It’d be a shame to move to London and never explore beyond the city’s borders. Step one? Book a ticket.
My friends, Molly and Pip, and I were just looking for a short day trip to an exciting place. Oxford is only an hour away by train, so a perfect first stop to discover more of England. Though we only had a few hours in the city, it was enough of a taste to see many of the main sites and to know that I’d happily visit again.
To be honest, there was no set plan on what to see, so we figured a walking tour could lead us in the right direction. Wandering aimlessly was lovely, but we were looking to know a bit about the background of the city and also gain access to some of the colleges.
If you walk along Broad Street, you will find some signs for walking tours. We randomly chose this one. The tour guide wasn’t my favourite but we got to see a lot of cool sites (including Harry Potter filming locations that we wouldn’t have found otherwise).
On this tour, I learned that Oxford University is made up of a TON of colleges. My favourite one (from what I’ve seen) is New College. Why? Because 1. Hugh Grant went to uni there, and 2. Harry Potter scenes were filmed there, and 3. It’s so pretty, it looks fake (see pic below with me, Pip, and Molly).
Additionally, we got to see the inspiration for the Great Hall (in Christchurch College).
After the tour, we also paid £1 to go to the Divinity Room at the Bodleian Library. You can also pay £5 to go on a tour of the library section where they also filmed the, you guessed it, library scenes, but I’m not made of money (I was still unemployed at the time) so I just chose the cheaper spot to check out.
Outside of the Bodleian Library is the Radcliffe Camera (that lovely circular building above. I didn’t go inside, but man it was nice to look at (as was all of Oxford really).
Warning: There are many cobblestones and it’s uncomfortable with flats on … DO NOT WEAR HEELS.
Another cool thing you can check out is the Oxford Castle. We just did a photoshoot outside of it at the pillory, but that was fun too. To get inside the castle, can pay £9 as a student, or £10.75 as an adult.
Before heading back to the train station we went on a lovely walk through the Botanic Gardens, Merton Field, and Christchurch Meadow (seen above).
For a short trip, we saw quite a bit. The best part of this small city is that you can get lost without really getting lost. Every turn is lovely!