Travel UK

Oxford, England

I’ve started a new job and one of the perks is that I get to take part in some pretty cool activities. Like going to Oxford for the day. For those readers who don’t know, Oxford is a smallish city in South East England, most famous for Oxford University aka the oldest English speaking university in the world. It’s only 50 miles north-west of London, so it makes for the perfect day trip!

Poet Matthew Arnold called Oxford “the city of dreaming spires” and that fits right in with my romanticised view of the city. Partially helped along by a healthy love of Phillip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” which are  set in a fictionalised Oxford. But the list of famous authors who’ve lived or studied at Oxford is ridiculously long. So a trip to Oxford should go on any anglophile’s “Bucket List”.

If you get the chance to explore Oxford, besides visiting individual colleges inside the University (which I definitely recommend!), I’d also recommend visiting the Ashmolean Museum and the Bodleian Library aka the library of my dreams. Oxford also has examples of every type of English architectural period from the Saxons to the present day, so it’s not just a town for the literary nerds!

All Souls bridge of sighs bust busy street camera
Dome of the Radcliffe Camera.

columns famous pubs
The pub that was a favourite haunt of many readers, but especially Tolkein,

faun
One of the fauns around Oxford, rumoured to have inspired CS Lewis in writing “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”

ivy covered house marker market
Exploring the indoor market.

ship street tudor buildingtower
Have you ever visited Oxford?

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  • Valerie

    Oh lucky you! Oxford is one of my favourite cities in England <3 xx

  • I love taking trips to Oxford! It’s such a beautiful city. Have you ever been punting? It’s so much fun in the summer (especially with champagne and strawberries!). I love your beautiful photos.

    • Well I love anything that would involve eating snacks will being carried (or pushed) around so I know that kind of punting expedition is definitely right up my alley! x

  • The architecture here looks simply stunning! I would definitely love to have a visit. England really has the best pub names. “The Eagle and Child”…. who would think of that? Innovative πŸ™‚

    • Hahaha. I just love how utterly random they always are! (Or the complete opposite and all the exact same. “The red Lion” etc) x

  • Oxford looks lovely. I’ve always known it to have great architecture, but never really though about all the writers who went or spent time there… now I just may have to add it to my list of places to visit.

  • I’ve only been to Oxford once, but I absolutely loved it. The architecture is just stunning. It snowed when I was there for the day, which looked lovely, but also put us off from wandering around too much. Which was a shame, but then we found a Bill’s and spent quite a lot of time keeping warm in there instead! Congrats on the new job. xx

    • Haha, I think I walked by that very Bill’s! I can imagine just how magical it would look in the snow! (And thank you by the way!) xx

  • The history is just amazing in these English university towns! Have yet to make it to Oxford but I’ve been toying with th eidea of hopping a cheap bus and head out that way! Looks amazing πŸ™‚

    • I’d definitely recommend it! Oxford feels more like a proper city to me than Cambridge did. (I found Cambridge a bit insular (not in a negative way!)). x

  • Lovely pictures! I love Oxford and have been a few times; located so well for a day trip from London! My favourite activities in Oxford were hiring a rowing boat and also the beautiful botanical gardens which are surprisingly cheap to visit!

    • I definitely want to hire a boat there some day. Maybe when the weather is a bit warmer though! :0 xx

  • I’ve never been but it’s on my list! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I think I’d definitely have to re-read Northern Lights before I go though haha πŸ˜€ xx

    Little Miss Katy | UK Lifestyle Blog

  • I love learning the history behind old towns, Oxford looks charming and full of history! And congrats on the new job!

  • Angie SilverSpoon

    It’s such a beautiful city, when you walk around the university campus and the old churches you feel that this is what the history of England is all about.

    Lots of love,
    Angie
    SilverSpoon London

  • Oxford has such beautiful architecture. Looks like a great trip.

    • Incredible architecture! Such a stunning place. I’d have felt so lucky to be a student there! x

  • Oh Oxford <3 so pretty!
    How's the new job going?! I had a job before that allowed me to travel in the UK and I really loved it, it was great for seeing new places!

    • I love it! I’ve been doing it for about a month now and it’s ace. I get to travel plus I have a lot of flexibility in that I can set a lot of my own hours. Perfection, in my mind! x

  • I would love to go to Oxford, it looks lovely – I would be all Phillip Pullman fangirl about it though! And that faun looks like taken straight out of Narnia, so interesting that its the other way around!

    • I LOVE LOVE LOVE Pullman. Do you have a favourite book? Also did you read his Sally Lockhart series? x

      • I loved the Amber Spyglass, (and the other two) although it made me cry. a lot! Not read the Sally Lockhart series, might have to look into that one!

        • I think it’s aimed at a more YA audience, but it still pulls at the heart strings. There’s no fantasy magic in it, just a good Victorian romp! x

  • Congrats on the new job and the great perks! πŸ™‚ Oxford is so pretty. I never got a chance to make it there when I lived in England.

