Known as ‘city of dreaming spires’, Oxford is a centre for education overrun by mind-blowing architecture, ancient pubs and fine food. Its 38 colleges have produced some of our greatest thinkers and writers and its landmarks have graced many-a-film. It’s well worth a visit.
The phenomenal Bodleian Library is second only to the British library. It serves as a reference library and is generally not open to the public but a walk around it is majestic, especially alongside the Radcliffe Camera. Want to see Harry Potter’s dining room? Then head to Christ Church College which you might also remember from Brideshead Revisited and Northern Lights. Tickets cost a mere £6.50 with student ID. Just opposite the library is Hertford College with the Bridge of Sighs over the road, connecting the two college buildings. You might remember this from the latest X-Men film. Look carefully and you might see me in the window!
For lunch head to the Covered Market to Moo Moo’s. Its milkshakes and smoothies have a cult following in Oxford, blending whatever you wish with creamy ice cream. Complementing Moo- Moo’s is a Ben’s Cookies – everyday enormous queues pay good sums for his delicious Double Chocolate Chip or Milk Chocolate Chip complete with a cup of milk. A quick drink in the Eagle and Child will take you to where CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien’s drinking sessions were partly responsible for some of our greatest childhood books. You can sit where they drank every week together, discussing the merits of a talking lion and wizards battling invading hordes.
Punting along the river is a great way to spend the afternoon relaxing. In the sun is excellent fun. It’s not as easy as it looks; get it wrong and the water is unforgivably cold.
The evening should be spent watching one of the many outdoor Shakespearean productions followed by some ales in the local taverns. The Turf Tavern is the oldest still-functioning pub in Oxford dating back to 1347. The Kings Arms opposite Hertford College is also fun. Sitting outside watching the sun set over Oxford’s spires is a fitting end to a lovely day.
For more on our UK Special, see our upcoming issue of Impact!