Oxford

Fellow Students, Teachers and Honorary Faculty members,

Welcome to Oxford

On the way home from our London-to-Stonehenge-to-Wales wander we decided we should probably make a slight detour and head into Oxford. I had always wanted to wander around that campus. I suppose you always hear about Oxford and after knowing its architecture was the inspiration for part of Hogwarts….well….we couldn’t just not go…you know….

 It was mid-morning by the time we got to the university town and our appetites had just woken up.  With two hours on the parking meter and a tasty panini in our mouths we wanderedaboot the streets. The great thing about Oxford is that it doesn’t matter if you have a map of the place or not, every street is lined with beautiful buildings that look like they’ve been there forever. We were finally doing what I’d been hoping for the whole time…strolling the halls of Hogwarts. 

They’ve really done a great job preserving the impressive architecture that fills the town. Obviously at the heart of it all is Oxford University – the first university in England and the oldest surviving in the English speaking world. 

 According to legend it was founded by King Alfred the Great in 872 when he happened to meet some monks there and had a scholarly debate that lasted several days. Now that’s old! 

Alright Thom. We get it. But please be gentle…there are so many York grads reading this right now….Shhhhh we’ll always have Manga-manga.

Wreaking of Old – The Clarendon Building

What was really helpful for us were the free walking tours that were being offered. Although we didn’t actually join one, we watched where they went and occasionally moved close enough to hear what they were saying. Jam packed with beautiful building it’s a very visitor-friendly town so a lot of the buildings have open door policies. Which is perfect if you only have a couple of hours to look around, some places do charge minimal fees to get inside but I’m confident just from what we saw that it would absolutely be worth it. (c’mon….do you think the kids who took snaps of stonehenge from the otherside of a chainlink fence were about to fork over a couple quid to see some hall…forgetaboutit.)

The Bodlien Library Court

It was perfect timing. Graduates kept strolling past us in their regalia. Diplomas in their hands, caps on their hands. We were ready for a really cheesy prank. Alright alright…where’s Ashton.

The Radcliffe Camera- Or RADCAM

This building was way too cool. Its the library at the campus. Unfortunately you have to be a student to get it…..my application’s in the mail

The Bridge of Sighs

Seeing the world through Potter colored glasses!

What’s unique about the university at Oxford is that there is no central campus, in fact the university is made up of 38 separate colleges that all operate under the umbrella of Oxford. Which is probably why there seems to be so many buildings that are associated with it.

But we were on the hunt for Harry Potter locations…

We spotted a place called All Souls College and had a peek through the gate…

Broom for one more?

Looks a lot like where Zoe Wanamaker taught the kiddies how to fly on their broomsticks now don’t you think?

Dumbles? Dat you?

Hogwarts?

 

We took care on the staircases in case they moved,  talked to the paintings to see if they responded and even measured all the alleys to see if they were at 45˚.(Ha! He’s still got it ladies)

Whoops. Next time we’ll pay the entrance fee

Once we had Harry Potter Scene-It all we decided that if the university was this beautiful then the town ought to be just as charming. Right we were. The town looks like a bigger less magical version of Hogsmead! We crossed a big ye olde bridge peppered in colourful boats of all variety. We also watched a police officer pull over a cyclist for ‘jay-cycling’.

Punting on the Thames

All in all this lil charmander was an absolute dream to waltz through. Had we had more time a lil picnic lunch somewhere under a big ol’ willow would have been just the thing for such a fairytale place. 

An amazing end to a super neat tour-de-brit. 

I can finally take the liberty of telling people I went to Oxford.

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