We went to the beautiful Oxford in Oxfordshire, England for a weekend trip from London.
It takes about 1.5 – 2 hours on the bus, and if you take the X90 from Victoria station, you just rock up, wait for maximum 15 minutes and voila – you’re on your way!
Although we could have spent much longer there, we did manage to squeeze a fair amount of sightseeing into 2 days.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in this University town known as the "city of dreaming spires" because of its beautiful architecture.
Here are my top 5 things to do in Oxford:
1. Check out the many museums around town.
Because Oxford’s past and present is very education focused, the museums are truly impressive. You can easily walk around between museums and there is quite an array to choose from! My favourites would have to be the Natural History, Modern Art, Ashmolean (check out the real mummies!) and Science Museum. We were lucky to catch the Natural History museum at night for a special exhibition – amazing!
2. Visit the Covered Markets.
These awesome markets 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 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!
3. Check out the nightlife on Cowley Street.
We went to a quirky little restaurant 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 then went to a nearby bar called Café Tarifa, where are the young hipsters seemed to be hanging out in droves. After that, it was all a little blurry – but very fun! The street had a very Middle Eastern vibe.
4. Go on the City Walking Tour from the Visitors Centre.
This was definitely a must-do in Oxford. We learned a lot from this tour - most importantly, how influential 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 separate 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!
5. See Blenheim Palace – my personal favourite.
The Palace is HUGE and full of history, most noteable being the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The ticket includes entry into the palace and access to all the surrounding gardens. You could spend a whole day exploring. Since I have arrived in London, the countryside surrounding Blenheim Palace is the most beautiful that I have seen in England. The Palace is surrounded by rolling hills, lakes and 2000 acres of beautiful parkland. Ange and I took a long walk from the formal gardens, past the Italian Garden and eventually came to a beautiful cascading waterfall. We even managed to see some bunny rabbits on the way! How English is that?
Thanks to Visit Oxfordshire visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com and the British Heritage Cities heritagecities.com for inviting Jess from Traveldudes!
All views are of course our own!