  • Laura

    Lovely photos! Would love to visit Oxford but I don’t head down to England very often! Congrats on the new job!

    Laura | http://www.laurakathren.blogspot.co.uk

  • I loved Oxford a million times over!! We really wanted to go to The Eagle and Child but missed it somehow!

  • Amazing photos! I absolutely adored Oxford when I visited a friend there last year! Just walking through the streets feels so special – it’s so pretty and just the vibe of the town!

    • Did it give you a similar vibe to St Andrews? (I only ask since they are both prestigious university towns, obviously Scotland is a lot different than England.) x

  • Kate Mitchell

    I spent May 2012 in London for a month-long study abroad program focusing on the religious changes in the Tudor time and how they affected literature, and as a part of that we got to spend a day in Oxford. It was incredible! I would have loved to go again later.

    • That sounds like an amazing course! I lived in Stratford-upon-Avon for almost a year awhile back and the town always got a lot of day trip visitors for similar reasons. πŸ™‚ x

  • His Dark Materials is SO GOOD.

    • So good. The last book destroyed my emotions though. Destroyed them! x

      • Sometimes I just pretend like certain things in books just don’t happen, and instead I imagine that things worked out perfectly through some ridiculous deus ex machina and Will and Lyra are happily together and regularly hang out with their pal Sirius Black.

        What’s the new job?

  • How fab that you get to take trips for work πŸ™‚ Oxford is so beautiful, I haven’t been for years but this is making me want to take a day trip!

  • Congratulations on the new job! I’ve never visited Oxford but would love to!

    • Thanks! I’ve actually been doing it for about a month now, I just never blog about work πŸ˜‰ xx

  • That sounds amazing! I’ll definitely have to make time for it in the future! x

  • Whoa! How crazy! Had you been speaking online before then? Or did he truly just sweep you off your feet? x

  • Gorgeous photos! I’d love to visit England one day and hit up Oxford and all the other amazing places!!

  • There are SO. MANY. REASONS. why I want to visit Oxford. I have to make the trip as soon as possible. Lovely photos, and thanks for pointing out some places of interest! Tolkien’s old hangout will definitely be a stop for me.

  • I love your photos! Just add this to my list of things to do if I go back to England.

  • We have yet to go, but are hoping to around Christmas while my husband’s parents are here. I know we will love it!

  • Julie @ Artwork by JM

    Absolutely beautiful photos! I would really love to make it to England one day. It’s so beautiful there.

  • I haven’t been, but it looks adorable! I’ve been to some other smaller towns in England though, and I could never get over how quaint they all look!

  • themommyglow

    I would just LOVE to visit. These pictures and facts fuel my wanderlust!

    Tiffany

    http://www.themommyglow.net

  • Gorgeous photos! I’d love to visit Oxford! So cool you’ve started a new job – hope it’s going well πŸ™‚ xx

    • Thanks Carly! It’s going really well! I’ve been there almost a month and it’s very exciting (and sometimes stressful). x

  • the red ivy… so gorgeous!

    • Buildings covered in ivy are still so fantastically beautiful to me. I guess that’s what happen when you grow up in New Mexico! x

  • I find Cambridge to be amazing. Oxford is obviously stunning but I find Cambridge to be even more so! x

  • London is pretty fabulous but there are so many great cities around England that it’s sad when London hogs all the glory! πŸ™‚ x

  • It’s on my list! One of my friends from America moved there actually, so hopefully I’ll get there soon.

    • It’s a much further trip for you, but if you have friends there definitely stay with them! x

  • I absolutely LOVE Oxford! I went there for a lecture a few years ago and only had a few hours to explore the city (town?). Hopefully I’ll get a chance to visit again soon! Love the photos xo

  • How lovely!!! Looks right up my alley!

  • Amy @ the tide that left

    I lived in Oxford in my early years, and had family there for a while, but I haven’t enjoyed the touristy side of the city for a very long time. It’s nice to see it with fresh eyes xx

  • Thanks Lizzy! xx

  • Great perk to the new job! I loved Oxford and was only there for a few hours…guess I gotta go back πŸ™‚

  • I wanted to go to Oxford in my last trip to Europe, but we didn’t get a chance. But now it definitely is going to be on my list for my next trip! These are beautiful photos of the city!

  • Autumn Dickens

    I love Oxford. It’s truly a magical place filled with so much history. Congrats on the new job!

  • I haven’t been there, only to Cambridge, I don’t know if it is forbidden to say “they are kind of similar anyways”^^ But I am sure I will go there for a day trip since I will go back to London next year πŸ™‚

    • Hehehe I think they are similar too. I actually almost like Cambridge more just because it feels a bit more isolated. Shhh…..! Don’t tell! x

  • I haven’t been to Oxford yet, but your photos looks awesome. I love that old feeling, it makes me feel like I’m in a story.

  • Lovely photos, I so so want to go to Oxford!

  • Kate Fellows

    I love Oxford, the architecture is so incredible! Beautiful pictures x

    http://www.underbluelights.blogspot.co.uk