Oxford in a day

During my Stay in the UK, wanderlust led me to search for all possible weekend destinations. One such destination was Oxford, which is a historic university city. Situated about 60 miles from London, makes it a comfortable day trip destination.  Apart from the fact that it is the oldest ever English university , Oxford has many things else to offer. From Stained glass churches, Ivy clad university buildings, lush green meadows to Georgian styled shops , punts on river and hustling streets -It is a perfect amalgamation of the ancient and the modern times!


We reached Oxford by a change of train from Reading as we were arriving from Newbury. It is on the route for express trains from London Paddington to Hereford via Worcester. Oxford Station is about ten minutes walk to the west of the city centre.
After arriving in Oxford, the easiest way to get around is to walk, though many take up cycling. Another simple way of touring in Oxford is hop on hop off buses.  We preferred the hop on hop off buses as the ticket for £15 was valid for 24 hours with unlimited rides. Another advantage to take up this tour is we get an overview of oxford through the audio guide. This would not have possible if we would have walked and toured the city. Aimlessly wandering in an unknown place makes little sense, all the more because time is limited!
As I was planning for the trip the day before, I came to know that everything you want to see is in a compact walkable area. There are 38 colleges  spread throughout the city but the oldest and most historic allocated at the heart of the place.

Hop on Hop off Bus
Roof top seat

Me on the roof top bus

We visited a handful of colleges. Then came to the Christ Church college which is the largest of the lot and the most popular one. Across years of academic and literary history many renowned scholars, Scientists and Writers have walked across the corridors and sat in the lawns of the campus. Thinking about it surely gives a chill!

Christ Church College
The Ivy Clad Wall

While walking around in Oxford, we saw the luxurious looking ‘Oxford tube’ driving around. These buses travel between London and Oxford in a very good frequency.
I was also fascinated by a small shop located just a few yards before the Christ collage. It was the ”Alice Shop”. Being a fan of Lewis Carroll, I could not stop myself from visiting this place and ended up buying some over priced Alice themed souvenirs from that shop:)

Alice Shop

Me in Wonderland!

Another nice place which we visited is the Saint Michael at the North Gate. The church had beautiful interiors decorated in stained glass. The Saxton tower of the Saint Michael is the oldest building in Oxford (close to a thousand years!)

St. Michael’s Church
We passed through several interesting points like Sheldonian Theatre, Boolean Library, University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford Castle, Port Meadow, Folly Bridge, Radcliffe Camera and Bridge of Sighs. The Bridge of Sighs is a skyway joining two parts of Hertford College over New College Lane with a nice architecture.

Bridge of Sigh!
We had to stop for lunch at Turf Tavern- a very beautiful restaurant close to the Bridge of sigh. The fish and chips at Turf Tavern was excellent. I would recommend everyone to stop here for a light meal.
Post Lunch at Turf Tavern
Our next stop was at Oxford University’s Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology. Established in 1683, it is England’s oldest public museum. The Museum has free entry and was open till 5 pm. I was truly spellbound visiting the Egyptian section of the museum which had such a huge collection with intricate labelling. My excitement was more because I saw mummy for the first time in my life! I would really want to travel to Egypt some day – The land of Tutankhamen and Cleopatra.

This was our last stop for the day. Post the museum tour, we wandered through the main town centre area of Oxford. The place depicted a different side of Oxford city. It had all the modern shops, banks, road side music, hotels, coffee shops and what not!

After purchasing a few souvenirs and fridge magnets, we grabbed a burger and some hot chocolate at Burger king, located in the town centre. We had to rush as our return train time was nearing. The day was long and we could see sunlit Oxford in her most elegant attire. It was time to wave good bye to the land of Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift! It feels one visit is not worthwhile, many more are required to relish the nostalgia.

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