2nd March, 2018
It was our first time in London and we like most people had this question, “Is it worth doing a day trip to Oxford?” Discussing this with one of my cousin who studied in Oxford, we decided to head to Oxford !
Oxford is known as the “city of dreaming spires”, a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold.
MIRINDA suggests ! – It’s better if you start early as you’ll get a whole day to visit the city and save money on unnecessary hotel nights. Trains leave for Oxford Station every 5 to 10 minutes from Paddington Station. The journey takes about an hour.
MIRINDA fun facts ! – In the fall of 2017, standard round trip, off peak tickets were about £25, but much cheaper round trip fares are available when purchased as two, one-way tickets, well in advance.
This famous university city is house to vibrant college crowd, amazing architecture, museums, local markets, shops.
MIRINDA fun facts ! – Harry Potter movies have given another high to Oxford and it’s universities. There are a lot of tour companies in the Oxford that organizes free guided tours, harry potter places tours, ghosts tours. Pick your favourite one, you will never go out of option.
MIRINDA suggests ! – We recommend a guided tour of Oxford to know more about the history and architecture of this place.
There is a lot to do in the Oxford whether it is just a stroll around the city, shopping till you bow down or discovering hidden alleys of Oxford. The city is a potion of old era mixed with modern era.
Our suggestions for a few Landmarks you should cover and also some fun activities & places you should visit when in Oxford are :
All Harry Potter fans, this is undoubtedly our first recommendation when you are in Oxford just for a day..
Christ Church is one of the colleges of Oxford University and sits in the heart of the city. Founded in 1546, today it is a key part of a very modern university, offering a home, undergraduate teaching and graduate supervision to over six hundred students. It stands out for its size, the beauty of its buildings, and its welcoming atmosphere, as well as the distinguished research and teaching that goes on within its walls.
It is unique in another way too: it is a cathedral as well as a college.
MIRINDA fun facts ! – The famous Wizard School of Harry Potter, and the famous dining hall is in here. It is spectacular to look at and the stories makes it even more interesting.
Oxford Covered Market
The covered market in Oxford has been part of the city for centuries and I believe one of the first markets in England. It’s not like a northern market with lots of stalls selling cheap bargain goods. Here it is more a selection of shops selling good quality items with a few food outlets and the odd service such as a barbers.
The main attractions in this market are the small boutiques and artisan shops scattered throughout. It’s more like an arcade than a traditional covered market in that regard, and certainly worth wandering around to do some window shopping. We found it a great place to shop for gifts and souvenirs.
MIRINDA fun facts ! – If good food is what determines where you go, Oxford will not disappoint you. There are plenty of cafeterias all over the city, especially near the colleges. Ask around to find out which local pub to go to. There are also small food joints that serve different kinds of cuisine. I remember visiting an Italian place that served a killer pizza.
Carfax Tower (situated at the crossroads of Carfax and Cornmarket OX1) The Tower is all that remains of the 13th century St. Martin’s Church and still contains a ring of six bells, recast from the original five by Richard Keene of Woodstock in 1676. These chime the quarter hours and are rung on special occasions by the Oxford Society of Change Ringers.
At £2.70, most people would think this was worth the price and effort of climbing 99 steps for.
MIRINDA suggests ! – Climb onto Carfax tower for Oxford’s city view. But mind that it is a spiral staircase, thus mind that you need a good heart condition to get to the top !
Oxford’s libraries are among the most celebrated in the world, not only for their incomparable collections of books and manuscripts, but also for their buildings, some of which have remained in continuous use since the Middle Ages.
The Bodleian Library is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library with over 12 million printed items.
Known to many Oxford scholars simply as ‘the Bod’, these buildings are still used by students and scholars from all over the world, and they attract an ever-increasing number of visitors.
MIRINDA fun facts ! – This Library has got a copy of every paper printed anywhere in the world.
Gloucester Green Market
Gloucester Green is located in the centre of the city, off George Street and next to the bus station. It is a traditional and vibrant open air market offering a range of general produce including fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers and plants, household goods, cheeses, pet food, frames, books, fabrics, DVDs, mobile phone accessories, haberdashery, bags, hats, watches and watch batteries, clothing, cakes, sweets, and much more.
MIRINDA fun facts ! – They have various options of stall and things to see as per the day you visit : Green Market: Every Wednesday 9am-5pm, Farmers’ Market: First and Third Thursday of every month 9am-3pm, Antiques and Collectors Fair: Every Thursday 9am-5pm
Museum of History of Science
This museum is amazing; lots of old historical technology advancements and stages. Many different rooms for different types of items like compasses, drafting tables, beakers, etc. Awesome place, also has Einstein’s blackboard! Definitely worth going in and spending at least an hour to see the artifacts. Plus it was free, so definitely worth the time.
MIRINDA fun facts ! – Thus museum is much smaller than anticipated but full of interesting exhibits. Allow yourself 60 to 90 mins of your time to see this museum.
Our day trip to Oxford was totally worth it… it was a perfect blend of the city and the country. I can only say that the parks were a quiet pockets that contain a little bit of that much-talked about serenity of the English country side, the architecture and history was so magnificent and the people were so warm and laid back… This is the definition of the life I always dream of having !
Coming up next … 3 Days in London & Day trip to Oxford Itinerary !
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