Even in the pouring rain, Oxford truly is breathtaking. Arriving in the city for the first time, I audibly emitted a gasp as I took in my surroundings. Grandiose buildings seeped in history, students from the illustrious university in academic robes and cobbled lanes greeted me. Only an hour from London, Oxford is well worth the day trip. Find yourself swept up in the intellectual atmosphere and marvel at various Harry Potter locations!
Here’s how to make the most of your time in Oxford:
One of the oldest public libraries in the world and holding more than 11 million items, add this to your ‘to-see’ list! The 15th century gothic building is mesmerising to look at, as is its fan-vaulted ceiling that was used as the Hogwarts hospital wing. If you’d like to see some of the libraries collections, join a library tour for access to Duke Humfrey’s library.
Bridge of Sighs
A short stroll from the Bodleian, snap some shots of Oxford’s Bridge of Sighs that bears resemblance to the famous Venetian bridge. The bridge links Hertford College to New College.
Visit just to take in the stunning appearance of this dome shaped library that is one of Oxford’s most photographed buildings!
Perhaps most famous as a Harry Potter location, this is the largest of Oxford’s colleges and most popular. Founded in 1524, Christ Church is an impressive sight to behold. You enter through the Cloister and towards the renowned Harry Potter staircase. Be a real tourist and recreate the scene in which Professor McGonagall welcomed Harry and his classmates to Hogwarts on the staircase (you really will feel you are in Hogwarts!) Up the staircase is the Great Hall which served as inspiration for the dining hall at Hogwarts. As you exit, take in the view of the College from the Tom Quad before venturing onto the tiny Christ Church Cathedral. If you luck out weather wise, make the most of the sun by wandering through Christ Church Meadow. This college is definitely worth the entry fee!
Natural History Museum and Pitt Rivers
This may just be the coolest natural history museum you’ve visited! Where else can you see a witch in a bottle from Sussex, a witch’s ladder or a spell to cure warts?! Inside a beautiful Victorian Gothic building, wander through exhibits ranging from exotic insects and fossils to remains of dinosaurs. At the back of the University Museum, you’ll find Pitt Rivers which holds a vast collection of objects from around the world! You’ll see everything from skulls, magic charms, fur parkas to ancient cosmetics and mummies. Even better, both museums are completely free.
Established in 1683, the Ashmolean is Britain’s oldest public museum. You’ll while away several hours easily here as you gaze upon collections ranging from Islamic and Chinese art to rare porcelain, tapestries and musical instruments.
Lunch break at Oxford’s Covered Market
The quaint market is full of butchers, fishmongers, delis and cafes that provide plenty of dining options! Try sicilian sausage, Brazilian cheese balls, milkshakes from Moo Moos or handmade chocolates. Stroll through the fresh fruit and vegetable section and stock up on delicious produce for the rest of your week!
Coffee break at The Missing Bean:
If you’re sick of all the leading chain store coffee places (aka Starbucks and Costas) head to the independent Missing Bean for a better quality and lower priced cup of coffee!
You must visit this prestigious university town on your next trip to the UK!
For more information on how to get there and accommodation in the area head to: www.visitoxford.com