On Friday night, my sister Ange and I caught the X90 bus from London Victoria to the city of Oxford in Oxfordshire, England.
We had a really fun and interesting weekend exploring this beautiful and historic university city.
We arrived at about 9.30pm and checked into the Best Western Linton Lodge, a lovely Edwardian style hotel about 20 minutes outside of the city centre. Wanting the make the most of our first night, we dropped off our bags quickly and headed to the Natural History Museum for a special night time 'Museums at Night' event. It was lovely seeing the displays at night, and I particularly liked the life sized animal displays. Only issue was, the museum ran out of booze! What an atrocity!
Just joking, we were actually secretly pleased, because it meant that we could wake up on Saturday as fresh as daisy's.
On Saturday we had a big day planned for sightseeing, and we decided to take the scenic route into town along the river and university parks. It was absolutely beautiful, but BEWARE - ballet shoes are NOT appropriate for nature walks - particularly when it has recently rained!
Arriving into town with muddy feet, but relatively unharmed, we bought some sensible shoes and started exploring a few of the museums around town.
The museums in Oxford came highly recommended, and you can see why - the city is extremely cultural, educational and historic. My favourite would have to be the Ashmolean - I love ancient history, and the Egyptian section was super impressive! I had never seen a real mummy before, and it was amazing!
After the Ashmolean and the Science Museum, we visited the Covered Markets, which have been around since the 18th Century! There were many lovely little stores and food shops, and we sampled one of the BEST freshly baked chocolate chip cookies from a little shop called Bens!
We also watched saw some seriously skilled bakers making some extraordinary looking cakes...all so intricate and detailed. I felt very untalented watching these crafty cake-makers, I must say!
After a quick lunch break, we joined the City Walking Tour from the Visitors Centre, and it was definitely a must-do in Oxford. We learned a lot from this tour - most importantly, how influencial the University has been in the past, and also in the present.
To be honest, I 'made an ass out of u and me' and assumed that Oxford University would be one large campus, but actually the Uni is scattered all over the city in seperate colleges. We were allowed into the Keble College, and our guide Monica told us all about student life (past and present).
We even had a peek into the dining hall, which is apparently the cheapest place for the students to dine, and looked exactly like the hall in Harry Potter!
Exhausted from all the walking, we returned back to our comfy beds at the Linton and had a little nap before heading out to Cowley Street for dinner. We went to a place I found online called Door 74 and enjoyed a delicious meal, washed down by some Pinot Grigio. I had the lamb which was delish, but my favourite part would have to be the dark chocolate semifreddo for dessert - such delicious goo!
We met an old friend at a couple of funky Middle Eastern bars before heading home to the 24-hour hotel bar before midnight.
Perfect first day, with perfect company!
I loved Oxford!
I shall write about Day 2 in a seperate diary entry.
Thanks to Visit Oxfordshire visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com and the British Heritage Cities heritagecities.com for inviting Jess from Traveldudes!