Monday, 21 September 2015

6 Things to do in Oxford | Travel

I feel like I live in a neverending state of wanderlust, but as a student on a budget traveling abroad isn't always a feasible option. That's why Martin and I have decided to try and visit every county in the UK to satisfy the travel bug while saving the pennies (read about it here).


One of our most recent ventures was the phenomenal city of Oxford. Just wow. The architecture, the history and the prestige of this city really is something to behold. We only spent one night here so wanted to get as good a feel for the city as possible and we think we managed. If you are planning a quick (or even long!) visit to Oxford, here are the must-dos and must-sees you must make time for.

One | A Walking Tour
When we went inter railing this summer I had such strong intentions to do walking tours everywhere but we just never got round to it, but after this trip I wish so much that we had. In just two hours we saw pretty much everything you could wish to see in the city and got to hear some brilliant stories, I can't imagine where else you would hear anecdotes about Oxford students dressed up as turtles and competing in tortoise (turtle?? I  never know the difference!) races... Best thing is the tour is free, unless you wish to give a voluntary donation at the end which we did.  'Cause I'm just a nice person. Obvs. For all you bookworms, the tour talked a lot about Alice in Wonderland (the garden below is where the real Alice, whom the character was based on, played as a child!) and we saw one of C. S. Lewis' favourite haunts, and supposedly the doorway that inspired the Narnia Chronicals.



Two | Punting
Oxford's favourite pass-time. I was absoutely buzzing to get my punt on in Oxford but it was hammering down and I didn't fancy drowning in the thames. We walked along the river, though and watched the others braver than us attempting (hilariously) to punt down the river. Rumour has it that is is a lot more fun after a few glasses of bubbly. I think I could be persuaded to give that a go... ;)


Three | The Undercover Market
This is one of Oxford's most well known and popular attractions and it's easy to see why. I am a market fanatic. It's pretty uncool but I don't care, I just bloody love everything about markets. Probably because I'm a pretentious snob who doesn't like chain restaurants or supermarkets (#sorrynotsorry) but I love that often in markets people put their heart and soul into their stall and they're just so cute. Make sure you visit and pick up some goodies!



Four | Thirsty Meeples 
I doubt there is anywhere that is simultaneously as cute and cool as this place. It is a cafe completely full of evey possible board game you could imagine. You hire a table, have some food or tea and cake and just play board games. I can't think of a better way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon! 

Image: www.theguardian.com
Five | The Bear Inn
This is (if I have remembered correctly, which I almost never do) the oldest pub in Oxford and one of the oldest in Britain. We passed by it on the walking tour and were told a couple of stories and knew we had to pop back for a drink later. The walls are covered in glass cases filled with ties which makes for a lot of interesting stuff to look at. The story goes that an old landlord would exchange a pint of beer for the end of your tie if he liked the look of it. So he would cut it off and write the name and hometown of the owner before displaying it. We liked looking for people who would have been local to us and admiring the questionable taste in ties!


Six | Blackwell's Bookshop
This bookshop is ginormous. It doesn't look like much from the outside but inside it is insane. Four floors full of books including new, secondhand, rare and antique. What makes this shop even better is knowing that is used to be only 12sqft!! If you need even more convincing of it's coolness, it is also home to the Norrington Room which is the largest room selling books in the world. Surely that's worth a look?


BONUS NUMBER SEVEN | The Fudge Kitchen
(OKAY. I know the title is 6 but everyone loves a freebie, right?)
I was completely mesmerized by this little shop. Our walking tour gave us 10% discount so we went to have a look. I have never seen so many flavours of fudge. It was literally outrageous. They let you have a good old taste of anything you fancy so we tried peanut butter (omg), lemon drizzle (you heard correctly), salted caramel (omg again) and eton mess (you guessed it, omg). We bought salted caramel hot fudge, which is like hot chocolate but fudge. The shop is mind-blowing if you have a sweet tooth like me so it had to make the list!!

 T. xxx

Have you been to Oxford?
Do you think I've missed anything?

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2 comments

  1. Love love love all of these things! Am sad you didn't mention visiting anything related to the Harry Potter/Alice in Wonderland things but all of things you mentioned are great! I went to Thirsty Meeples with a couple of friends and spent the afternoon playing Diplomacy (cool kids I know). They also do great food there which helps time pass by even quicker ;p

    Looks like you had a fun trip, shame about the punting - maybe next time?!

    Laura @ What's Hot?

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    Replies
    1. I actually learnt a lot about Alice in Wonderland and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on my walking tour. Thanks for mentioning that, I'm going to add that in right now!!
      Definitely punting next time, may wait til the Summer though :)

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