This Saturday, George and I spent the day in Oxford exploring the University and enjoying the sunshine. This summer really has been wonderful and much warmer than we were originally expecting. When we arrived in Oxford, the first thing we looked for was St. Mary’s Church. The tower of St. Mary’s offers the best view of the city, not to mention it is also the official church of the University of Oxford.
The climb up to the top was pretty steep and extremely narrow, but it was worth it. The tower itself is directly across from the Radcliffe Camera, which is actually a part of the Bodleian Library and only open to students.
After that, we weren’t totally sure where to go next, only that we were hungry and we wanted to see more of the University. So for lunch, we went to the Eagle and Child, which is a favorite among Oxford’s writers and academics. C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein were regulars who were part of “The Inklings” literary group. The group nicknamed the pub, “The Bird and Baby.”
Later, we attempted to see the Bodleian Library, a working library and the largest university library in the UK. However, there was an event going on and visitors were not allowed inside. Then we tried to get a closer look at Christ Church, the college where numerous scenes from Harry Potter were filmed. Again, it was closed to the public.
It was a bummer, but it’s not like we live very far away. We moved on and visited the Ashmolean Museum next. The Ashmolean is the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology. It really reminded me of the British Museum with its abundance of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian artifacts.
After the museum, we walked around a while longer, exploring some of the back streets of the town and getting a better feel for the town’s medieval history. We also stumbled upon Oxford’s Covered Market and seriously contemplated getting some cookies. We held out, though, because we knew we wanted to have tea and coffee in the oldest coffee house in England, The Grand Café.
The coffee wasn’t anything special, but now we can say we’ve been to the oldest coffee house in England! It was actually really nice to sit down with a hot drink after walking for so long, and their afternoon tea was very affordable. Eventually, though, we had to catch a bus back to where our car was parked and head home. I definitely could have spent more time in Oxford, but I am sure it won’t be too long until we’re back again.