Thursday, 15 May 2014

Oxford, where dreams go to die

Another rainy weekend.  What to do?  

The Answer is Oxford.

It's a fairly adorable Univeristy Town, with spires erupting out of the earth at every turn.  Grand old colleges, stodgy old institutions.  They are all here.

I got a smattering of rain, but it seemed like it might clear, or at the very least not be the kind of rain that would soak you to the skin underneath your rain gear.

St Mary's, the oldest church in Oxford.  For a few quid, you can climb the bell tower and squeeze yourself past tourist in a single-file staircase.  Still, good for a view to orient yourself.

I made a mistake of going on an Easter Sunday though, and pretty much all the museums and events were closed, and all the residents were on their spring break.  It was very quiet.  A few of the colleges were open to stroll around, and until it got too wet out, I was happy to wander the streets and peek my head inside.

I'm sure there is reason behind why they have a copy of the Venetian Bridge of Sighs here.

So with nothing much open and the rain pouring down, I had no choice but to duck into a very old charming public house to warm myself with the ghost of Lewis Carroll and Tolkien.

I did find some lovely gardens and courtyards tucked into the walls of some of the colleges.

I did happen upon the Ashmolean museum, which was basically the only thing in town that was open.  A very decent collection, they had.  Lots of artifacts and scholarly things.

Carfax tower.  There used to be a church attached, but the road got built instead.  Now it is just a lone, oddly place tower.

There was a huge long line and a fee to get into Christ Church Cathedral.  They filmed scenes of Hogwart's there in the Harry Potter films, so it was the only place I saw with lines and crowds, and they were capitalizing on it heartily.  I didn't go in.  I went for a walk around the grounds instead.

I did see some deer grazing.  See?  bottom lefthand corner.  Kind of cool, considering this was right outside a pretty big town.

I guess if school was in session, it would have been a bit more lively and fun to hang out in, but the rain and the closed shops and museums was kind of discouraging.

In the end, the weather won out and I was getting a little tired of being soaked.  Instead of staying for dinner and to explore more pubs and have myself a literary pub crawl, I hopped the "Oxford Tube", a double-decker bus that runs about every 15 minutes between London Victoria and Oxford.  The whole journey takes about an hour and a half, but it is traffic-dependent, so good luck with that.


  1. You found the donkey from Shrek!

    1. All the other gargoyles looked fairly scary or elegant. And then...that donkey.

  2. oh my gawd Sara! you take the most gorgeous pictures. i'd buy "Sara's Romp Through the United Kingdom" anyday!!!!

    1. Thank you! I just get cranky when I'm shooting in the rain all the time, and I'll go weeks without seeing a shadow. Saying that, today and this weekend is supposed to be beeyooteeful. Miss you!