always remember interesting facts that have to do with hangings…strange). We didn’t end up taking a tour of the castle, however if you pay a pound you can climb up to the top of the hill across from the castle to get an amazing view of the city!
After our little “hike” we headed to the church meadows! It’s a nice stroll, and from the meadows you can enter the great halls. For those of you who are Harry Potter fans, the dining hall in Harry Potter was inspired by Oxford’s great halls! Unfortunately when we arrived, they had not opened up for entry! So we decided to come back later, and headed towards the university instead!
On our walk to the university, we found Oxford’s covered markets! There are plenty of cafes and shops to eat and browse through! We decided to stop here for a browse and a spot of lunch! What’s great about this market is that if it happens to rain while you’re there, the markets have got you covered, haha terrible joke once again I know! — I ate at the “Oxford Cafe” although I had intended to eat at “Pieminister”, but all the vegetarian options had run out so no luck for me, but my friend who ate there said it was delicious and filling, so look out for that when you’re there! We also had to have dessert so we stopped at “Ben’s Cookies”, where you can get a wide array of freshly baked cookies, the white chocolate chip cookie was scrumptious!
After filling our stomachs, we continued our walk towards the university! On our walk we passed by the Ashmolean Museum: Museum of Art and Archeology by University of Oxford, and admission is free which is always a plus! Oxford University have a variety of different museums which I believe all have free entry! Apart from the Ashmolean, we also walked through the Museum of the History of Science! Oxford also has their own Natural History Museum which we did not get the chance to visit, but they have some amazing exhibitions with dinosaur fossils and the like if that interests you! So make sure to check out some of the museums, especially since they are free! — After exploring some of the museums, we continued our walk towards the university campuses.
The university is split into various colleges (38 to be exact!) which each have their own buildings and squares! I was told to visit Lincoln Square as it’s gardens are beautiful, but unfortunately the day we went there, there was an event which prevented us from entering the square! But I managed to get a glimpse and it was really pretty, I just wish we had the chance to walk through!
We also stopped by the famous “Bridge of Sighs”! If you’ve ever seen pictures of this bridge during the winter when there’s snow its absolutely breathtaking! I can tell why they gave it such a name!
When visiting Oxford it’s a must to visit Bodleian Library, the most famous of Oxford’s libraries! Since we are not students, you cannot enter the library but I found out that they do have three library tours available throughout the week. The tours are not advertised, so you might have to do a bit of research to figure out when exactly those tours are held, but keep it in mind when you visit!
I really liked Oxford! Its such an adorable town straight out of a story book! I can just imagine how wonderful it would be in the summertime! For those of you who may be interested in visiting Oxford, I’ve created an itinerary for you down below!
What to do in Oxford in a Day!:
[I’ve listed the items in the order that you should visit them!]
- Oxford Castle
- St. Aldate’s Christ Church Meadows
- Christ Church Great Halls [7 pound entry fee]
- Entry begins at 2:15pm with the last entry at 4:15pm
- Oxford Covered Markets:
- Ben’s Cookies
- Museums [Free admission!]
- Ashmolean Museum: Museum of Art & Archeology
- Museum of the History of Science
- Museum of Natural History
- Oxford University:
- Bodleian Library
- Lincoln Square
- There are various colleges at Oxford, so you might want to research which one you’d like to visit the most!
- Bridge of Sighs
- St. Mary’s Church
- If you climb to the top, you can get an amazing view!
- A punt is a boat! If you’d like to, you can rent a punt and row down the river in Oxford!
- If you’re going punting, perhaps do that earlier on in the day, especially when the sun is out!
- We didn’t get a chance to do it as it was quite a windy/cold day, but I can imagine how fun it’d be during warm weather/summertime!
- Recommended time to explore Oxford: 6-7 hours
- Arrive around 10-12 pm leave around 6 – 7 pm
- If you’d like to visit the Great Halls be aware of the entry time! Unfortunately we just missed the entry and didn’t make it in time!
- Also if you’d like to visit the university make sure to double check if there are any events that are going on as that might prevent you from exploring the different colleges!
- Also, since we are not students of the university, your access into the university buildings will be limited — unless you manage to make a friend at the university, then you’re lucky!!
Hope you liked this newsletter, and look out for more to come!