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Magdalena

June 25th, 2023

Mini-break outside London: a trip to Oxford

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Magdalena

June 25th, 2023

Mini-break outside London: a trip to Oxford

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Oxford is for me a natural destination for a break outside of London as I studied there and I also have friends still living in the city. In general, it’s a great and quite affordable option for everyone living in London planing an away day outside of the capital.

How to get there

What makes Oxford ideal for a quick break from the big city and your studies is its proximity to London. You can get there in around an hour and a half either by bus or train for approximately 10-15 pounds. Probably the best option to get there is getting the period return ticket for the Oxford Tube (don’t be fooled by the name, it’s a bus).

What to do and see

A must-see in Oxford is first and foremost the symbol of both the city and university – Radcliffe Camera, called “Rad Cam” by students. This iconic landmark is a part of the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe and the main research library of the University (apart from being a great place to take pictures, naturally).

The University of Oxford consists of colleges – independent academic communities spread throughout the city. To explain what exactly they are, I like to use the analogy to Harry Potter – if the University is Hogwarts, then colleges are like Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Each college has a different character and longer or shorter history, and they are usually open to visitors in certain hours so it’s a good idea to take a tour through one.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan (unlike me), you would surely want to visit the famous Christ Church College which was featured in the films. Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien must visit the Eagle and Child pub where he and the Inklings writers’ group including C.S. Lewis used to hang out. The list could go on – many famous people are associated with the University, and therefore the city is full of unique places.

Christ Church College

You can also visit free museums. The main one is the Ashmolean Museum, which is the oldest public museum in the UK and gathers fine art and archaeological specimens. There’s also the Natural History Museum and connected to it Pitt Rivers Museum, displaying the archaeological and anthropological collections of the University.

One of my favourite things to do in Oxford when it’s warm and sunny outside is punting, i.e. travelling in a flat-bottomed boat navigated by one person with a long pole (something like gondolas). Punting is a unique way to explore Oxford from a slightly different perspective.

Punts

Finally, you can just wander around the city. There are many picturesque small alleys, landmarks and historic sites you can discover in passing. Just enjoy the spirit of the city. And at the end of your trip, you can visit one of many Oxford’s great British pubs or grab a bite at the food market nearby the Gloucester Green station, adored by students.

About the author

Magdalena

Hi, I’m Magda, a Sociology master’s student coming from Poland. I’m interested in the issues of class and social stratification as well as history, which I studied for my undergraduate degree. I have an artistic soul and enjoy literature, cinema and theatre.

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