Oxford is one of those cities that seems unaffected by the passing of time. Whenever we slip there for a day trip from London or a cheeky overnighter – or once for lunch – we’re always struck by just how beautiful it is.
The ‘city of dreaming spires’ simply glows. The beautiful stone that makes up the majority of buildings almost emanates the years of learning that has gone on behind them, or am I just being fanciful?
When we got married, our vicar paused mid-wedding ceremony and said ‘just take a moment to think about all the years upon years of emotion that has soaked into these church walls’ so maybe it isn’t just me being away with the fairies. (Maybe it’s just the two of us – though we still have family who mention his sermon all these years later.)
It’s a city with all the mod cons that a university town needs to thrive, but housed in whimsical turrets, curving pillars and a deft shake of magic.
It’s also a city where you can really get lost without actually getting lost – or being further than a block away from a quirky old pub where you can rest your world-weary limbs. I’d recommend just following your nose along the smaller lanes, and follow them until you can’t make any more turns without ending up in one of the rivers.
Oh, and if you love books as much as I do, there’s always the Bodleian Library to wander into for an hour or two – make sure you see beforehand what incredible exhibitions they have on (instead of just turning up like I usually do.) There are always queues of tourists, but it’s well worth the wait.
You’ll also be able to visit one or two of the university colleges – they encourage visitors, charging a small sum of cash for the right of entry and a very quick taste of uniquely Oxford student life. It isn’t pot noodles for this lot, unless they fancy slumming it, oh no…
Just. I mean. Look.
They even have their own Bridge of Sighs, meant to be modelled on the Venetian Rialto bridge (though weirdly not resembling it.)
Oh, and did I mention the Harry Potter links, not forgetting all of the literary illuminati who have read degrees in these many walls?
There isn’t anywhere quite like Oxford in the world.
Have you been? Are you an Oxford or Cambridge fan?
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