I had the opportunity to take a little trip to Oxford last weekend. It’s always nice to have an excuse to see a new corner of the UK, and Oxford did not disappoint. It reminded me quite a lot of Bath, with the grand golden stone Georgian buildings, unspoilt high street and leafy avenues.
I was pleased to find it quite compact and easy to get around by foot – my preferred method of exploring any new city. On arriving we (I went with my sister) walked from the train station to our hotel via the high street, taking in the covered market on the way. It was a Sunday so not everything was open, but as it was the bank holiday weekend it was quite busy with people anyway.
We took a detour around some of the many university buildings dotted around the city, and the grand Bodleian Library. Can you imagine being a student here… in my head it’d be like a cross between Harry Potter (parts of which were filmed here) and the Secret History.
Found a sewing shop, but it was closed – darn it, indeed :(
We went to the Foodies Festival for lunch, which was quite small and non-eclectic by London market standards but I found a tasty samosa chat to eat, followed by tasty Purbecks ice cream as it was a nice warm day.
Oxford is filled with meadows and streams (mostly owned by the colleges but open to the public), which makes for some lovely serene walking routes. We meandered up to the north of the city…
…to the Natural History and Pitt Rivers museums. Both in the same building, the Pitt Rivers is an anthropology museum, which rather reminded me of some of the museums I went to in Ecuador as it carries much of the same ceramics, totems and textiles.
Quite taken with this inuit outfit, reindeer skin codpiece and all.
In the Natural History museum part, I mostly enjoyed the animal skeletons and these beautiful mineral samples.
We took another pre-dinner stroll down the canal, meeting a sweet kitty on the way.
We had a really nice dinner at Jamie’s Italian – I hadn’t been to one before but was impressed, would go back to try more as there were plenty of veggie options.
The next day was the bank holiday Monday and as is traditional, was pissing with rain. We popped back to the Bodleian to have a look inside – only the reading room was open but it was pretty stunning.
We dodged the rain the rest of the morning at the Ashmolean Museum which was luckily open. There’s loads to see – again, owls and textiles mostly caught my eye – so it definitely provided a good diversion until the train home. At only an hour from London, what a nice city to have a little staycation in.
My trip was sponsored by the Mercure Eastgate Hotel, Oxford. Thank you!