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A day at Oxford

A good friend of mine who, despite attending Cambridge University, is deeply knowledgeable on Oxford had arranged a day there for me as a belated birthday present.

We took the coach known as the Oxford Tube from Victoria.

I do not often use coach travel but it was comfortable with a table for 4, a loo and plugs and took you right into the Oxford centre.

Our first visit in Oxford was to Magdalen College.

This was the college of Cardinal Wolsey and also some celebrated literary figures – Algernon Swinburne, Oscar Wilde, C.S Lewis and Alan Bennett.

The fine dining hall once had portraits of some of their illustrious alumni but in the interests of diversity now black and white photos of undergraduates are hung.

The cloistered quad is unique amongst the colleges and it also has a deer park.

We continued to Balliol, Trinity and the Turf Inn which dates back to the 13th century where Bill Clinton did not inhale and Australian PM Bob Hawke drank a yard of ale in 1963 in record time.

As recommended by Daffers we had lunch in North Oxford at the Cherwell Boathouse right on the river and its location and food were ideal.

The walking of some 15kms left me tired so we took the coach back to Victoria mid-afternoon and thence the train – a far less agreeable journey – to my Sussex home.

As a travel writer I have visited many countries but I am very conscious of the jewels on our doorstep like Oxford.

Some of these colleges are 800 years old, the beauty of Christchurch meadows and the architecture of the quads staggering and it’s a seat of learning that is world famous.

Yet how much do we actually know about Oxford University or that it is so accessible ?

About Nancy Bright-Thompson

A widely-respected travel editor, Nancy is a past president of the Guild of Travel Writers (GTW). She and her husband Phil now run a horse sanctuary in East Sussex. More Posts