Hi everyone & may your Monday be short! I’m still not quite ready for the working week to kick off hence the little post full of my weekend memories- for once, I made it to Oxford! The city is just over an hour ride from London and the last time I visited was 11 years ago (makes you feel so old, doesn’t it!) so I thought it’s about time for a nice trip before Brexit tells me to go make love with myself.
I spent just a couple of hours over there and I’m by no means in the position to tell you what to do in the city to make the most of your trip but I’m happy to share a few fun facts alongside pictures of my Oxford findings if that’s alright. Here we go!
What’s the first thing coming to your mind when you hear ‘Oxford’? Perhaps the university- correct. Harry Potter? Come on, that’s just too cliche. Alice In Wonderland anyone? That’s quite cool actually.. For me it’s ‘Itchycoo Park’ for some reason (if you don’t know this tune, check it out as it’s flipping epic!). Although we should credit Matthew Arnold for the dreaming spires and all that jazz and Venice for the ‘real’ Bridge of Sighs, Small Faces were the ones who made me experience them both long before I started giving a damn about travel, architecture or poetry (actually, when it comes to the last one, not much has changed- sorry!). And yes, I’ve just clicked ‘play’ again and started singing, being insanely loud and horribly and out of tune: ‘It’s all too beautifuuuuul!’. Because it is indeed.
Here are the facts:
- Oxford is one of the loveliest cities you can come across in this country. It’s like being on a journey in time back when the houses weren’t made of glass and each of them had a cute little garden.
- The city isn’t big which makes it totally ‘walkable’. Be ready to stop every minute to look at something completely mesmerised- you will find quite a bunch of those things!
- There are 38 colleges in Oxford and if you’re like ‘holy moly, that’s flipping something!’ go to the next one.
- Oxford University is the oldest English-speaking university in the world. It educated 26 Prime Ministers (now we know who’s to blame!).
- The botanic gardens in the city are oldest in the world, too. As are many other things in Oxford, including a few Oxonians like you’ll soon find out.
- The former capital of England (true!) can also boast the first (hint: oldest!) open to public museum in the world (who would have thought!). We’re talking Ashmolean museum here which was open in 1683. Not a spring chicken, aye?
- If you’re wondering why I wanted to be so Scottish and said ‘aye’, that makes the two of us!
- Radiohead are from Oxford (hell yeah!)
- As well as a lot of other famous people whose names don’t ring a bell- sorry!
- Missing Bean is a cute little cafe with epic flat white and horrible latte. Banana bread is also really good so it’s 2:1 meaning you should go there. They open at 9:00, I came at 9:10, at 9:30 there was already a queue for the tables. Got the hint?
- There’s also another popular cafe called The Handle Bar. Been there- cool interior, nice staff, average coffee and dry, old pastries. Not coming back.
- Food market in the city centre is a cool place to visit if you’re not fussy about sitting in, as long as it’s nice and warm outside obviously.
- If you think it’s going to be nice and warm outside with blue skies and all that jazz, let me give you another hint: Oxford Grey got its name for a reason!
- There’s always good old Primark if you find yourself freezing to death and feel the urgent need to spend 3 quid for a bed throw and use it as a coat. Exactly what I did, oh-so stylish!
- Don’t worry though, there are other shops in the city too. Lots of shops. Been to two and got enough stuff to prepare ‘My Huge Oxford Haul!’ post already.
Take a note of what I’ve said. Don’t make my mistakes- there’s plenty of your own to make after all!
Happy sightseeing! Xx